The DUD(E)

"I know some WAG has already pointed out that deliver, unite and defeat was not the perfect acronym for an election campaign since unfortunately it spells DUD, but they forgot the final E my friends, E for energise." Johnson's first speech as Tory leader was typically meandering, but his policy platform is starting to take shape.

Let's get Brexit out of the way first. The most likely sequence of events will be Boris going to Europe to negotiate the deal/backstop; Europe saying no thanks. Boris will then probably try to push through a no-deal Brexit. He might succeed, but his narrow majority means it's reasonable to assume he will lose a vote of no confidence. We will then get a General Election.

Brexiters and Remainers will both be seething. So in the interest of unity and sanity, let's talk of other things. Here are three reasons to be optimistic (as with governments of all stripes, I'm sure there will be plenty to criticise in future e-bulletins).

Down Under
Boris has immediately axed Theresa May's vow to lower immigration to the tens of thousands. Unlike Boris, I don't think an Australian-style points system is the answer, but the change of tone from May's premiership is a blessed relief. As my colleague Annabel Denham argues in The Telegraph: Immigrants are the lifeblood of Britain's entrepreneurial spirit – we need them more than ever.

Where Art Thou?
Boris's brother Jo Johnson – who wrote the foreword for our recent Job Creators report on immigrant founders – is back at the science ministry, straddling BEIS and the Department for Education. Johnson is well regarded by the research community and is widely considered to have done a good job when previously in the role. He was behind the creation of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), championing the target that the UK spends 2.4% of GDP on research and development by 2027. Johnson might have an unexpected ally in his brother's Special Adviser Dominic Cummings. The former Campaign Director of Vote Leave takes a keen interest in science, as readers of his eclectic log will know. A recent blog on why science is becoming less efficient draws on the same body of research that interested me here last year.

Health of Nations
Matt Hancock remains at health, which may give him the time go some way to realising his tech vision to build the most advanced health and care system in the world: "The vision sets out how digital services and IT systems will need to meet a clear set of open standards to ensure they can talk to each other and be replaced when better technologies become available. A focus on putting user needs first and setting standards at the centre will enable local organisations to manage their use of technology and spread and support innovation wherever it comes from." Anyone interested should read last year's policy paper.

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