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.

Forthcoming events...

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.
Recent events...

15th December 2014


Can there be peaceful solutions to the crises in the Middle East?

Speaker: Lord John Alderdice
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: Lord John Alderdice, a key negotiator of the Good Friday Agreement, has substantial experience of political conflict and international terrorism. He travels extensively to speak, consult and work on the resolution of violent political conflict in various parts of the world and his current focus is the Middle East. He will join us at this Festive period to explore whether peace can be brought to this troubled region.

27th October 2014


21st Century Garden Cities & the Land Issue

Speaker: Nicholas Falk, co-author of winning entry to Wolfson Economic Prize 2014
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: How would you deliver a new Garden City that is visionary, economically viable and popular?
What a great question!

The question touches on green issues, energy, population, the crisis in housing supply and demand, investment, finance, local politics, governance and of course town planning and architecture. Fundamental is the land question: where should it be built? who owns the land? who benefits from the uplift from agricultural to city uses? can the principle of ‘land value capture’ fund the city? is it enough to build all the infrastructure it needs? can the principle continue to act after the city is built?

The question was posed in this year’s Wolfson Economics Prize. Our speaker Dr Nicholas Falk and his colleague David Rudlin of URBED were announced the winners last month. It is not surprising that Dr Falk had the best answers to so many of these questions. It reflects a lifetime work on these issues. Economist and urbanist he teaches the economics of regeneration and leads study tours to the continent to see examples of how new communities can be built on sustainable principles.

29th September 2014


Is there political life after tomorrow?

Speaker: Mark Pack
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: Hard to think about a general election when there may not be a UK tomorrow.
But even if the conference season now upon us is overtaken by the Scottish question, one way or another the parties must launch their election campaigns.

What are the emergent manifesto battle-lines?
Are there signs that Mr Clegg is courting a Labour alliance in the event of a hung result?
How far do contrasting political philosophies in fact share ground on which alliances can be built?
Or will the Liberal party be obliterated as it was after the last Conservative partnership?

The scene will be set by Mark Pack – journalist, historian, party activist, expert on electoral law and leading LibDem blogger.

An opportunity to discuss the electoral landscape, political philosophies, manifestos, the latest from the conferences and as we may also want to consider tomorrow’s vote I am sure Mark will have valuable insights on the ramifications.

12th May 2014


Are we heading towards another Cold War?

Speaker: Stephen Dalziel
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: As Russia steps up military exercises on the Ukrainian border and promises to ‘respond in full’ if ‘interests of Russians’ are attacked, Stephen Dalziel returns to the Gladstone Club to reflect on the implications. Vladimir Putin has built his popularity with Russians by restoring national pride through projecting strength; but is he about to go too far? And how can America and the West respond if he does?

Stephen will outline the history of the region, explain official Russian arguments for legitimacy and comment on the West’s options. Are there parallels with Germany’s annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938? The Russian economy depends on its oil and gas exports and much of Western Europe depends on Russian oil and gas. Could sanctions be applied in this area? Does the West have the strength and leadership to stop Putin or will we end up settling for appeasement?

Stephen Dalziel is a veteran Russian affairs analyst. He graduated in Russian Studies from Leeds University in 1981 he became Senior Lecturer at the Soviet Studies Research Centre at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. From 1988-2004 he was the BBC's Russian Affairs Analyst interviewing many Soviet and Russian figures, including Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin and Eduard Shevardnadze and for five years from 2007 Executive Director of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce.
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Breakdown of the Family
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People Power Across the Arab World
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Vince Cable & the Economic Crisis
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