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HTLGI2013 The New Europe

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 28, 2013  ·  Thinking events

I'd been looking forward to this session with Simon Glendinning of the LSE.   The issue was the role of Europe a topic which is a difficult one for the English (less so interestingly for the Welsh and the Scots).  He was addressing Habermas's ideas for a unified Europe with those implied in Kant and that is a combination that was always going to be interest.   My summary below is pretty comprehensive and as it was a smallish audience we got into an interesting discussion.   

I suggested that the homogeneity implied by Habermas was...

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HTLGI2013 Beyond Equality

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 28, 2013  ·  Thinking events

My second and last day dawns with heavy rain which will persist throughout the day.  Pathways become mud baths and the organisers finally give up trying to make us queue outside the tents for a programmed start.  Every chairperson apologies for the noise of rain on canvass which is the background to every talk.

First up for me is the campaigner Peter Tatchell.  Its a surprisingly small audience for what is a considered and valuable presentation on the dangers of confusing the acquisition of rights and equality with real change.  

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HTLGI2013 on Politicians & Trust

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 27, 2013  ·  Thinking events

This session was always going to be fun.  George Galloway is a ferocious debater with an eye for a twist in an argument that is a delight, even though I have little respect for Respect (his party).  Shirley Williams joins form the last session to provide a balance and her one to one dialogues with George are a a delight.  She has his measure, he obviously respects her and she knows that generation of the Labour Party from which he comes.  Otherwise we have Phillip Collins who was a speech writer to Blair which means he is a red rag...

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HTLGI2013 The common good

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 27, 2013  ·  Thinking events

Shirley Williams was to my mind the only real loss to the Labour Party when the Gang of Four broke away before finally combining with the Liberals.  She is now at that age of of a generation (like Mary Midgely) where wisdom shines forth.  This was a very articulate presentation on the question of ownership.  Refreshingly she did not confine herself to what is wrong, but also to what we could do about things and I agree with her on the idea that mutualism is one important way forward.  You can see the benefits in German Industry and...

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HTLGI2013 Big Bad Wolf

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 27, 2013  ·  Thinking events

Anatole Kaletsky,  Phillip Bond, Alex Callinicos were the speakers on this panel so we have a conservative think tank, a Marxist (of the Trotskyite tendency) and an economist all debating if big corporations are good for society.  Phillip is into his doom and despondency mode which I remember well from earlier in the day and last year.  The problem its doom and despondency with bite and his comment on automation replacing middle class labour as it did working class some years ago is chillingly close to reality.   There are some...

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