Who and what is the Policy Exchange think tank?

Policy Exchange (1)“The welcome failed prosecution of Foreign Office civil servant Derek Pasquill under the Official Secrets Act has inadvertently shed light once again on the Policy Exchange think tank.

“Pasquill had leaked government documents to the Observer newspaper concerning links between the Foreign Office and various Islamic groups. Journalist Martin Bright, who moved from the Observer to the New Statesman magazine, had used these documents in his pamphlet, ‘When Progressives Treat with Reactionaries: The British State’s flirtation with radical Islamism’, published by Policy Exchange.

“Bright applauded ‘the Tory progressives at Policy Exchange’ for publishing his work, which was billed as a denunciation of the government’s alliances with ‘a reactionary, authoritarian brand of Islam’, in favour of looking to ‘real grassroots moderates as allies’.

“In fact, the modus operandi of Policy Exchange follows a well-trod path. Ever since the 9/11 attacks, sections of the British political establishment and the media (like their counterparts in the US) have followed a sustained, and at times virulent, Islamophobic campaign that has demonised Muslims. Conducted under the banner of opposing Islamic extremism, its political objective has been to defend the neo-colonialist policy of pre-emptive war and occupation embarked upon by the American and British ruling elite.”

World Socialist Web Site, 16 January 2008