The Convention holds the debate that is absent from Parliament on the deep impacts of Brexit, and focus on the danger to democratic and liberal values posed by the political crash in the West.
Why we are coming together
On May 12 and 13, the Convention met to debate the impacts of Brexit and focus on the dangers to Western democracies posed by the populist insurgency.
Too often, over the last year, Parliament and the media have stifled discussion. When the public needed reliable information and serious debate, Parliament fell silent.
That pattern worryingly looks set to continue as the election campaign gets under way, because the two main parties seem reluctant to have a meaningful debate on the biggest issue to face the United Kingdom in generations.
Debate is vitally important. Without it democracies die. The absence of proper informed discussion on the impact of Brexit is quite simply a scandal. Voters feel ignored and disempowered.
So, what exactly is going on? What is this General Election really about?
Is the Prime Minister responsibly seeking a new mandate now that Article 50 has been triggered, or is the political establishment seeking to ‘take back control’ after the wild referendum? These two views have equally passionate advocates, and we heard both at the Convention.
We aim to break the silence of the last year with two days of discussion, analysis and speeches from some of the best minds in the country. There were views from all parties and from both sides of the EU debate, because we really do believe in debate.
To hold a debate in which everyone takes part is good in itself, but to come together and to reassert open, progressive and democratic values in this new era is a higher goal.
For this event essentially is about what kind of country we want, what sort of health service and what sort of values should be at the core of the politics.
“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.” Abraham Lincoln, 1862.