The Shelley Society was honoured to welcome David Sainsbury. Lord Sainsbury spoke on the title of his recent book, ‘Progressive Capitalism’. While many have simply discussed the causes of the 2008 economic crash, Lord Sainsbury sought to propose an entirely new capitalist theory. Stressing the importance of private ownership of assets and income distributed through markets, Lord Sainsbury described one of his main ideas. This was the notion of a ‘race to the top,’ where Britain must make increasingly technologically advanced products to fend of Far-Eastern competition, but is currently faltering with its low level of spending on research and development. Further issues were tackled in Lord Sainsbury’s answers to an extensive and provocative set of questions. Highlights included his suggestion that neo-classical economic assumptions were flawed in the real world. He also introduced the idea of state funded political parties, which he thought would prevent any notion of corruption arising from wealthy individual donors supporting parties, as they do today. We are hugely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for an enlightening and challenging evening.

Charles Bertlin (AMM)