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Who Owns the "One Nation" and what does it stand for?


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Speaker(s): Lord Glasman, Michael Gove
Chair: Professor Conor Gearty

Recorded on 15 May 2013 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building.

Britain as "One Nation" is an idea of government that belonged to the Conservative Party, originating with Benjamin Disraeli who saw Britain divided into two nations, the rich and the poor. Disraeli defined One Nation politics as the practices necessary to, ‘maintain the institutions of the realm and elevate the condition of the people’.

In his 2012 conference speech Ed Miliband defined his party as "One Nation" Labour. In a period of economic crisis and with the loss of public trust in the ability of politicians to renew our institutions and elevate the condition of the people, who now speaks for One Nation?

The LSE Institute of Public Affairs is organising a series of events to bring together leading politicians of the Government and Opposition, together with academics and commentators, to discuss the meaning of "One Nation" and the future of the country.

The series launches with this debate on the "One Nation" tradition, what it means and how it relates to the issues facing the country today.

Michael Gove has been MP for Surrey Heath since 2005 and secretary of state for Education since 2010. Michael was first elected as member of parliament for Surrey Heath in May 2005. He served as shadow minister for Housing & Planning and shadow secretary of State for Children, Schools & Families. He is a former chairman of Policy Exchange, a centre-right think-tank and was previously worked for the Times and the BBC.

Maurice Glasman became a Labour Peer in 2011 and is senior lecturer in Political Theory at London Metropolitan University where he is also director of its Faith and Citizenship Programme. Glasman is the originator of the term "Blue Labour", which advocates that the Labour Party should reclaim its more conservative roots from before 1945.

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