National Conversation: Mooting a new Beveridge?

And another virtual panel takes the field. Not a #DigitalLunch, that it has been inspired by what’s still a relatively modest series of events.

Tomorrow I’ve been asked by the National Conversation’s David Taylor (a fellow Ulsterman) to host a couple of hangouts or Moots which takes a look at the future of welfare in the UK.

David explains here (by the power of Google Hangouts) the rational behind National Conversation, and in particular why they’ve chosen the 70th anniversary of the first Beveridge report to start their first National Conversation:

Whether for or against it, welfare is a problem. And one, as Frank Field notes in his article in last month’s Prospect Magazine that most sitting government (and even former sitting governments) have few incentives to tackle fully and honestly.

To a large extent the problem is funding. Whichever model you look at, there is the abiding problem of expectations outstripping resources. Something for which Beveridge, deeply embedded in wartime austerity and high levels of social solidarity, made little provision.

Through a series of events this week David and the National Conversation will hope to explore what people from beyond the instrumental world of Westminster actually think about welfare.

The aim is to make a qualitative contribution to a shared understanding of the problems as they present to ordinary people and feed those perceptions back into the machine again.

Tomorrow’s ‘Moot’ will explore what the issues are, and deliberately seek to bring together voices from both the left and the right… with another one next week that will try to draw the various threads together…

If you are interested in taking part, email me at or if you are on Gmail or Google Plus, you can sign up at the event page here

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty