David Cameron has appointed Dame Pauline Neville-Jones to chair the party’s policy group on ‘national and international security’. The appointment of Dame Pauline is another sign of Mr Cameron’s embrace of the establishment. A career diplomat Neville-Jones played a controversial role in the Foreign Office’s 1990s Balkans policy. She is an opponent of ID cards and former Governor of the BBC.
Tom King, the former Defence Secretary and first Chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, will be Deputy Chairman of the policy group.
CCHQ has issued a press release detailing the group’s remit:
- "The Group will investigate the structure of policing in the UK, including reform to bring local policing closer to local populations and to provide a fully effective force or forces to deal with regional, national, and international policing challenges, including international terrorism. In addition, the Group will analyse the effectiveness of border control, the security services and administrative structures in Whitehall to deal with the threat of terrorist attack.
- As part of its work on security, the group will consider issues relating to social cohesion – including questions of community relations, immigration policy and their linkages with the UK’s foreign policy.
- The Group will examine the UK’s geo-political positioning vis a vis the EU, NATO, relations with the USA and relations with Commonwealth Countries, as well as with less-developed countries and the emerging giants – taking into account central issues of international relations, including human rights, the spread of democracy and the rule of law, and Islamic fundamentalism.
- The Group will examine UK defence policy in the light of the current and emerging security challenges which the country faces."
We now know the leadership of all seven policy groups:
- Iain Duncan Smith and Debbie Scott of Tomorrow’s People will oversee the social justice policy group.
- Ken Clarke chairs the Democracy Taskforce.
- John Gummer and Zac Goldsmith will look at the environment and other quality of life issues.
- Peter Lilley (with a three hour input from Bob Geldof) will look at global poverty and globalisation.
- Stephen Dorrell and former Chief Inspector of Schools Baroness Perry will investigate public service improvement.
- Dame Pauline Neville-Jones and Lord King will chair the security group.
- John Redwood will oversee the investigation into economic competitiveness.
My guess is that four groups are in the hands of establishment figures and three (social justice, global poverty and economic competitiveness) are not.