Rather belated I know, but I would like to offer Daniel Finkelstein (or should that be Lord Daniel Finkelstein?) my most sincere congratulations, and I mean this from the heart of my bottom.
Having graduated from London School of Economics he started his political career with the Social Democrats in 1981 (well, someone had to), and managed to stick with them till 1990.
Before working for the Conservative Party, Daniel Finkelstein was Director of the think tank the Social Market Foundation for three years. During his period with the SMF the organisation brought New York police commissioner Bill Bratton to London. Bill Bratton in London? That sounds familiar somehow. Must try and remember where else I’ve heard that.
Between 1995 and 1997 Finkelstein was Director of the Conservative Research Department and in that capacity advised Prime Minister John Major, and attended meetings of the Cabinet when it sat in political session. Finkelstein became among the earliest advocates of the ‘modernisation’ of the Conservative Party, laying out the principles of change in a series of Times columns and speeches.
Finkelstein joined The Times in August 2001 as part of the leader writing team and was Comment Editor from March 2004 – June 2008. He became Chief Leader Writer in June 2008. He began The Times blog Comment Central in September 2006. He is also a regular columnist in The Jewish Chronicle. His weekly football statistics column, the Fink Tank, began in 2002 and runs in The Times on Saturdays.
In 2011 he became chairman of that hugely popular and successful think tank, Policy Exchange, a fact which has been woefully under-reported of late. PX Director Neil O’Brien commented as follows on (then) Mr Finkelstein’s appointment to PX; “We are delighted that a person of Daniel Finkelstein’s intellectual capacity, detailed policy knowledge and wide ranging political and media contacts, is joining Policy Exchange. It is an exciting time to be at Policy Exchange. Over the next four years all political parties will be looking for new, workable policy ideas across a range of issues. Charles Moore is one of the reasons why Policy Exchange is now the most influential think tank in the country.”
Since Mr Finkelstein took the reins at PX their publications have included some sterling work on subjects such as;
- Capping Welfare
- Prison Reforms
- Social Work reforms
- ‘Smart’ Policing
- A Roadmap for Better Public Services
- Reforming the Crown Prosecution Service
- Policing in 2020
- Competitive Integration in the NHS (whatever that is)
- Electronic ‘Tagging’
- Reform of Pay in the Public Sector
- Gay Marriage
- Police Pensions (affordability of)
And many, many more.
No wonder then that Policy Exchange have attained the status they currently enjoy, and quite right that their chairman should be honoured in this way.
Daniel Finkelstein, appointed to the House of Lords, recommended by whoever recommends these things.
Well Done Lord Finkelstein.