With only a year to the next general election, and European and local polls looming, Demos today launches a new pamphlet outlining a vision for a new political settlement. The Liberal Republic – launched this evening at a party to celebrate our 16th birthday - argues that the party adopting a radical liberal position will be the party to lead the country.
The Director of Demos, Richard Reeves and the Chair of Demos, Philip Collins, authors of the paper, argue for a society where power is vested in people and always devolved to the level at which it is most effective. Three core principles animate the liberal republic:
- People have the freedom to live in the manner of their choosing and the power to determine their own version of a good life.
- Institutions exist to serve individuals, not the other way around.
- Equality is measured not by what you have, but by what you can do.
As Reeves and Collins write:
“The ideal animating this essay is of a liberal republic, in which individuals have the power to determine and create their own version of a good life. The ‘good society’ is one composed of independent, capable people charting their own course, rather than a perfect shape to be carved by the elite, out of the crooked timber of humanity.”
Demos is today also making announcements on a new Advisory Board; fresh programmes of work, and a strengthened Trustee Board, as well as unveiling a new website.
New Advisory Council
This evening (May 7th) Demos unveils a new Advisory Council, chaired by Professor David Marquand, to support us in a bold new programme of work. The Council members are:
Danny Alexander, Liberal Democrat MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey.
Richard Best, House of Lords, former Director, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Vince Cable, MP for Twickenham and the Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Diane Coyle, Director of Enlightenment Economics, BBC Trustee and visiting professor at the University of Manchester.
Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham.
Sir David Omand, visiting Professor in the War Studies Department, King’s College, former Permanent Secretary of the Home Office.
Evan Davis, Presenter, Today Programme, BBC.
Lynsey Hanley, writer and honorary research fellow at Lancaster University.
Richard Horton, Editor, The Lancet.
Will Hutton, Executive Vice Chair, The Work Foundation.
David Laws, MP for Yeovil and Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.
Julian le Grand, Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Chairman of Health England.
David Marquand (Chair) Visiting Fellow, department of politics, University of Oxford and Honorary Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield.
Ed Mayo, Chief Executive, Consumer Focus.
Alan Milburn, Labour MP for Darlington.
Geoff Mulgan, Director of The Young Foundation and Founding Director, Demos.
George Osborne, MP for Tatton and Conservative Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics.
Richard Thaler, Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics, University of Chicago.
Stuart White, Fellow in Politics and Director of the Public Policy Unit, University of Oxford.
David Willetts, MP for Havant and Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
Jonathan Wolff, Professor of Philosophy, University College London.
Gillian Tett, Assistant Editor, Financial Times.
New Programmes and Projects
The Advisory Council will be supporting Demos’ work in four new programme areas:
These new programme areas run alongside:
- - The Progressive Conservatism Project, led by Phillip Blond (www.demos.co.uk/projects/progressiveconservatism)
- - A major new project to generate a Power Map, charting the distribution of power in the UK today
- - New projects ranging from civic republicanism to children in care, from reinventing venture capital to educational engagement.
The new Chair of Demos is Philip Collins. Philip is a leader writer and commentator at The Times and Senior Visiting Fellow in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics. He is the former Chief Speechwriter to Tony Blair. Three new Trustees have just been appointed to the Board:
Penny Egan, Executive Director, Fullbright Commission and former Director of the RSA
Martin Glenn, CEO, Birds Eye Iglo Group, former CEO of PepsiCo UK
Ed Smith, Chairman, World Wildlife Fund UK, former Strategy Chairman, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Penny, Ed and Martin join Demos’ existing Trustees:
Nick Claydon, Partner, Brunswick
George Ferguson, Chairman, Acanthus Ferguson Mann Architects
Neil Sherlock, Partner, public and regulatory affairs, KPMG
To learn more about Demos and our work, subscribe to e-mail updates or follow us on twitter, please visit our new website at www.demos.co.uk, which goes live this evening.
For further information please contact Beatrice Karol Burks or Peter Harrington: firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 7367 6325; email@example.com, 020 7367 6338 or 079 3966 4133 (out of office hours).
Notes to Editors:
Demos will formally announce the new Advisory Council, and launch The Liberal Republic and our new programmes of work at an event this evening, Thursday 7th May celebrating Demos’ 16 years at the heart of policy making. Joining us will be the founding director of Demos, Geoff Mulgan, as well as James Purnell MP and David Willetts MP, who along with the Chair and Director of Demos, will each speak briefly on Demos’ past, present and future. In attendance will be Demos’ friends and family from Westminster and Whitehall, and beyond.