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Virtuous Citizenship and the Moral Values of One Nation

Institute of Public Affairs "One Nation" public debate series

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?

Jonathan Cruddas is the Labour Party MP for Dagenham and Rainham. politician who has been a Member of Parliament since 2001, first for Dagenham and then for Dagenham and Rainham. Before becoming an MP, Jon worked in the Labour Party policy department, then in the General Secretary's office. Between 1997 and 2001, Jon worked in Downing Street as a link between the trade unions and the Prime Minister. Jon has played a leading role in the fight against the BNP in east London. He has been prominent in campaigns for free and fair education. Jon leads the Labour Party’s One Nation policy review.

Francesca Klug is a professorial research fellow at the LSE and director of the Human Rights Futures Project at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights. As a senior research fellow at King's College Law School she was an advisor to the former government on the Human Rights Act and its implementation. .Francesca is chair of the independent charity the British Institute of Human Rights, an academic expert at Doughty Street Chambers and a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Political Quarterly. She sits on the Advisory Board of the Pear's Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism and on LSE's CASE (Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion). From 2006-09 Francesca was a commissioner on the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Francesca was the joint winner of the Times/Justice award for an outstanding contribution to civil justice in 1998 and was awarded the Bernard Crick prize for the best article by Political Quarterly in 2009. She is author, among other publications and articles, of Values for a Godless Age, the story of the UK's New Bill of Rights; A Bill of Rights as Secular Ethics; and Human Rights as a Set of Secular Ethics or Where does the Responsibilities Fit In?

The LSE Institute of Public Affairs is organising a series of events to bring together leading politicians of the Government and Opposition, together with academics and commentators, to discuss the meaning of "One Nation" and its relevance to the future of the country.


Jon Cruddas | talks
Professor Francesca Klug | talks


Date and Time:

12 June 2013 at 6:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



LSE Campus, venue TBC to ticket holders
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street

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Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
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Available from:

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries email events@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 6043.

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