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In his new book, This Time No Mistakes: How to Remake Britain, political economist and Observer columnist Will Hutton analyses how the left and right have gone wrong over the course of the last century.

He believes the nation’s continuing inability to invest in itself is at the heart of our problems, which have their roots in a fixation on free markets and a minimal state.

To ward off the wave of nihilist populism sweeping the world, we need an alternative economic and political philosophy, Hutton says.

He argues two great traditions, ethical socialism and progressive liberalism, can be brought together to offer a different way forward and help shape a better Britain.

Through the reforming Liberal government of 1906-14 and, later, the 1945 Labour government that was influenced by Keynes and Beveridge, history has shown great things can be achieved when the two progressive strands fuse, he says. Now it’s time to do it again.

Join the Policy Institute and the Fairness Foundation for the next instalment of our Fair Society series as we mark the publication of This Time No Mistakes.


  • Will Hutton, Observer columnist, President of the Academy of Social Sciences and host of the ‘We Society’ podcast
  • Baroness Helena Kennedy KC, Barrister and broadcaster
  • Bobby Duffy, Director, the Policy Institute at King’s College London (chair)

Event details

8th Floor, North Side
Bush House
Strand campus, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG