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...

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

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.
Recent events...

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.

16th December 2013


Language is Power

Speaker: Mark Forsyth
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 6.45pm for mulled wine and mince pies
Details: 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

Speaker: Harry Benson Communications Director Marriage Foundation
Venue: National Liberal Club
Time: 7pm
Details: 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.
A Peelite Coalition?
Balanced budgets, employment & growth
Barack Obama
Breakdown of the Family
Drugs, the Underclass
Electoral reform
France & Britain: Our Culture
Freedom under the common law
International Aid
Land Values
Left/Right Politics
Lords Reform
Money as Debt
Political Correctness
Public Revenue & Taxation
Renegade Economics
The Battle of the Economists
Too many laws
Vince Cable & the Economic Crisis
Words Words Words
National Liberal Club
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