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Social Liberal Forum Conference: The Retreat from Globalisation

Saturday’s Social Liberal Forum conference in London  provided much food for thought as speakers challenged Liberal Democrat orthodoxy in various ways.

Beveridge Lecture

William Wallace kicked off proceedings by giving the annual William Beveridge Lecture. His theme was: Is a Liberal and Democratic society compatible with globalisation. His answer? Well, it disproportionately benefits the super rich and authoritarian states, so we have to change things to ensure that nobody is left out.

He started off by quoting Emmanuel Macron, who’s said he supported a market economy but not a market society.  He said our society was divided between the poor, unskilled and the relatively affluent highly educated. The gulf between them is cemented in successive generations. Globalisation had meant a substantial number of left behind people whose grievances were entirely justified. Those grievances led to the Brexit vote.

Challenging the idea that higher taxes harm the economy is key.  We need investment in public services and to recognise that the social fabric is damaged if there is too big a gap between wealthy CEOs and their workers.

He looked at business ownership and how little multi-national takeovers do for regeneration and how important it was that our financial and corporate leaders  tackled this.

We need to throw the “Citizens of Nowhere” thing right back at Theresa May, he argued, pointing out the super rich from across the world who dominate our economy.

One idea he had to improve social solidarity was to have all adults undertaking a year of Citizen’s Service working on a community project, or care home.

Giving people some sense of ownership and control over their destiny was key, whether that was by closer, more responsive local government or an increase of mutual ownership of companies.

Basic Income

Posted in Op-eds | 12 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAlan Brown 24th Nov - 12:56pm
    As this article shows there many diverse organisations working towards remain in the EU. It seems to me that what is lacking is a powerful...
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 24th Nov - 12:18pm
    I have not followed the UK's budget history closely, but I see no news here. The only remarkable difference is that the OBR has finally...
  • User Avatarjames 24th Nov - 12:18pm
    why then did she complain about the same thing to Nadine Dorries?
  • User Avatartheakes 24th Nov - 12:13pm
    Nobody is saying do not make these weekly reports, it is the misleading headlines which would do justice in the Daily Mail. We could quite...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 24th Nov - 12:06pm
    The state of the economy has been poor for the last decade. The vote for brexit is a reflection of this rather than the cause...
  • User AvatarRebecca Taylor 24th Nov - 11:54am
    @PJ - in a way a recognised qualification does a similar role to accreditation, i.e. it proves you've been trained with the skills X role(s)...