Progressivism: Past and Present

This is a bit of a catch-up day on the blog, so expect a few posts in quick succession.

First, my conference on Progressivism: Past and Present was great, with some fantastic papers and very lively discussions. The speakers ranged from Michael Freeden to Jon Cruddas, and the chairs included John Rentoul, Paul Richards and Lord Douglas Hurd. Have a read of the full conference report for details.

Throughout the day the word ‘progressive’ was dismissed as ‘an analytic marshmallow’, attacked as a discredited term, at odds with what people feel and yet revealed to be overwhelmingly popular – if not well understood. This latter point came from Joe Twyman’s excellent YouGov survey, which showed that the British public don’t feel they know what the term progressive means, don’t particularly associate it with left politics or social justice, but do tend to think it is a good thing.

For more accounts of the day, have a look at the Independent blog, the Evening Standard and

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