Where’s the conscience of the nation?

Wednesday 11th March, 2015, 5:30-7:00pm

Royal United Services Institute, 61 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ET

Where do we look for moral authority? A recent YouGov poll finds that the Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Malala get the most votes.  Have we lost trust in traditional authorities, both religious and political, does it matter, and what takes their place? Where is the conscience of the nation in 2015?



  • Charles Clarke

    Charles was Labour Member of Parliament for Norwich South, which he remained until May 1997 –...

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  • Clifford Longley

    Clifford Longley is an author, broadcaster and journalist who has specialised since 1972 in the...

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  • Eliza Filby

    Dr Eliza Filby is an academic, writer and currently a visiting lecturer at King’s College,...

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  • Laura Janner-Klausner

    Laura Janner-Klausner is Senior Rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism. She was born in London...

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  • Linda Woodhead

    Linda is Professor of Sociology of Religion at Lancaster University and Director of the Religion...

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  • Peter Kellner

    Peter Kellner is President of YouGov. He was previously a journalist and political commentator for...

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  • Conscience of the Nation all presentations (28.23)

  • Conscience of the Nation Panel discussion (10.02)

  • Conscience of the Nation Audience Q&A (41.46)

  • Conscience of the Nation Peter Kellner (3.44)

  • Conscience of the Nation Eliza Filby (9.48)

  • Conscience of the Nation Clifford Longley (7.17)

  • Conscience of the Nation Laura Janner-Klausner (5.45)


2 Responses to Where’s the conscience of the nation?

  1. Ian Koenig says:

    The Queen? for moral authority? Nigel Andrews, the obituary writer for the Financial Times wrote in August of last year, “The first casualty of death is honesty. We must race to our superlatives. We must bin the bad stuff as we go.” Other than Pope Francis, I cannot think of another modern leader that has demonstrated moral authority, their positions prevent them from fulfilling this. I hope the debate first defines “moral authority”.

  2. Seb says:

    There is a deep problem as to how religion is taugth in state schools; the RE lesson should be simple: you take teens to the river and say: St. John Baptist used to take people to the river and say “I know you are scared of death; go in the river, my dear crocodiles, and wash your fear” Then these young people would go into river, or just splash their faces, to deal with it. I would then say “Now you know which dinosaur you are; whether you believe in God or not, whether you are an atheist” That sort of RE lesson would help these children deal with their nature, once and for all.

    What happens is, children get mixed messages, leave RE lesson confused not understanding anything; some of them are constanty aroused (they did not deal with their fear of growing old) and they run to “sex educational officer” to get condoms, and a pill after; some other want to “understand God”, because they did not get an answer; they end up in clutches of hate preachers, who instead of saying “do not worry about death, trust Allah” they start shouting “HELL, SIN” to make these children more scared; once they control them by fear, they say do what I say, that is rape, kill, etc” And then they say “after death there will be more women to have sex with”

    As a result, all these children end up outside Eden, instead of within: their heart is run by fear.

    I used to work as a supply teacher (now I quit this rubbish job) and I’ve seen the same problem every school I went: bad RE lesson, where fear of death and growing old is not dealt with; followed by sight young boys and girls either rushing to put lots of make up and get lots of condoms, or rushing to jihadi websites to get the answer.

    I have never seen an RE lesson I would be proud of; and that is why politicians need to do something about it

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