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Group.png Demos   Powerbase Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Demos think tank logo.jpg
Type• think tank
• charity
Sponsored byDemocracy Alliance, Hewlett Foundation, Omidyar Network
Think tank that introduced Thatcherism into the Labour party, with the resulting formation of New Labour.

Demos is ostensibly a "left-leaning"[citation needed] think tank. However, it has been credited with introducing Thatcherism (policies of reduced state intervention, free markets, and entrepreneurialism) into the Labour party, with the resulting formation of New Labour. It was established in 1993 by Geoff Mulgan and Martin Jaques, former editor of the magazine Marxism Today. Disillusioned with the perceived failure of left-wing politics at the time, they were part of the drive to find a "third way" which was neither socialist nor Thatcherite.

Geoff Mulgan went on to head the policy unit at number ten under Tony Blair and Charles Leadbetter was often a key advisor to Blair. There is also a cross current of researchers going from Demos to Labour policy units and vice versa.

Demos claims to be beyond questions of party affiliation and has recently been hosting visits from David Cameron and publishing the report True Blue[1] advising the Conservatives how to return to power.

This distancing from the Labour Party is perhaps not that surprising. It has always been strongly influenced by neoliberal ideas. The advisory board set up to help create Demos contained many prominent neoliberals including Arthur Seldon who is sometimes described as the architect of Thatcherism. [2]

As can be seen from the list below, Demos relies for a great deal of its funding on its corporate sponsors. A 2005 Demos study into the break up of BT found in favour of doing so. The sponsors of this report were Cable and Wireless who stood to gain if BT was broken up.[3]

"Non-violent radicalisation"

A 2010 report by Jamie Bartlett, Jonathan Birdwell and Michael King for Demos, The Edge Of Violence - A Radical Approach To Extremism states that "the last decade in particular has also seen a growth in many types of what it called non-violent radicalisation."[4]

Demos and culture

Demos engages extensively with art and culture. They advised the government on the rebranding of Britain as Cool Britannia and worked on the projects Demos Scotland 2020 and Demos Glasgow 2020 which examined how Scottish culture shaped attitudes.

Conduit for Corporations

In the Dispatches programme ‘Politicians for Hire’, broadcast on 22 March 2010, Patricia Hewitt recommended Demos, along with Policy Exchange, as a think-tank which could be used by corporations seeking to influence government policy. Dispatches had set up a fictional US public affairs company and contacted Hewitt and several senior politicians asking them if they were interested in a position on the advisory board in their London office. Hewitt attended a bogus interview told the undercover reporter:

Now the think tank and the seminar route I think is a very good one and will remain a good one and so identifying the right think-tank. Policy Exchange is a good one at the moment, Demos is another good one. And saying ok, does that think tank already have a relationship with Minister X? Can we invite Minister X to give a seminar on this subject? Your client would then sponsor the seminar and you do it via the think-tank. And that’s very useful, because what you get for your sponsorship is basically you sit next to the Minister.” [5]

People associated with Demos


Groups associated with Demos

Demos' policy entrepreneurs operated from a Mezzanine office as 'charities' engaging in 'social entrepreneurialism'. These exchanged personnel, with funding mostly pirated from the Lottery and put under the control of New Labour 'place men' working unaccountably. 'Individual entrepreneurialism' backed by big business becomes 'venture philanthropy' not 'lobbying'. All the clients who sublet space in the Mezzanine are part of a larger company which trades under the name 'The Mezzanine'. Those were arranged in the office space as below

Civitas and Ashoka in the north mezzanine

Foreign Policy Centre split into two sections Foreign Policy Centre Community Action Network also split into two sections Community Action Network ERA and below them Demos

Demos, CAN and the FPC took up most of the room, a central corridor divided the offices and there were additional communal meeting rooms. There was a north Mezzanine and a south Mezzanine. There were a total of 13 organisations: (1) Family Education Trust (2) New start Publishing (3) Era (4) Can (5) FPC (6) 3RE Green works Renew Trust (7) Charity Technology Trust (8) Timebank (9) International year of the volunteer (10) Smartchange (11) UnLtd (12) Carnegie (13) Policy Network.

