The Gladstone Club is a forum which welcomes all those who wish to engage in political discussion and question the ideas and policies of the day. We are radical in the sense that we wish to penetrate the ‘roots’ of issues without the ties of party loyalty and political correctness. Members are drawn from across the political spectrum and are of all ages.

Recent events...

29th April 2019


The Future of Social Policy

Speaker: Deven Ghelani: Founder Policy in Practice
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: What kind of place do we want Britain to be? Ten years into policies launched by a Liberal Coalition what are the conditions now for low income families?

Amid turbulent political crosswinds unemployment is reaching record lows but at the same time poverty is rising
by some measures including what is now being called ‘in work poverty’. Was that inevitable? Did those who planned to ‘make work pay’ expect an emergence of starter jobs at the bottom end of the ladder?

Deven Ghelani is Founder and CEO of Policy In Practice a socially driven data analytics business helping councils deliver social policy. He is also one of the architects of Universal Credit.

Deven will explore the future of social policy focusing on three core themes: what is poverty; universal credit and its impact; how our existing data can help deliver better social policy. He will examine the new social metrics definition that won cross party support last year and what it means for Universal Credit, where UC is at and what can be done to make it work. Deven will explore what is possible in a data driven world. How local authorities are using data to target preventative support and grapple with questions like who we 'should target support to' if we have the ability to be so pinpointed.

Anyone wanting to conceive a fairer better Britain had better not wait for a post-Brexit tomorrow – in case it never comes!

17th March 2019



Venue: National Liberal Club
Details: Brexit bestrides politics like a colossus.
On the one hand all other issues seem to be crowded out by it - on the other hand everything that can be said has been and continues to be …
Some of us are meeting for a chat on the matters of the hour. Peter in the chair as ususal.
If you would like to join us we would be delighted to see you and the spirit will be in the tradition of the Gladstone Club’s single rule: http://www.gladstoneclub.org/about.php

3rd September 2018


Property owning democracy RIP?

Speaker: Richard Bacon MP
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: The government’s green paper on social housing announced Tuesday is a U-turn in Tory party aspirations. Does it spell the end of the democratisation of property?
Will generation rent stay dependent for good?
How did the housing market get so unaffordable?
If housing is a market then the prices signal what people can afford. Lenders continue to hand out mortgages measured on ability to pay so has a decade of low interest rates created the high prices?
By the same logic once two incomes became the norm for middle class families did their buying power price out lower earners?
Foreign investors, land bankers and buy-to-letters get blamed but if the rents justify the investments who is paying them?
Is there a flaw in the market and a liberal market correction or is state subsidy now the only solution to our housing crisis?

Housing ministers are shortlived – we have had 7 in 10 years – but no one has done more in parliament than Richard Bacon MP on housing. Richard is a great advocate for policy doing more to address family and community needs. He is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Self-Build, Custom and Community Housebuilding and Place-Making, is Ambassador for Right to Build task Force, and steered through Parliament a Private Member’s Bill which created the legal foundations of the Right to Build which aims to increase the availability of decent affordable homes for people in housing need. “We have no say - what gets built, where it gets built, what it looks like and who gets a chance to live there. Demand is unable to drive volume in the way that is does in nearly every other successful market. We build some of the most poorly performing, most expensive and smallest homes in Europe. Let’s do things differently."

9th July 2018


Change the World: Step 1

Speaker: Henry Leveson-Gower
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: If you want a better system start by changing how the mandarins are educated.

That is why it is necessary to challenge the culture of orthodoxy in the faculties of economics.
The exciting thing is that Henry Leveson-Gower founder of the movement Promoting Economic Pluralism understands how to effect such a change at the level of Culture and the goal of his movement is to reinvigorate the discipline and bring economics back into the service of society.

Economics has fully recovered from its moment of self enquiry.
Who can forget the Queen’s simple question in 2008 “Why did nobody see it coming?”
Opening a new faculty at the London School of Economics she asked if these things were so big how come nobody noticed them? The write-down of 25% of the world economy followed, nationalisation of banks and the invention of Quantitative Easing. In fact a few people did but the sort of economics they studied was fringe and an Economics Professor who espoused it would not get a decent job. It is not a conspiracy more like priesthood but nothing has changed.

If a reminder were needed we still have with us the inflated public debt, near-zero interest rates and the squeeze on lending. The anniversary of 10 years after the crash provides an opportunity for reflection, have we learnt from mistakes? Is it possible to create a fairer, more sustainable and resilient economic system?
A Peelite Coalition?
Balanced budgets, employment & growth
Barack Obama
Bigger Better Faster More - the housing market
Breakdown of the Family
Drugs, the Underclass
Electoral reform. AV Referendum
France & Britain: Our Culture
Freedom Under the Common Law
International Aid and the 2004 Tsunami
Land Values
Left/Right Politics
Lords Reform
Money as Debt
People Power Across the Arab World
Political Correctness
Public Revenue & Taxation
Renegade Economics
Talking to Terrorists
The 2010’s a mid-term review: Sir Anthony Seldon
The Battle of the Economists
Too many laws
Vince Cable & the Economic Crisis
Words Words Words
National Liberal Club
Tim Farron Speech at Gladstone Club Transcript
Gladstone Club on R4

Michael Crick interviews the Gladstone Club. Click play below to listen online.

PODCAST: Liberal Democrat Voice

AV referendum debate at Gladstone Club. Listen now.


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