Justice, Money, Power

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Tuesday 24 June to Wednesday 9 July 2014

Venue: The Bowler Hat

Who Runs London?

Tuesday 24 June 2014 6.00 pm

Who has the power when it comes to running London? Are they held to account? What influences do the media, politicians, the rich (and the super-rich), Brussels, the Met, and the voters have? Should any have a greater say than they already do? Chaired by Dr. Tiffany Jenkins, this debate features speakers Ben Rodgers (Director, Centre for London), Sarah Sands (Editor, Evening Standard), and Professor Tony Travers (Director, LSE London).

Is Money the Root of all Evil?

Wednesday 25 June 2014 6.00 pm

Today, we live in a world dominated by money. ‘For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil,’ So said Paul, the Apostle. Today, we live in a world dominated by money. Greed, equality, and a lack of morals have been blamed for the banking crisis. Would the world be a better place and we better people, if we didn’t love money so much? This debate, chaired by Rania Hafez, features Claire Foster-Gilbert (Director, Westminster Abbey Institute), Julian Baggini (Philosopher), Giles Fraser (parish priest at St Mary’s, Newington) and Brendan O’Neill (Editor, Spiked-online).

Should the Human Rights Act be Scrapped?

Thursday 26 June 2014 6.00 pm

The Conservative Party manifesto for the next general election proposes a British Bill of Rights, which will replace the Human Rights Act. The objective is to increase the protection of rights in several areas. This debate explores the question “What, if anything, is wrong with the Human Rights Act?” and “Should the Human Rights Act be Scrapped?”. Chaired by Claire Fox (Director, Institute of Ideas); featured speakers will include Emily Thornberry MP (Labour MP for Islington South & Finsbury and Shadow Attorney General), Martin Howe QC, Philip Leach (Professor of Human Rights Law, Middlesex University) and Richard Bacon MP (Conservative MP for South Norfolk).

Can the City be Socially Useful?

Tuesday 1 July 2014 6.00 pm

Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, has accused The City as having grown too big with parts that are “socially useless.” What would a socially useful financial sector look like? Is it desirable? Is there a danger that such demands could burden and disorientate The City? Angus Kennedy (Institute of Ideas) will chair the debate with featured speakers Tony Greenham (Head of Finance and Business, New Economics Foundation), Marc Sidwell (Managing Editor of City AM), Louise Cooper (founder of CooperCity) and Aditya Chakrabortty (Senior Economics Commentator, The Guardian).

What is the Cost of Breaking up Britain?

Wednesday 2 July 2014 6.00 pm

This September will see a historic vote on whether Scotland should become an independent country. What are the benefits to Scotland voting ‘Yes’? What are the costs if it does? The panel discusses the economic, political, and cultural case for and against staying together. This debate, chaired by Craig Fairnington (Debating Matters), features speakers Joyce MacMillan (Scottish political commentator), Pat Kane, Alex Massie, and Rory Stewart MP (Conservative MP for Penrith and The Border).

Who Needs Legal Aid?

Thursday 3 July 2014 6.00 pm

Legal aid is under threat from a series of cuts proposed by the Lib-Con coalition government, which have been protested by many. Chaired by Luke Gittos (Legal Editor, Spiked-online), featured speakers Peter Hughman (Criminal lawyer, Hughmans solicitors), Laura Janes (Scott-Moncrieff & Associates) and Jon Holbrook (barrister), will lead an audience in a discussion about what is the role the legal aid, is it worth defending and why?

Law in Literature

Tuesday 8 July 2014 6.00 pm 

The law has a strong presence in literature from Charles Dickens, Franz Kafka, to John Grisham and Patricia Cornwall. Chair David Bowden (Institute of Ideas), and featured speakers Lisa Appignanesi (Author), Joshua Rozenberg (Legal commentator and journalist) and Maria Aristodemou (Senior Lecturer in Law, Birkbeck University) will bring insights to how the law is seen historically and in the present, through a relevant book they each have chosen to discuss.

Does Emotion or Reason Dictate the Financial Markets?

Wednesday 9 July 2014 6.00 pm

Traditional economic models assume that the markets could be run on reason and that people make economic decisions based on rationality. Behavioural economics challenges this model and argues instead that emotion, not rational logic, is what is important to understand and harness. But which dictate financial markets? Featuring chairperson Anne McElvoy (Economist Public Policy Editor, Presenter of BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking), and speakers Frances Hudson (Global Thematic Strategist, Standard Life Investments), Daniel Ben-Ami (economics writer), Greg Davis (Head of Behavioural and Quantitative Investment Philosophy, Barclays.

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