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...

23rd November 2015


Refugees and the Movement of Labour

Speaker: Clare Short
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Details: Labour is in the spotlight on Syria. Milliband blocked strikes in 2013 - cynical politicking according to Nick Clegg at the time - but Blair’s 2003 Iraq invasion is now regarded as having spawned Isis. Both his ministers with foreign portfolios resigned, Robin Cook from the Foreign Office and Clare Short from International Development. Corbyn wants out of Nato but is not a pacifist, says Maria Eagle, shadow Defence Secretary.

Clare Short resigned the whip in 2006 after 23 years as a Labour MP calling the leadership “error-prone”. Which way for Labour now? Her verdict tonight.

5th October 2015


Political Leadership

Speaker: Dr Anthony Seldon
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Details: All parties will enter the next election under new leaders – with the possible exception of UKIP! The summer saw Mr Corbyn’s election signal a major realignment of the political landscape and Mr Farron’s speech on Wednesday won wide plaudits for his emerging leadership qualities. Eminent political biographer Sir Anthony Seldon will consider the subject of political leadership and the challenges ahead. Dr Seldon’s biographies of Prime Ministers from Callaghan to Cameron are regarded as the authoritative first draft of recent history and we are delighted to have access to his extraordinary command of political history and penetrating psychological insights.

8th June 2015


The Future of Liberalism

Speaker: Tim Farron MP
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Details: Polling 71% Tim Farron is well ahead to lead liberals into a 2020 election. So whether the vote will be in July or September this early public appearance is set to be the first draft of the future of liberalism.

Laws, Davey, Cable, Huhne, Kramer, Webb are gone leaving Mr Clegg the only Orange Book liberal left. They were credited with a move back toward a Gladstonian liberalism but it is symbolic that Mr Farron has chosen to speak at the Club.

Tim Farron will lay out his vision of liberalism.

The last Lib-Con coalition under Lloyd George in 1918 similarly decimated the party. From 158 to 40 in 1924.
A downward slide followed to a sustained low of 6 MPs through the 50s 60s and 70s. The pressing question today as then: traditional punishment of a junior partner in coalition or signal to change political philosophy?

The 12,500 new members who signed up in the two weeks after the election – a 28% boost – are surely voters who took a positive view of the last five years. The sample interviewed in the Independent a fortnight ago give that impression. Jarret Wilson said: “Why did I join? Probably for the same reason I joined the Anglican church. There is something worth fighting for here”.


15th April 2015


2015 an election of substance?

Speaker: Lord Singh
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Details: Could this be the election decided on what really matters?

Voters are putting much less weight on leader personality and 50% are undecided compared to 18% in 2010 so it is going to be less predictably tribal.
Some Conservatives may defect to UKIP, Scots switch from Labour to SNP, LibDems no longer eligible for ‘protest votes’ and another hung result very plausible. But as we discovered in 2010, coalition negotiations mean much decided behind closed doors so we may get a programme of government no one voted for.

What then is the state of democracy in 2015 and what should electors be looking for on the road to 7th May?

Cross-bench peer Lord Singh, veteran journalist and campaigner on social and ethical issues from human rights and foreign policy, to free speech and offence, to gender equality will share his thoughts. With the assistance of his profound interest in rights and duties and such underlying ethical values as cross parties and cultures we will hope to have a conversation that looks under the surface for the forthcoming call upon the democratic will.
A Peelite Coalition?
Balanced budgets, employment & growth
Barack Obama
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.


Copyright © 2012 The Gladstone Club