What defines the LibDems?

Friday 7th April, 7:30pm, Unity House, Fennel Street, Loughborough

To be introduced by David Walker

David says:

Politically I was a Labour supporter until 1981 when the Labour party lost its way and the Social Democrat party showed that Labour was no longer a party that they could support. Roy Jenkins and Shirley Williams articulated a form of Democratic Socialism that made sense, and I was a founder member, and supported the move to join with the Liberals. Defining issues for me were the hard left’s rejection of the European Union and infiltration of Trotskyists under the leadership of Tony Benn. This does ring bells now and explains why so many Labour members are joining the Lib Dems. I have been leader of the Lib Dem Group on Charnwood Borough Council, and am leader of the local party.

I supported and argued the case for a policy clause at the recent Lib Dem
Conference that would withdraw state funding from all schools that were
not subject to democratic control

Liberal Democrats support the Social Market Economy within the framework of a representative democracy.

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SUFFRAGETTE – Film Screening



To celebrate International Women’s Day there will be a screening of ‘Suffragette’ at Unity House, 21 Fennel Street, on Saturday the 11th March at 2pm, followed by a discussion on the Suffrage movement in Loughborough. Tickets £3 (£2.50 concessions), refreshments available from 50p. Places are limited, so booking is essential! Contact Gill Bolton to book: gillbolton@gebbusinesssolutions.co.uk



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Is Money the Root of All Evil?

Friday 3rd March, 7:30pm, Unity House, Fennel Street, Loughborough

Discussion to be introduced by Ann Bywater

Why does money always trickle upwards, ensuring that the gap between rich and poor gets bigger and bigger?  Can we reform our debt-based banking system to prevent this from happening?  Or can we envisage a world without reliance upon money at all?

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Mistaken Identities – Kwame Anthony Appiah

Kwame Anthony Appiah says ‘race does nothing for us’. Photograph: BBC

Kwame Anthony Appiah says ‘race does nothing for us’. Photograph: BBC

Friday 3rd February, 7:30pm, Unity House, Fennel Street, Loughborough

This Friday Room discussion meeting considers content of the four 2016 Rieth lectures, given by philosopher and cultural theorist Kwame Anthony Appiah, on the subject of creed, colour, country and culture.

Appiah argues that there is no such thing as western civilisation: “The values of liberty, tolerance and rational inquiry are not the birthright of a single culture. In fact, the very notion of something called ‘western culture’ is a modern invention”. He concludes the idea of “Western civilization” is a mistaken one, and that we should abandon it.

The debate is very relevant contempory politics. Some on the left have suggested there has been too much emphasis on identity politics – really? And deconstructing religion, ethnicity, nationality and culture might give insight as to how we perhaps could deal with the ascendency of the (far) right, and its attendent racism, nationalism, cutlural exceptionalism and relgious intolerance, in our day to day interactions?

You will benefit from a wee bit of preparation. A short summary is available in this Guardian long read article by Kwame Anthony Appiah. Hannah Ellis-Petersen discusses the relevance of the lectures to contempory politics in the Guardian here.

For those with more time, you can listen to podcasts each 1 hour long on the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00729d9/episodes/player)

You can also download all 75 pages of the 4 transcripts here 2016_reith1-4_appiah_mistaken_identies



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A Rebel Alliance – A New Hope?

Progressive Alliance

Progressive Alliance

Friday 6th January, 7:30pm, Unity House, Fennel Street, Loughborough

This Friday Room open meeting will discuss the idea of the Progressive Alliance, which is supported by the Green Party Leadership, the Labour leaning pressure group, Compass, and many Liberal Democrats and SNP politicians, but not by any means all senior or grass roots activists from those parties.

Is a progressive alliance a good idea? What do its proponents hope to achieve; why are detractors so vocal in their opposition? And what should progressive activists in the constituencies do?

Is there hope for a progressive majority at the 2020 (or sooner) general election?  Or do we need a new hope?





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200 years of stuggle: a History of the British Left. Talks by Ray Sutton

200 yrs of struggle
The establishment

History of Art

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Meetings in 2017

We plan to have a discussion meetings on the first Friday of the month:

6th Jan: “Towards a Progressive Alliance”

3rd Feb: Discussion of 2016 Reith lectures “Mistaken Identities”

3rd Mar: TBA

The rest of the year TBA.

These meetings will held in Unity House at 7:30pm

There is closed facebook group: “Friday Room progressive discussion group Loughborough” where there is some discussion of topics of interest. It is easy to join if you do facebook, just ask at one of our discussions.

Otherwise we do occasionally meet informally to discuss plans, which is usually announced here.

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