The Shirley Williams Lectures

It is such an exciting time for the new Cheadle-based fundraising project, The Shirley Williams Lectures. In the absence of in-person conferences and party events, the SWL club has offered party members and other liberal-minded people across the country a way to connect – with the speakers, with other progressive campaigners and with the ideas.

Next up on the programme of speakers is former Leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Nick Clegg. As Vice-President of Facebook since 2018, Nick is well placed to tackle this month’s lecture entitled ‘The End of Global Internet’. Social media and the internet have played an increasingly dominant role in our lives and our politics over the last decade. Sign up and join us on Wednesday 26th May as Nick shares his thoughts on the future of progressive policy-making in a digitally dependant world.

Named after one of the most iconic and recognisable figures in British politics, The Shirley Williams Lectures exists to provide a platform to some of the best progressive thinkers. With speakers from every corner of public life – from politics to sport, business to broadcast journalism – members will gain access to a new exclusive lecture each month as well as the full back catalogue of previous events. Each event ends with a Q&A, so members will have the opportunity to put questions to each speaker.

Members can also watch back through all previous lectures in the series. Past speakers include:

  • Juergen Maier, former CEO of Siemens
  • Sir Ed Davey, Leader of the Liberal Democrats
  • Polly Mackenzie, former advisor to Sir Nick Clegg and strategic mind behind the Women’s Equality Party

Joining is easy. All you need to do is choose a membership plan. Monthly, annual and student memberships are all available. Click here to sign up.

The programme of confirmed speakers is looking really exciting. We will be hearing from Olympic Gold winning Cyclist Callum Skinner, Lib Dem Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran MP, Peer, Broadcaster and author Baroness Floella Benjamin and Vicki Pryce, Economist and former Joint Head of UK Government’s Economic Service.

Be sure to follow the Shirley Williams Lectures on Facebook and Twitter and look out for the SWL team at future conferences.

* Shaun Ennis is a Lib Dem campaigner for Trafford in Greater Manchester and part of the team organising the Shirley Williams Lectures.

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This entry was posted in Events and News.


  • James Moore 17th May '21 - 7:43pm

    You want me to pay to listen to Nick Clegg?

    I’d happily pay never to hear him again.

  • I am looking forward to the questions after the Clegg Lecture. I’ll even take my knitting.

  • Last heard Nick give a talk on Brexit and the EU aboit 4 years ago. Seemed he knew more of the workings of the EU than the whole of the Tory fromt bench pit together.

  • Peter Martin 18th May '21 - 10:37am

    At least we should be thankful Nick Clegg isn’t giving us all another lecture on macroeconomics.

    This is what he’s said previously as a justification for the implemention of economic austerity:

    “It’s the same as a family with earnings of £26,000 a year who are spending £32,000 a year. Even though they’re already £40,000 in debt. Imagine if that was you. You’d be crippled by the interest payments. You’d set yourself a budget. And you’d try to spend less. That is what this government is doing.”

    It’s hard to believe anyone could be inept enough to believe this.

    Even under the false assumption of a household budget the figures aren’t correct. Debt as a proportion of GDP was only about 70% so he should have been been saying the family was £18,000 in debt. And that’s a lot less than the National average.

    Also our hypothetical family would be at all “crippled” if they were only paying the same level of interest as the government.

  • Peter Martin 18th May '21 - 6:26pm

    Some older LDV readers may remember a 50’s sci-fi film “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. The plot involves an alien attempt to replace certain humans with programmed look-alikes. I sometime wonder if Nick Clegg didn’t fall victim sometime around the time of 2010 election.

    This was the original Nick Clegg just before that election:

    “My eight-year-old ought to be able to work this out – you shouldn’t start slamming on the brakes when the economy is barely growing. If you do that you create more joblessness, you create heavier costs on the state, the deficit goes up even further and the pain with dealing with it is even greater. So it is completely irrational.”

    And this was his replacement after the start of the coalition:

    “It’s the same as a family with earnings of £26,000 a year who are spending £32,000 a year. Even though they’re already £40,000 in debt. Imagine if that was you. You’d be crippled by the interest payments. You’d set yourself a budget. And you’d try to spend less. That is what this government is doing.”

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