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The Great Realignment: Britain’s Political Identity Crisis at The Emmanuel Centre

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Time 19:00
Date 13/09/17
Price £30

Is Britain facing an identity crisis?

The traditional dividing lines of left and right seem to be dissolving into new political tribes – metropolitan liberals versus the culturally rooted working classes, graduates versus the uneducated, the young versus the old. In the recent general election, traditional Labour heartlands like Mansfield, for instance, have now gone Conservative. At the same time, wealthy areas such as Kensington have shockingly swung to Corbyn. Britain seems utterly confused about its politics. As the far left and Eurosceptic right have gained strength, much of the country has been left politically homeless.

So what’s going on? How will these new alignments play out as the country faces the historic challenge of leaving the EU and forging a new relationship with the rest of the world? Are the Conservatives really up to the job, as they bicker over what kind of Brexit they want and jostle over who should replace the ‘lame-duck’ Theresa May? Is it now unthinkable that Jeremy Corbyn could be the next prime minister?

To explore these questions and many more, Intelligence Squared is bringing together the most experienced Westminster politicians with some of the country’s most outspoken political analysts. Taking to the stage will be Ken Clarke, Father of the House of Commons and the most senior Conservative voice in Parliament, and Hilary Benn, the Labour MP who as Chair of the Brexit Select Committee will be in charge of holding the government to account for Brexit. Joining them will be Helen Lewis, deputy editor at the New Statesman and prominent journalist on the left, David Goodhart, author of one of the most talked about analyses of British politics and the rise of populism, and Anand Menon, senior King’s College Professor and one of this country’s top experts on Britain’s relationship with Europe.

Looming over the current turmoil is the biggest question of all: What kind of Britain do we want to live in? What are the values that should hold our society together?