Partners [9]

  • 3i
  • Age Concern
  • BDO Stoy Hayward
  • Bell Pottinger
  • British Energy
  • British Gas
  • BT Forum
  • Building Societies Association
  • Bull Information Systems
  • Cable and Wireless
  • Calouste Gulbenkian
  • Carnegie Young People's Initiative
  • C&A
  • CFBT
  • Channel 4
  • Commission for Racial Equality
  • Community Action Network
  • Coopers and Lybrand
  • Denplan
  • Department for Culture, Media & Sport
  • Department for Education and Skills
  • Department of Trade and Industry
  • Design Council
  • Edexcel Foundation
  • EDS Ltd
  • egovernment solutions
  • ELWa - Education and Learning in Wales
  • Environment Agency
  • EzGov
  • Further education Development Fund
  • Forum for the Future
  • HEDRA Limited
  • IBM
  • ICA
  • I&DeA
  • Institute of Management
  • Jobs for the Future
  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Ketchum Communications
  • Kids' Club Network
  • KPMG Consulting
  • Lifelong Learning Foundation
  • London Arts Board
  • London Tourist Board
  • Mercury
  • MMO2
  • NAHT
  • National College for School Leadership
  • National House-Building Council
  • National Union of Teachers
  • National Westminster Bank
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • NatWest Group
  • NatWest Life
  • New Opportunities Fund
  • North Southwark EAZ
  • Northern Foods
  • Norwich Union
  • Oracle Corporation UK Ltd
  • Pearson
  • Pre-School Learning Alliance
  • ProShare
  • Prudential
  • Prudential Plc
  • Reed Personnel Services Plc
  • Resource
  • Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
  • Scottish and Newcastle
  • Scottish Power
  • Sequent Computer Systems Ltd
  • Shell International
  • Solace
  • Solar Foundation
  • Sorrel Foundation
  • Tesco
  • Thames Water
  • The Architecture Foundation
  • The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust
  • The Camelot Foundation
  • The Charities Aid Foundation
  • The City of Athens
  • The Corporation of London
  • The Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust
  • The Economic and Social Research Council
  • The Gatsby Charitable Foundation
  • The Government of Ireland
  • The Government of Italy
  • The Housing Corporation
  • The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
  • The Lattice Foundation
  • The London Planning Advisory Committee
  • The Lord Ashdown Charitable Settlement
  • The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
  • The RAC
  • The Tedworth Charitable Trust
  • Tomorrow's People
  • T-Mobile (UK)
  • Various local authorities
  • VSO
  • John Wiley and Sons
  • Woolworths




Democracy AllianceA network of billionaire donors who coordinate their political donations to groups that the Alliance has endorsed, anonymously and often through foundations working as middlemen to hide the where the money is coming from.
Hewlett FoundationHuge foundation setting the agenda by funding lots of deep state projects.
Omidyar NetworkFoundation owned by the the deep state-connected billionaire Pierre Omidyar, financing preferred NGOs


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:I get abuse and threats online - why can't it be stopped?Article18 October 2021Marianna SpringThe Disinformation Specialist at the BBC gets criticism online for her "fact checking". Internet censorship is the answer.


A document sourced from Demos

TitleTypeSubject(s)Publication dateAuthor(s)Description
The Power of UnreasonpaperEspionage
"Conspiracy theory"
August 2010Jamie Bartlett
Carl Miller
A critique and deconstruction of an 'Official Narrative'-type paper on 'Conspiracy Theory' from the 'think-tank' publisher Demos. It includes an exchange of correspondence between its authors and a Wikispooks editor which is continued on the discussion page.
Many thanks to our Patrons who cover ~2/3 of our hosting bill. Please join them if you can.


  1. accessed 16 April 2008
  2. "Obituary: Arthur Seldon', The Economist, undated in archived form, accessed February 2009.
  3. Alex Law The Conformist Imagination, Variant magazine, No. 23, Summer 2005, accessed February 2009.
  5. Patricia Hewitt. Interview. In: Dispatches, ‘Politicians for Hire’, Channel 4, 22 March 2010, 20:00 hrs.
  6. George Parker, Think-tank feels pinch as rival cashes in, Financial Times, 27 August 2008.
  7. Centrica Management Accessed 26th August 2008
  8. [1] accessed 14 April 2008
  9. [2]accessed 16 April 2006