Welcome...

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...
Date:

12th June 2017

Subject:

What happened to the Brexit election?

Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: What happened to Theresa May’s landslide?

What happened to liberal democracy? Mrs May talked of tearing up human rights if need be to combat terror, Tim Farron advocated a liberal application of TPIMs (home curfews and ankle tags) for the 3500 muslims on the terror 'watch list’, George Orwell’s 1984 is back on the bestseller list.

What happened to intergenerational equity? Was funding elderly care out of inflated house price assets the liberal ideal of land value capture creatively interpreted? Was it ‘death at the polls’ as always predicted? Did Mrs May's U-turn irreparably damage her blue stocking CofE credibility? Did Mr Corbyn’s promise on tuition fees, Nick Clegg’s nemesis, bring out the young?

What happened to Qatar?

How do we vote? On Brexit? On the leader? For a local MP? With our wallet? By tribe? Do personalised leaflets addressed to us by first name influence us? Sir Lynton Crosby says when reason and emotion collide emotion wins. Did it?

A few of us are getting together on Monday to have a go at ordering our thoughts. Do come and join us.

 
 
Date:

13th March 2017

Subject:

Land Value Mischief

Speaker: Professor Wyatt
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: London needs more houses apparently and last month the Mayor of London agreed that ‘a Land Value Tax would bring forward land for development’. If a pilot of the policy proceeds at Old Oak Common campaigners may celebrate the biggest step toward economic justice in a century.
Professor Peter Wyatt acknowledges ‘the general theoretical case for taxing land values has been made by leading economists.' but warns ‘the case for retrospective implementation...is not so clear, particularly in a political economy that has been and continues to be shaped by a land-owning aristocracy and a property-owned democracy.’
Newcomers to Land Value Taxation are invited to discover a radical reform that cuts through the bindweed of left-right politics. Seasoned campaigners inured to electoral apathy and incomprehension will be intrigued to encounter a thoughtful case against based not on political expediency but on the principle of prescription.
 
 
Date:

13th February 2017

Subject:

Annual Dinner: The Intergenerational Equity

Speaker: David Willetts
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: Young people are working harder and getting launched in family and home later – if at all – with debt, job and pension insecurities baffling to their parents. The reasons are simple, explicable and wholly curable but only if the electorate grasps the simple causes. There are two causes and neither have much to do with left-right politics. The first is the way earned incomes and property interact. The second is raw numbers.
Possibly the most disruptive force of nature in politics, wherever it occurs, is the movement of a demographic bulge.
Whether it is the UK’s 1947 baby boom hitting pension age or the spike in 20-somethings across Africa and the Middle East, it is hard to find a political crisis in which it is not a major factor: Britain’s EU exit, China’s economic downturn, African migration, Arab Spring and on the domestic front the crisis in adult social care, NHS funding and even the housing situation … They all have this at their heart and it is a lot less nebulous than ‘disenchantment with mainstream politics’.
Here the first spike of babyboomers hitting pension age is having profound impacts on policy from the triple lock to Brexit. It is so ubiquitous that David Willetts now warns “it’s the demography stupid!”. Lord Willetts, a leading thinker and minister in David Cameron’s cabinet is one of the few who have been highlighting the equity and policy implications. As a leading policy adviser to no. 10 and now chair of the Resolution Foundation he calls it ‘intergenerational equity’. Of course if we had some semblance of equity in the first cause the numbers would resolve happily and naturally but we had better understand at least one of these causes or continue to lose the young out of what seems like a small boat on a very choppy sea.

 
 
Date:

5th December 2016

Subject:

Taxpayers Against Poverty

Speaker: Rev Paul Nicolson
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: What happens when you tax people who have nothing?

Rev Paul Nicolson founder of TaxPayersAgainstPoverty.org campaigns for those well under the ‘just about managing’ line.
He will talk about families suffering the combined effect of welfare cuts and bedroom tax; the benefit cap; how Job Centres now hand out sanctions and have become harsher than the Magistrates’ Courts! and new efforts to deliver affordable housing through a Community Land Trust. When Rev Nicolson wanted to highlight unjust fines for Council Tax arrears he decided to stop paying and has been fighting Haringey Council through the courts since. We are delighted that for the time being he has avoided prison and we are making the most of the opportunity before his next hearing in February!


 
 
 
 
Reports
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
 
Links
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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