Next Meeting – 27 February: Does social democracy have a future ? Lessons from the past

Social Democracy

David Blunkett and John Spellar have worked at the heart of the Labour movement for the past forty years. In the context of the media debate on whether 21st century voters are alienated by traditional political party processes, and drawing on their experiences in the Labour Party, the trade union movement, national and local government, and on David Blunkett’s recent paper – ‘In Defence of Politics – Revisited’, they will be leading a discussion of the lessons from history for Labour as a social democratic party.

Rt Hon David Blunkett MP
Author of ‘In Defence of Politics – Revisited’
Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet 1992-2004 and 2005
Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough
Leader of Sheffield City Council 1980-87

Rt Hon John Spellar MP
Labour MP for Warley and Shadow Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister
Minister 1997-2005 and senior whip 2008-2010
Victor of the Birmingham Northfield by-election 1982
National trade union officer 1976-92

Time: 6:30pm (please allow time to get through security)
Date: Wednesday 27 February 2013
Venue: Macmillan Room; Portcullis House

 All welcome, please register online at:


No preparation is required but if you’re interested in reading a bit more on this topic David Blunkett’s ‘In Defence of Politics – Revisited’ can be found here. It’s Mr. Blunkett’s 21st Century response to Bernard Crick’s seminal 1962, In Defence of Politics.

Also worth a read are ‘Social Democracy must radicalise to survive’ by Joe Guinan and this article by the late Tony Judt.

If you want to read more deeply give one of these a try:

Equality (1931) – R.H. Tawney.

The Politics of Democratic Socialism (1940) – Evan Durbin.

The Future of Socialism (1956) - C.A.R. Crosland.

The Radical Tradition (1964) – R.H. Tawney.

A Theory of Justice (1971) – John Rawls.

Socialism Now (1974) – Anthony Crosland.

Choose Freedom (1987) – Roy Hattersley.

The Unprincipled Society (1988) - David Marquand.

Why Social Justice Matters (2005) – Brian Barry.

Ill Fares the Land (2010) – Tony Judt.


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