Prospects for a New Progressivism

13th Sep 2012; 13:00

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RSA Thursday

Does politics today have the capacity to respond to the kind of complex challenges that we are currently facing, such as how to increase social mobility, fulfil the needs of an ageing population and reignite employment and economic growth?

Or is British political culture too focused on meeting short-term goals to delve deeply into the bigger, theoretical questions that we need to be asking if we believe in closing the gap between our present reality and people’s hopes for a better world? If the latter is the case, who is to blame for this short-sighted approach: the politicians themselves, or the public and the media, which tend to demand immediate answers to difficult questions? Could we benefit from better cross-party politics on big issues such as climate change and ageing?

There is a growing sense that we have reached a critical juncture in terms of the convergence of social, economic and environmental challenges, but can politics in the UK evolve far and quickly enough to rise to them? Do we have the appetite, and capacity to ignite a new progressivism?

Speakers to include: Tristram Hunt, MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central; Jesse Norman, MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire; and Miranda Green, journalist and former advisor to Paddy Ashdown MP.

Chair: Matthew Taylor, chief executive, RSA

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