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One Nation, Many Roots

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Location: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE

Britain as “One Nation” is an idea that originated with the Conservative Party, in particular its Victorian leader Benjamin Disraeli who saw Britain divided into two nations, the rich and the poor. Disraeli defined “One Nation” politics as the practices necessary to “maintain the institutions of the realm and elevate the condition of the people.”

In his 2012 conference speech the Labour leader Ed Miliband defined his party as “One Nation” Labour, and in so doing directly and consciously challenged the Tory ownership of this important political ideal. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats have always seen themselves as a faction-free party – neither capital nor labour – and in this sense inherently “One Nation”.

In a period of economic crisis and with the loss of public trust in the ability of politicians to renew our institutions and elevate the condition of the people, who now speaks for “One Nation”?

Chaired by Dr Purna Sen, join British Future director Sunder Katwala, John Denham MP and historian Ruth Dudley Edwards for a debate on the issue at London’s LSE.

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