JESSE HONOURED TO WELCOME NOBEL PRIZEWINNER TO HAY FESTIVAL
campaigner, Jesse Norman achieved a long cherished dream
last week when he interviewed the Nobel prize-winning economist
and philosopher Amartya Sen at the Hay Festival.
Sen gave a fascinating talk on the current economic crisis
and the true lessons of the great Adam Smith, a founder
of economics and the author of 'The Wealth of Nations' in
1776. Adam Smith had never believed that 'greed is good',
he said. This was a modern distortion which had taken root
and encouraged a purely selfish, winner-takes-all view of
people. Rather, Smith himself emphasized the virtues of
generosity, public service and compassion. He particularly
stressed the importance of taking an impartial and measured
view of economic problems, independent of factional interests
or institutional bias.
own book on these issues, Compassionate Economics, was recently
called 'the most intelligent political tract of 2009, and
the best analysis of the credit crunch'. Commenting
on the event, he said, 'Amartya Sen is one of the most profound
thinkers alive today, and it is a privilege to welcome him
to the Festival. Amid the current economic and political
crises we badly need a renewed emphasis on public service,
and an approach which unites a global perspective with vigorous
and effective local action.'
Jesse with Amartya Sen at the Hay Festival.
SARAH SUPPORTS 100 DAY PLAN TO REFORM PARLIAMENT
Liberal Democrats are calling for radical reforms to restore
trust in the political process putting power back in to
the hands of the people. Launching a 100 day plan, Party
Leader Nick Clegg MP has said that Parliament should not
break for its summer recess until the constitutional crisis
plan sets out radical reforms which can be achieved within
100 days including: the ability for constituents to sack
their MPs, overhauling MPs' expenses, abolishing the House
of Lords and fairer voting with electoral reform.
on the proposals Hereford and South Herefordshire Liberal
Democrat parliamentary campaigner Sarah Carr said, 'Our
whole political system is broken and in need of radical
reform to give power back to people and make Britain fairer.
The expenses scandal is only the tip of the iceberg. Here
in Herefordshire and across the UK so many people are disillusioned
by politics at Westminster. All too often the House of Commons
and Lords appear like some sort of private club with little
relevance to people's everyday lives. I strongly support
the Liberal Democrat proposals that MPs should be stopped
from leaving for their summer holidays until this crisis
has been sorted out, and every nook and cranny of our political
system reformed. This political crisis is an opportunity
to create a different kind of politics, relevant to peoples'
lives and must be seized before momentum is lost.'
Liberal Democrat plan '100 Days to Save Democracy: Changing
Politics for Good' can be downloaded from www.takebackpower.org.
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, Nick Cleg MP in Ross-on-Wye
last year, with Paul Keetch MP, Mrs. Joyce Thomas MBE and Sarah
HAY FESTIVAL CROWD CALLS ON CABLE TO BE CHANCELLOR
1000 people packed out the largest auditorium at the Hay
Festival on Sunday, 31st May, to hear Vince Cable MP, the
Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor, talk about the financial
and political crisis. Cable has won widespread respect for
his early warnings about the global financial crisis, his
calls for increased regulation of banks and reform of Parliament.
There were repeated passionate calls from the audience for
Cable to be appointed Chancellor immediately.
Liberal Democrat campaigner Sarah Carr joined the audience
and secured a question to Cable on the subject of university
tuition fees and impact of young people being in debt. Sarah
is passionately opposed to tuition and top up fees as they
bar many poorer people from University and saddle them with
tens of thousands of pounds of debt.
the debate Sarah said, 'Vince Cable received a rapturous
reception at the Hay Festival. He spoke clearly about how
close the British financial system had come to collapse.
He spoke about the roots of the crisis citing irresponsible
lending, huge levels of personal debt and Conservative government
policies dating back to the early 1990s. Vince also spoke
about what the government should be doing now to get Britain
out of recession. Like so many people in the audience, I
want to see Vince Cable appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer
- with a Liberal Democrat government.'
Paul Keetch MP, Vince Cable MP 2008 Mayor , Councillor Derek Bedford
and Sarah Carr in Ross last year.
the Sunday of the Hay--on-Wye festival, where the above
was taking place I happened to be on Hay Bluff, which rises
high above the town of Hay-on-Wye. The air was exceptionally
hot on the mountain for the time of year, and it is a known
fact that hot air rises. I wondered at the time what was
causing the remarkable phenomenon.