1 December 2015: England and the Union, by Robert Salisbury, Marquess of Salisbury
Can the Union be saved? Earlier this year, Robert Salisbury, a former Conservative Leader in the House of Lords, warned that the acceleration of Scottish devolution and the introduction of 'English votes on English laws' would lead to the break-up of the Union. Lord Salisbury founded the cross-party Constitution Reform Group to advocate a constitutional convention leading to a new Act of Union. Robert argued that, with good will, we can enjoy both the benefits of national autonomy and the strengths of remaining united.
- Click HERE to download the transcript of Lord Salisbury's lecture
23 Nov. 2015: Centre launch
For the formal launch of the Centre for English Identity and Politics, we welcomed Professor Robert Tombs, Professor of French History at Cambridge University and author of The English and their history. (photo). He discussed how the English, and others, have remembered English history and how this is shaping the current debate about England's future. The event was attended by staff, students and members of the public.
- Click HERE to download the transcript of Prof. Tombs' lecture
22 October 2015: Reconnecting politics with people
An evening of conversation about politics, power and faith between two of our most original thinkers, Arnie Graf and Danny Kruger, moderated by Isabel Hardman, Assistant Editor of The Spectator, and co-hosted with the Department of Theology, Religion and Philosophy.
Arnie Graf is well known for his role mentoring a young Barack Obama while both were involved in church-based community action. In 2011 Ed Miliband appointed him to his team of advisors, with a brief to conduct a root-and-branch review of the Labour Party in order to reconnect it with voters.
Danny Kruger is the Chief Executive of criminal justice charity Only Connect, which helps prisoners, former criminals and yound people at risk of reoffending. He is also a former chief leader writer at the Daily Telegraph. A former special advisor to David Cameron, Kruger was a leding advocate of the Big Society, 'compassionate Conservatism' and the need for the party to embrace social justice.
One question addressed by these two commentators was: does modern politics really connect with people and could it do so more effectively? “With compassionate conservatism back on the agenda after Prime Minister David Cameron's speech at the Conservative party conference, as well as a change of leadership in the Labour party, there could hardly be a better time to be hosting a conversation about politics, power and faith”, said co-host Andrew Bradstock, Visiting Professor in Theology, Religion and Philosophy. With the growth in influence of smaller parties, contrasting results for the SNP and Lib Dems at the last election and the looming referendum on Europe added into the mix, the evening yielded a fascinating and thought-provoking discussion.
21 Oct. 2015: English devolution and the Labour Party
A seminar presented by Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and former Chair of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Richard Leese has been at the heart of negotiations to devolve powers to Greater Manchester, setting the pace for other city regions and forming a key part of George Osbornes's northern powerhouse. The development of English devolution, though formally supported by Labour, created tensions between the city leaders seizing new powers and the Westminster leadership of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. Richard discussed how Labour should respond to English devolution and what sort of Labour Party would best be able to take advantage of the new challenges.