Geoff Mulgan

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Geoff Mulgan has been called "the chief ideologue of New Labour"[1] and "the ultimate New Labourite".[2] Mulgan has been a key advisor to Tony Blair and was one of the founders of the think tank Demos, which has close ties to New Labour.[3] He was a key figure in the drive to modernise left-wing politics and move the Labour Party towards the market.

Contents

Background

From 1982 to 1984 Mulgan worked as an administrator at the Greater London Council. He was a 1986-87 Harkness Fellow (which reinforces Anglo-American links) at MIT.[4] He was co-founder and director of the London based think tank Demos from 1993-98.[5] Mulgan's CV on the Demos website[6] does not mention that he joined the British American Project (BAP) in 1996.[7] In September 2003 he was appointed head of policy at No 10 in addition to his role as head of the Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office.[8]

Mulgan is said to have been involved with Red Wedge, an initiative allegedly started to bring young people into politics. According to John Harris, writing in The Guardian, Mulgan claims he just "drove their van". Harris writes:

To start, though, I want to know about a role that mysteriously is not mentioned his resume: the time he spent in the 1980s with the Labour-supporting collective of musicians and comedians known as Red Wedge. According to Billy Bragg, the young Mulgan drove their van. True? He laughs, slightly nervously. "I did drive the van. Not very well, sadly. It wasn't one of my more heroic moments. I'd forgotten all about that. Who did I have in there? Oh, all sorts of musicians. Paul Weller, Dr Robert (of the Blow Monkeys), Jimmy Somerville from the Communards. But I wasn't in charge. I was only the driver." To some extent, this humble claim crystallises Mulgan's multifaceted career.[9]

The two Red Wedge tours took place in January/February 1986 (featuring Billy Bragg, Paul Weller's band The Style Council, The Communards, Junior Giscombe, Lorna Gee and Jerry Dammers) and in the run up to the June 1987 General Election (featuring the main participants from the first tour as well as The The, Captain Sensible and the Blow Monkeys). If, as seems likely, Mulgan was referring to the second tour, this would have been at the time he was a Harkness fellow at MIT in Boston.

In the 1980s Mulgan was part of the Comedia consultancy, which, with Roger Liddle's Pieda Consulting, advised city administrations[10]. These consultancies spread the practice of purging left-wing people, whose politics were seen as old-fashioned, from positions of power, in an effort to modernise. From 1990-92 Mulgan was special adviser to Gordon Brown when he was shadowing the Department of Trade and Industry, and became 'the Clinton campaign's link to Labour, which involved lots of telephone calls with the Americans - mainly advising them how not to repeat our mistakes.'[11]

Mulgan went from political adviser to civil servant as Director of the Cabinet Office's Performance and Innovation Unit (PIU) and Forward Strategy Unit. The PIU reviewed the nation's energy policy at a 4 July 2001 seminar. Mulgan introduced and handed over to Chair, Kevin Tebbit (Ministry of Defence). Then there were presentations by Sian Davies of the Henley Centre, which has several Demos members, Bob Tyrrell (Demos) and Ged Davis (Shell), a Demos funder, and closing comments from Mulgan. Lunch everyone?[12]

Mulgan is a trustee of the Political Quarterly (with the British American Project's Richard Holme) and is on the editorial board of Prospect magazine.[13] There is an American Demos and an American Prospect (with the Congress for Cultural Freedom's Daniel Bell on board).

Mulgan is a former Trustee of Crime Concern,[14] the Prudential's (£750,000 Home Office-funded) adjunct to their 'Corporate Social Responsibility' initiatives. The board includes: Princess Anne, Lords Brittan, Carr, Hunt and Merlyn-Rees, Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy (Kingfisher plc), Michael Hastings (BBC), Nathaniel Sloane (Accenture), Matt Baggott (Deputy Chief Constable, West Midlands Police), Liz Wicksteed (Home Office) and Sir Stanley Kalms (Treasurer of the Conservative Party).[15]

Demos brought to the UK several free-market ideologues from the US including Philip Bobbitt (Lyndon B. Johnson's nephew). He was Reagan's legal counsel from 1980-81, on the Select Committee/cover-up on Iran/Contra and Director for Intelligence at the NSC 1997-98. Demos also advertised an April meeting with George Soros.[16]

Affiliations

As of February 2009 Geoff Mulgan is:

Career

Other affiliations

  • World Economic Forum, Global Leader of Tomorrow
  • Circa 2000: Occasional reporter for BBC TV (programmes include the BBC2 series 'In Search of Power') and radio (including Radio 4 'Analysis').
  • Circa 2000: Occasional columnist on UK newspapers, including the Independent and Guardian. Trustee of Crime Concern, the Photographers Gallery, and the Political Quarterly, and on the editorial board of Green Futures journal and Prospect magazine.[22]

