11. Can liberty survive the slump

Listen to the session (to download it as an MP3 file, right click on this link and choose to save or download it)

Talks and Q&A


Read the transcript of this session here


Read a report on the session written by a member of the UCL Student Human Rights Programme, and share your thoughts…

14.00 – 15.15

Supported by:


Economic opinion sees the current economic crisis as the most severe since 1929 with the possibility of a global depression. In the 1930s this fed the rise of Fascism and Communism. But talk like this itself feeds an atmosphere of anxiety and fear that encourages people to look for strong government. Wildcat strikes over contractors restricting who they employ to foreign workers has already raised fundamental issues. Protectionism might prolong the economic downturn but a free market in labour increases a sense of democratic disenfranchisement as the law favours international corporations. Does the failure of the economic system stem in part from a flawed political system? If so, what should be a democratic response to the downturn? How can people exercise their rights as free citizens in pursuit of good government as the financial system totters?

Chair: David Edgar (Playwright)
Speakers: Vince Cable (Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor, Liberal Democrats)
Will Hutton (Chief Executive, The Work Foundation)
Suzanne Moore (Mail on Sunday)
Kate Hoey MP (Labour MP for Vauxhall; Chair, Countryside Alliance)

< Back to 10/ Child’s play? Equality and young people : Forward to How do we secure modern liberty? >