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.
16th December 2013
Language is Power
National Liberal Club
6.45pm for mulled wine and mince pies
Have you ever felt a political or economic truth was failing to be heard? Or was being lost in objections and digression?
Then with Plato you may deplore the art of oratory making right wrong and wrong seem right. But you might also conclude that to get heard truth needs the assistance of art.
The political sound-bite is sometimes blamed for overshadowing the context in which it was said as in 'no such thing as society' but how else can a cause communicate? - including good causes. Don’t die of ignorance. A dog is for life not just for Christmas ... for instance.
Mark Forsyth is the bestselling author of ‘The Etymologicon’, writer, blogger and journalist with a special interest in language. His latest book ‘The Elements of Eloquence’ recovers the comprehensive rhetorical system of the ancient Greeks with its 40 forms and devices. One is chiasmus which he notes became a favourite with American presidents since JFK said “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”. "My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington." (Obama), "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power." (Bill Clinton, August 2008) "In the end, the true test is not the speeches a president delivers; it’s whether the president delivers on the speeches." (Hillary Clinton, March 2008).
Join us to explore the art of giving form to substance and to question their relationship.
Members £5 / Non-members £7 / Students free
4th November 2013
Such thing as Society
Harry Benson Communications Director Marriage Foundation
National Liberal Club
Is there a causal link between economic conditions and the breakdown of society?
Poorer countries tend to have higher marriage rate and lower divorce rate and yet the opposite seems true domestically: in Britain poorer people are less likely to marry and more likely to divorce. Everyone knows divorce is high but three things are less well known: divorce is even higher in some more religious countries like Spain; Britain’s 150 year rising trend in divorce topped out in 1993 and has been falling steadily since; and the younger cohort in the latest British Social Attitudes Survey have less liberal attitudes than their parents.
Is there a change of trajectory in society?
Does it matter what form families take?
Or whether they are transient or permanent?
Can policy be neutral to the form of families?
Harry Benson is Communications director for the Marriage Foundation and has written papers on family policy for the Centre for Social Justice. He has done more research on the subject of Family breakdown than probably anyone else. He founded the Bristol Community Family Trust which he says is the most successful relationship project in the country. He has also been a stockbroker and a Royal Navy helicopter pilot.
17th June 2013
Gladstone Club celebrates 40 years 1973-2013
National Liberal Club
7pm - 9pm
A celebration of the Gladstone Club's 40th Anniversary
With music, sparkling wine and buffet.
Members £25 Non-members £30 Students £10
15th April 2013
Who Controls the Future?
Today the NUT pass their motion of no confidence in the interfering Mr Gove and perhaps his classical approach to delivering history*. Whichever delivery method is best, content and significance must surely concern us as much. Anyone with dim school-room memories of the Enclosure Acts will recall a story of economic progress and the wool trade not a shameful land grab sanctioned by corrupt democracy. Or Magna Carta: the triumph of the common man’s freed from false imprisonment but not the triumph of barons unloading tax obligations onto him. Or 1909: the Parliament Act but not the reason it was passed.
Raymond Makewell Australian economist and author of ‘The Science of Economics’ will present a concise economic history of Britain tracing the fortunes of economic freedom with reflections on the rise of capitalism and on the classical liberal interest in conditions of access to land.
“The most effective way to destroy people is to obliterate their understanding of their history.”
— George Orwell
Those who question Vince Cable’s motives in challenging aspects of Coalition policy seem to have forgotten that, prior to the banking crisis in 2008, his was the most persistent Parliamentary voice warning of the perils ahead. But the power...