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...

30th April 2018


Divided - Why We're living in an Age of Walls

Speaker: Tim Marshall
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: The word Truth may have fallen out of use … but how do we decide what is the right thing to do if we do not know what to believe? Do we even need to? Do we do least harm when we do nothing?
What is your take on Syria? It depends what happened, who did it and who knew.
We don’t trust governments - not since Iraq and WMDs. How credible is intelligence we don’t get to see? Can we believe a Prime Minister? Is ‘highly likely’ beyond reasonable doubt? Do we rely on mainstream media? If not who? Buzzfeed? Al Jezeera? Russia Today? Facebook?
Is it nationalism and xenophobia that divide us? Is the nation state the problem or the least worst available answer to cross-state evils of ethnic cleansing, jihad and trafficking. Are the choices Rwanda 1994 or Kosovo 1999. Do evils triumph if the good stand by?
If we want Justice first we need Truth.
Tim Marshall is the best-selling author of Prisoners of Geography and veteran foreign affairs editor for Sky News. In his 30 years as a foreign correspondent he covered 40 countries, 12 wars and 3 US elections. He reported from the front line in Kosovo, Afghanistan, the Arab Spring and the First Gulf War so he has first hand experience of the recent history of the doctrine of liberal intervention.

18th December 2017


Hope for Housing

Speaker: Stephen Hill, Chair, UK Cohousing Network and Trustee of National Community Land Trust Network
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: House prices have become the biggest hot potato in domestic policy. Since the young posted their protest in May politicians suddenly felt an icy chill from the very near future if they do nothing about rent and homes for young people. It is an uncomfortable truth that as one generation sees their property prices rise the effect is that their children struggle to pay the rent.
Average house prices are now 9.5x the average salary and in many areas of London they are well over 20x the average salary.
Moreover big developers monopolise the housing market and there seems little local residents can do to compete.
However there is a ray of hope from a growing community-led housing movement which seeks to provide an alternative model to fixing the broken housing market by giving back control to communities and local residents. The idea is simple: to help people and communities build their own homes with the needs of the community in mind and with prices that are truly affordable. This may be a community for students, or families, or communal housing for the elderly. There are different models of funding this including holding the land in trust, long term leases of land or developments which houses sold at market price subsidise the houses which are let at affordable rents. The Housing Minister Alok Shama MP affirmed his support for the movement by launching a £240 million Community Housing Fund, the first of its kind, over the next four years, providing £60 million of funding a year to support the community-led housing movement. The Mayor of London also supports the movement and has developed the Homes for London Community Housing Hub to offer support to Londoners and community groups who want to build in the capital offering technical advice, access to funding and advice how to unlock land.

Stephen Hill, Chair, UK Cohousing Network and Trustee of National Community Land Trust Network will explore the land question and what reform is possible. He will explain Community Land Trusts and Co-housing and how it works. “The demand side has never had a place in housing policy making" he says. "The Community Housing Fund provides an extraordinary political opportunity to scale up our influence and change the mainstream of the politics of housing. The new network of housing hubs will provide a laboratory of information, wealth of locally gathered evidence of what is needed and what works in different places. We are the voice of the demand side."

13th November 2017


Is Income Tax Fit for Purpose?

Speaker: Don Draper
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: The Treasury will shortly announce its Autumn Budget. One significant source of revenue is income tax. But what is its purpose? Is it purely a source of revenue or is its purpose to engineer fairness and a more equitable society? Since the introduction of independent taxation in 1990 families have significantly shouldered a greater burden of taxation than single taxpayers without children and greater than any of their counterparts in Europe. A family with a median income ends up paying three times as much income tax as a single person with a median income. A British family with an income of £36,000 pays 15 times as much tax as a Germany family. Nobody is talking about this. Should they be doing so? These issues are unlikely to be addressed in this month's Budget.

We are joined by Don Draper who has devoted his working life to tax policy first at the Inland Revenue, then with PricewaterhouseCoopers and the campaign group ‘CARE’. His special interest is in how tax is reshaping families and he campaigns for reform.

16th October 2017


Surreal politic

Speaker: Robert Hutton
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: A lot changed in a summer in the direction of the surreal …

Corbyn electable. May autumnal. Remain deserts Libdem. UKIP votes Liberal …

What next? This week could be the book of Ruth. Or possibly Jacob. Old wine new bottles?

The Gladstone Club is delighted to invite surrealpolitik’s official biographer, political journalist and satirist Rob Hutton, to explain what’s going on and what will happen next.
What kind of austerity includes £70bn deficit?
Brexit : is it soft, hard or easy over?
Tuition fees : are they the new poll tax?

We look forward to seeing you …
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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