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How politics lost touch with everyday life

How politics lost touch with everyday life

Early on in his elegiac study of how our literary and aesthetic past might animate our political future, Marc Stears singles out DH Lawrence’s “wonderful essay” Insouciance, written in 1928, which he believes embodies “the vision that animates this book”. In the essay, Lawrence describes a meeting with two elderly ladies who try to draw… Continue reading…

News & Forthcoming Events

npg-mbenn Recently acquired by the National Portrait Gallery is a photographic portrait of Melissa Benn by the documentary photographer Maggie Murray. This portrait is currently on view in the Lerner Galleries at the National Portrait Gallery and is also featured (left) on a Gallery leaflet as an example of how Gift Aid donations can support acquisitions.

2011 events

My latest book School Wars, published by Verso, will soon be coming out in paperback, with a new afterword.

Details of some upcoming events:

On November 13th at the House of Commons, in my capacity as Vice President of the Socialist Education Association, I will chairing a lecture by Stephen Twigg on the theme ‘Education, education, education: tasks for a future Labour government.’ Lecture begins at 6pm. More details here.

On the afternoon of Sunday November 25th, I will be taking part in a political conversation across the generations with my father, Tony Benn, at the Cambridge Wordfest this winter. Details here.

On December 6th, I will be hosting a fund raising event for the Maya centre, which provides therapy to low income women. Among the writers appearing will be Kamila Shamsie, screen writer Abi Morgan and novelist Gillian Slovo.

Events already planned for next year include:

The Winifred Mercier public lecture, which I shall be giving in Leeds, on March 6th 2013:

I will also be speaking at the ASCL annual conference 2013 – where I hope, finally, to meet a man called Michael Gove: also appearing at the same event.

Latest writing

Putting the special back into special needs.

I can still vividly remember Michael Gove’s first speech to the House of Commons as Secretary of State for Education in 2010. A blast of oratory in which he charged the outgoing New Labour government of failing poor children with talent. During Labour’s 13 years in office, Gove thundered, on average only 45 children on… Continue reading…

Latest news & events

In conversation with Ed Miliband

Inspired and informed by his hugely popular podcast, Reasons to be Cheerful, Ed Miliband’s new book, Go Big: How To Fix Our World, shows us that whilst the challenges we face as a society are daunting, solutions to them already exist. This empowering, uplifting set of practical and transformative solutions – from a citizens’ assembly… Continue reading…