Keynes for Today: A Lecture by Lord Skidelsky
19 September 2018
Bush House, King’s College London
We were delighted to launch our public lecture series with an illuminating address from our Council member, political economist and world expert on Keynes Robert Skidelsky, titled “Keynes for Today: Lessons for the Left”. The event marked the launch of Lord Skidelsky’s most recent work – Money and Government: A Challenge to Mainstream Economics – and PEF’s first publication, 10 Years Since The Crash: Causes, Consequences and the Way Forward.
Lord Skidelsky’s lecture covered a host of topics including: why the Left is always held to a higher standard on the economy than the Right; the dismantling of intellectual and institutional structures the Left relied on to achieve its goals under Thatcher; Labour’s macroeconomic framework in the run-up to the financial crisis; the utter failures of austerity; the conception of inequality as a macroeconomic issue; and the outline of a new political economy. The lecture was reprinted in full by the New Statesman on 10 October, and can be found on their website. Alternatively, a transcript is available on our website.
All photos from the event can be found on our Flickr page.
The post-lecture discussion was kicked off by a comment from Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who outlined the challenges facing the Left as it tries to bring about a new political economy, and praised PEF for its work in this area thus far. Ann Pettifor then built on the themes in Lord Skidelsky’s lecture, arguing for a root-and-branch reform of the global financial architecture. Fellow PEF Council member John Weeks summed up the timely nature of these discussions: “For the first time I can remember, for the first time in many of your lives, the vision of a social democratic society is in reach. We need to keep our eyes on that goal.”
This was followed by a lively Q&A session, chaired by Johnna Montgomerie, with insightful commentary from economists, politicians, public sector workers, journalists, students, activists and other members of the public alike – we would like to thank everyone in attendance for such a stimulating and varied discussion. Finally, the evening closed with a drinks reception and book signing. All photos of the event can be found on our Flickr page.