This year, Barndoor Strategy’s CEO Havard Hughes and Managing Director David Spencer were at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham on behalf of a number of our clients.
As ever, it was an eventful few days, with a new leadership team and the events of the mini-budget still dominating conversations in the bars and coffee shops around the venue.
The economy was definitely the big topic of discussion. However, despite the recent uncertainty, we were encouraged that, in the discussions we had with Ministers, officials, and advisors, there was a definite willingness to listen and absorb new ideas and policies.
The Government’s willingness to look at new ideas equates to a terrific opportunities for disruptors and innovators in the Financial Services sector to take their ideas mainstream.
Energy Security was also a big topic this year and our involvement in the nuclear sector, not least as secretariat of the APPG for Small Nuclear Reactors, meant we were busily attending fringes and receptions, talking to industry leaders and engaged Parliamentarians.
At the Welsh Reception, Prime Minister Liz Truss declared that a new nuclear plant at Wylfa will go ahead, a decision that was enthusiastically welcomed by SMR APPG Chair Virginia Crosbie MP and everyone in the room.
We also attended a number of diplomatic events of which the most notable moment came in Somaliland event when Security Minister Tom Tugendhat MP confirmed his support for the right of Somalilanders to self-determination. This stance towards a country the UK does not formally recognise is a huge boost, not only to the people of Somaliland, but also to other unrecognised countries like Taiwan and Tibet, to name but two.
The reappraisal of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy could make for extremely interesting reading, not least given the comments made by head of GCHQ, Sir Jeremy Fleming, about the huge threat the People’s Republic of China poses to the UK and the free world.
On a less positive note, for the Conservative Party at least, there was a growing sense that the next General Election, whenever that may be, could go in Labour’s favour. Conservative Activists and Parliamentarians were undeniably gloomy at recent polling that has given Labour a big lead and, for the first time in a while, there was a sense that the gap may now be too big to pull back after being in Government for twelve years and counting.
This only serves to reemphasise the importance of engaging with all political parties on key issues, which is certainly something that Barndoor Strategy will doing with our clients, across the Financial Services, Energy, and diplomatic spaces in the months ahead.
As policy experts in all these areas, our ambition is to help our clients get their voices heard across the political divide. The Conservative Party are not the only ones listening.
If you would like your business or organisation to be heard by Government and policy-makers across all parties, contact our CEO Havard Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we might be able to help.