The Left has right on its side

Wednesday 21 February 2018, 7.15pm | VIDEO & PODCAST NOW ONLNE

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Let’s be honest. It’s the political Left that has society’s best interests at heart, that works for the good of all. It has always been the Left that has struggled to protect the weak from the strong, that has fought for workers’ rights, for sexual and racial equality, for the welfare state. It is the Left that now challenges abuses of power by corporations and financial institutions. And it is the Left that seeks to build a world based on mutual respect, not individualistic self-seeking. It is the Left, not the Right, that has right on its side.

Yet according to conservatives, it is precisely that self-regard, that attempt to monopolise virtue, which exposes the hypocrisy of left-wing ideology. To flaunt your concern for your fellow man doesn’t make you right – it just gives you the smug glow of virtue signalling. In fact, by expanding the state, overtaxing the rich and splurging benefits on the poor, the Left has always damaged society by crippling people’s natural instinct to better themselves. It is the Right, by championing free markets, free choice and social cohesion, that has right on its side.

Speakers for the motion

Stella Creasy

Labour MP for Walthamstow who recently won the ‘Backbencher of the Year’ award at the 2017 Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year awards. She is often praised as one of Westminster’s most effective operators, successfully campaigning for Jane Austen to be put on a new £10 bank note and for a change in Northern Ireland’s abortion laws

George Monbiot

Guardian journalist and polemicist, whose bestselling books include Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain; The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order and most recently Out of the Wreckage, which argues for a new politics based on scientific findings which prove that humans are by nature supreme altruists and cooperators.

Speakers against the motion

Kwasi Kwarteng

Conservative MP for Spelthorne, who has worked as a financial analyst, journalist and historian. His books include Ghosts of Empire: Britain’s Legacies in the Modern World and Thatcher’s Trial: Six Months That Defined a Leader.

Roger Scruton

Britain’s leading philosopher of conservative thought. He has published more than forty books on philosophy, aesthetics and politics, including How to be a Conservative; Where We Are: The State of Britain Now; and Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left.


Razia Iqbal

One of the main presenters of Newshour, the flagship international news and current affairs programme on BBC World Service radio. She also regularly presents The World Tonight on Radio 4.



Speakers are subject to change.