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Britain Is Better Than This

June 8 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

FREE but booking required - see entry for details
  • Date and time:Saturday 8 June 2024, 5pm to 6pm
  • Location:In-person only
    Ron Cooke Hub, Campus East, University of York (Map)
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Admission:Free admission, booking required

Book tickets

Event details

For centuries, British identity has been shaped by ideas of exceptionalism, grandeur and competence. Yet British democracy is failing. Governments supported by a minority of voters are elected with enormous majorities under a deeply unrepresentative first-past-the-post system. The result has been failed leaders delivering wounding blows to the country’s economy, prosperity and international image.

Political commentator and journalist Gavin Esler explores what lies beneath this sense of malaise, revealing the structural and constitutional failures at the heart of a sclerotic political system. The author of Britain Is Better Than This, Gavin sheds light on a culture of lies, distrust and corruption. He reveals fundamental flaws in core institutions, including the media, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Gavin will draw on events such as the MP expenses scandal, Brexit, ‘Partygate’ and the farcical premiership of Liz Truss, as symptoms of a great nation at a turning point yet unsure of which way to turn.

Join him as he also looks ahead, offering practical solutions to answer the key question of our time: What do we need to do to build a better future?

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too.


About the speaker

Gavin Esler is a journalist, television presenter and author. He was a main presenter of the BBC current affairs show Newsnight for 12 years until 2014. Since 2014 he has been a public speaker, a political commentator and journalist, and the Chancellor of the University of Kent.


This event is part of York Festival of Ideas – for the full programme see https://yorkfestivalofideas.com/2024/calendar/


June 8
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
FREE but booking required - see entry for details


In-person only Ron Cooke Hub, Campus East, University of York
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