Institute of Public Affairs "One Nation" public debate series
Date: Wednesday 12 June 2013
Venue: Old Building, Old Theatre
Speakers: Jon Cruddas MP, David Davis MP, Professor Francesca Klug, Professor Alan Sked
Chair: Dr Purna Sen
Britain as "One Nation" is an idea that originated with the Conservative Party, in particular its Victorian leader 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 the Labour leader Ed Miliband defined his party as "One Nation" Labour, and in so doing directly and consciously challenged the Tory ownership of this important political ideal. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats have always seen themselves as a faction-free party – neither capital nor labour – and in this sense inherently ‘One Nation’.
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?
Jonathan Cruddas is a Labour Party politician who has been a Member of Parliament since 2001, first for Dagenham and then for Dagenham and Rainham. Before becoming an MP, Jon worked in the Labour Party policy department, then in the General Secretary's office. Between 1997 and 2001, Jon worked in Downing Street as a link between the trade unions and the Prime Minister. Jon has played a leading role in the fight against the BNP in east London. He has been prominent in campaigns for free and fair education. Jon leads the Labour Party’s One Nation policy review.
David Davis has been the Conservative Party MP for Haltemprice and Howden since 1997, and was previously the MP for the Boothferry constituency between 1987-1997. He is best known for being a strong defender of civil liberties, having famously resigned as an MP in protest at what he saw as excessive government interference in peoples’ lives. He has held a number of high-level positions in government and opposition, including being Foreign Office Minister in the last Conservative government, and Shadow Home Secretary from 2003 until 2008. He has since been a leading figure on the Conservative backbenches.
Francesca Klug is a professorial research fellow at the LSE and director of the Human Rights Futures Project at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights. As a senior research fellow at King's College Law School she was an advisor to the former government on the Human Rights Act and its implementation. Francesca is chair of the independent charity the British Institute of Human Rights, an academic expert at Doughty Street Chambers and a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Political Quarterly. She sits on the Advisory Board of the Pear's Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism and on LSE's CASE (Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion). From 2006-09 Francesca was a commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Francesca was the joint winner of the Times/Justice award for an outstanding contribution to civil justice in 1998 and was awarded the Bernard Crick prize for the best article by Political Quarterly in 2009. She is author, among other publications and articles, of Values for a Godless Age, the story of the UK's New Bill of Rights; A Bill of Rights as Secular Ethics; and Human Rights as a Set of Secular Ethics or Where does the Responsibilities Fit In?
Alan Sked is professor of international history at the London School of Economics. He has written a number of books, some of which have been translated into German, Italian, Czech, Portuguese, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. He is recognised as a world authority on Habsburg history, but has also written on British political and European history. Outside of academia he was a founding member of the Bruges Group, but is perhaps best known for founding the anti-European Union UK Independence Party (UKIP) in 1993.
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 its relevance to the future of the country.
The series launched on Wednesday 15 May with a debate between Lord Glasman and Michael Gove on 'Who Owns the "One Nation" and what does it stand for?'.
For more information see Institute of Public Affairs.
Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEonenation
This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7955 6043.
A podcast of this event is available to download from Virtuous Citizenship and the Moral Values of One Nation.
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