Three hundred and forty years after Charles Street, home to the Legatum Institute, was laid, guests gathered for a panel discussion to launch the '1675 Club', a new society for young leaders and thinkers.
The Club’s inaugural event hosted young leaders from Westminster’s six main parties to debate the policies that can secure Britain’s long-term prosperity.
Moderated by Tim Montgomerie, Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute, the discussion ranged from the economy to foreign policy, with questions from the floor focusing on the Human Rights Act, the constitutional settlement, and how to tackle political disenchantment.
There were serious policy questions, reflections on electoral performance, and at times, humour. Is taxation simply the membership fee we pay to live in a civilised society? Do we in fact not only have an obligation, but also a right, to intervene abroad to stop atrocities? Ultimately, the question so eloquently addressed by each panellist was what is the role of our policy-makers in helping people to live more prosperous lives, whether it is their electors at home, or those suffering abroad?
The question of prosperity is at the heart of the Legatum Institute’s mission, and it took centre stage among the discussions of the next generation of leaders and thinkers.
Panellists included Cllr Oliver Cooper, Conservative Councillor for Hampstead Town and former National Chairman of Conservative Future; Conor Pope, Staff Writer at Labour List; Prateek Buch, Guest Editor of LibDem Voice and former Director, Social Liberal Forum; Fraser Dick, National Convenor, SNP Students in 2013/14 and former member of the SNP’s National Executive Committee; Jack Duffin, Press Officer, UKIP and Chairman of UKIP’s Young Independence; and Hannah Ellen Clare, Co-Convenor, Young Greens North.
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About the Speakers
Oliver Cooper is a Conservative activist and campaigner. He was the Chairman of Conservative Future, the party’s youth wing, from 2013 to 2014. He has worked for two Conservative MPs, written for a range of media outlets from The Sun to the BBC, and taught public speaking and debating. He is a councillor in Camden, winning by a record margin in supposedly left-wing Hampstead.
Conor Pope has blogged about Labour politics since 2009. He has produced content for sites such as Left Foot Forward, Political Scrapbook and the New Statesman's Staggers blog, and has been a staff writer at LabourList since 2014. He has written widely on UKIP's threat to Labour, economic competence, and electoral strategy.
Prateek Buch spent ten years as a research scientist at UCL, developing gene and stem cell therapies for blindness. He joined the Liberal Democrats in 2008, was elected to their Federal Policy Committee in 2012, and was Director of the largest Lib Dem membership organisation the Social Liberal Forum. Buch led the grassroots development of party policy on the economy and health, publishing an influential pamphlet on a social liberal economic approach: Plan C. Buch is now campaigning for the effective and accountable use of evidence in public policy, with the charity Sense About Science.
Fraser Dick was born in Derbyshire but grew up in Linlithgow, West Lothian. After completing a BSc in Mathematics at Edinburgh University in 2014 he moved to Oxford to enrol in an MSc in Maths and the Foundations of Computer Science. He joined the SNP in 2010 and was the National Convenor of SNP Students in 2013/14, and served on the party's NEC. He wants to see the people of Scotland empowered politically, economically and socially and for that reason is an independence supporter, a socialist and a believer in equality.
Jack Duffin is 22 and is the elected Chairman of UKIP’s youth wing Young Independence. He stood in April in the NUS National President elections and was the UKIP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in Uxbridge and South Ruislip—against Boris Johnson—in May 2015.
Hannah is from Essex and is currently a member of the Young Greens Regional Senate, representing the North of England. She has been actively involved in campaigning for equality for a number of years, including for four years as a member of UK Youth Parliament, before joining the Green Party in 2013. She is a former president of Liverpool Debating Union and represented the Green Party in the Channel 4 Youth Leaders Debate in April 2015.
About the 1675 Club
The 1675 Club is the Legatum Institute society for young leaders and thinkers. The Club provides a venue where the key political, economic and social issues of the day can be debated over a glass of wine.
The 1675 Club hosts regular events at the Legatum Institute. These are informal occasions where attendees can hear from experts and 1675 Club peers, and join in on the discussion. 1675 Club attendees boast a vast array of knowledge and experience in their own right and accordingly, it is hoped to include 1675 Club participants as panellists, moderators or discussants at Legatum Institute events. The Club will create a dialogue between the Committee and attendees.
The 1675 Club takes its name from the history of Charles Street, home of the Legatum Institute. Charles Street was laid out in 1675, shortly after the development of Berkeley Square which heralded an era of prosperity, community and growth for the area. The Legatum Institute embraces these values by providing a forum to think creatively about how to help people lead more prosperous lives.