Think-tanks in Britain: Lance Knobel makes a good point about the comparative lack of influence exerted by conservative think-tanks in Britain. Part of the reason might be that they just don't have the resources of their American counterparts. But the existence of organizations like the Social Market Foundation and the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) should also be encouraging to the American left. To get a sense of the difference between the ippr and the NAF, here's the first paragraph of the ippr's mission statement:

ippr is the leading UK independent think tank on the centre left. Through our well-researched and clearly argued policy analysis, reports and publications, our strong networks in government, academia and the corporate and voluntary sectors and our high media profile, we play a vital role in maintaining the momentum of progressive thought.

You read this and you know where they stand. And as for high media profile--or lack thereof--what is the Washington-based Progressive Policy Institute up to these days? When was the last time you saw them on television? I genuinely hope somebody will force me to abandon my skepticism . . .

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