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PA's PA 1st May

PA's PA 1st May

Welcome to this week’s rather truncated PA’s PA in a week which saw the three main party leaders face their toughest challenge yet – questions from an audience of ordinary voters.  The economy took centre stage with ‘trust’ being a recurring theme.  Given past performance and broken pledges, the audience kept asking (whether the issue was the economy, the health service or welfare) who can they trust?  It did not prove an easy question for any of the party leaders to answer. 

With the result remaining as unpredictable as ever, the media’s focus inevitably remains on likely coalition make-ups.  But with ‘red lines’ now being set out, the number of potential scenarios seems to be reducing by the day.  Labour won’t go into coalition with the SNP.  The SNP won’t go into coalition with the Tories.  The Tories insist on a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. The Lib Dems won’t go into coalition with anyone who won’t protect the education budget.  Read what The PA’s Chief Executive thinks will happen here

For the political nerds amongst our readers, this briefing on the Fixed Terms Parliament Act, which sets out the hoops needed to be gone through in order for there to be an early election to be held, may be of interest!

General Election

Harriet Harman has launched Labour’s ‘Charter for the Creative Industries’ – a set of politics for culture and the creative industries which they pledge to take forward if elected to government.  Combining elements of their main manifesto and the Woodward Review of the creative industries the Charter invites individuals to sign up to 20 principles which include, amongst others, that:

  • Intellectual property should be protected at home and abroad

  • Libraries should be valued as a key part of our communities

  • Careers advice should recognise opportunities in the creative industries

  • There should be a universal entitlement to a creative education for every child

Signatories include a number of writers and publishers such as Bonnie Greer, Luke Jenning, Kathy Lette, Sarah Waters, Joanne Harris, Gail Rebuck and Susie Orbach. 


New figures from QS World University Rankings show the UK remaining in a strong position.  The table, which compares universities by faculty, shows Britain once again coming out on top with Cambridge being ranked in the world’s top 10 in 31 different subjects, more than any other in the world.  Oxford was in joint second place with Stanford University,  with Harvard  coming in third.  The Guardian report can be read here

Colin Hughes, Chair of The PA’s Education Publishers Council, blogs on future developments in education publishing – Books Ain’t Dead, Long Live the Adaptive Platform! 

(The quietness in the UK is understandable given the country currently has no MPs and a government which is deep in purdah.  The European Commission and Parliament are less explicably quiet….)

This week we:

Met with The Reading Agency; held a seminar for Operations Directors on the implications of the recent changes in accessibility law; met with the British Library; discussed future political challenges with colleagues from the Alliance for IP;  met with the project team from Creative Content UK; and met with Creative Skillset.

Next week we will be:

Attending a national strategy meeting of the Read On Get On campaign and the Abu Dhabi Book Fair but will mainly be pouring over the results of the General Election!  We will also be considering the implications of the European Commission’s White Paper on the Digital Single Market due to be released on Wednesday.