Talks

  • State of the World Forum (New York, September 2000): chair Prospect roundtable on genetics (London, July 2000); Resurgence (London, June 2000); Appeldoorn Conference (Netherlands, May 2000); Business Innovation and Social Renewal conference (Glasgow, May 2000); Crime Concern (London, Mar 2000); Chief Executives' Annual Conference (Newcastle, Mar 2000); World Economic Forum (Davos, Jan 2000); Sunningdale Node (Sunningdale, Dec 1999); OECD Futures programme (Berlin, Dec 1999); Redcliffe Maud Club (London, Dec 1999); Anglo-French symposium (London, Nov 1999); chair of Progressio Foundation conference with the Dalai Lama, Ruud Lubbers and others (Amsterdam, Oct 1999); Swedish government (Stockholm) and Malmo University (Malmo, Oct 1999); Australia World Economic Forum (Hayman Island, Sept 1999); Department of Health board (Stevenage, Oct 1999); Canadian Institute of Public Administration (Ottawa, Jul 1999); Public Management Foundation (London, Jul 1999); 21st Century Trust (Strasbourg, Jun 1999); State of the World Forum (Belfast, Mar 1999); St James Ethics Centre Millennium Lecture (Sydney, Dec 1998).[23]

Books

  • Good and Bad Power: The Ideals and Betrayals of Government (Penguin, 2006)
  • The Prospects for Social Renewal, (OECD, 2000).
  • Connexity (Harvard Business Press and Jonathon Cape 1998).
  • Life After Politics (Harper Collins 1997),
  • Politics in an Antipolitical Age (Polity 1994);
  • Freedom's Children (Demos 1995);
  • The Other Invisible Hand (Demos 1995);
  • Communication and Control: networks and the new economies of communication (Blackwell 1991);
  • Saturday Night or Sunday Morning (Comedia 1987).

Notes

  1. Martin Bright, "Good and bad power: the ideals and betrayals of government", Renewal, 22 September 2006, accessed February 2009.
  2. John Harris, "The power of influence", The Guardian, 26 May 2006, accessed 15 April 2009
  3. John Harris, "The power of influence", The Guardian, 26 May 2006, accessed 15 April 2009
  4. "Senior appointment: Director of the Performance and Innovation Unit (1/9/2000)", UK Cabinet Office website, accessed February 2009.
  5. "Geoff Mulgan - England", World-Wide Asian-Eurasian Human Rights Forum, accessed February 2009.
  6. "Geoff Mulgan", Demos website, accessed February 2009.
  7. Andy Beckett, "Friends in high places", The Guardian, 6 November 2004, accessed February 2009.
  8. "No 10 press shake-up unveiled", BBC News Online, 3 September 2003, accessed February 2009.
  9. John Harris, "The power of influence", The Guardian (London) - Final Edition May 26, 2006, accessed February 2009.
  10. "Improving Public Services", 22 June 2001, Number10, the website of the prime minister's office, accessed February 2009.
  11. Independent On Sunday, 24 January 1993 (complete ref needed)
  12. "PIU Strategic Thinkers Seminar, Strategic Futures, Admiralty Arch, Rm G45, 4 July 2001", Cabinet Office website, accessed February 2009.
  13. "[Senior appointment: Director of the Performance and Innovation Unit (1/9/2000)]", UK Cabinet Office website, accessed February 2009.
  14. "[http://www.fathom.com/contributors/3981.html Geoff Mulgan, Fathom.com website, accessed February 2009.
  15. ref needed
  16. ref needed
  17. "People", The Young Foundation website, accessed February 2009.
  18. http://www.anzsog.edu.au/staff/staff.php Accessed 15 April 2007
  19. Andy Beckett Friends in high places You won't have heard of the British-American Project, but its members include some of the most powerful men and women in the UK. Officially it exists to promote the 'special relationship', but it has been described as a Trojan horse for US foreign policy. Even its supporters joke that it's funded by the CIA. Should we be worried? Andy Beckett reports, The Guardian, Saturday 6 November 2004 Accessed 13 April 2008
  20. Hermes Database, September 1, 2000, Cabinet Office Senior Appointment: Director Of The Performance And Innovation Unit
  21. Hermes Database, September 1, 2000, Cabinet Office Senior Appointment: Director Of The Performance And Innovation Unit
  22. Hermes Database, September 1, 2000, Cabinet Office Senior Appointment: Director Of The Performance And Innovation Unit
  23. Hermes Database, September 1, 2000, Cabinet Office Senior Appointment: Director Of The Performance And Innovation Unit
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