One of the key features of the 2019 festival is the bookstore hosted by independent shop, South Kensington Books. Many of our speakers are celebrated authors, and guests will have the opportunity to pick up their publications and get it signed on the same day! Here is a list of the authors who will be at the festival signing their work.
Ruth is a member of the House of Lords, sitting as a member of the Labour Party, and is currently Professor of Social Policy at Loughborough University. She was director of the Child Poverty Action Group from 1979 until 1987 and has been on the Commission for Social Justice, the Commission Poverty, Participation and Power, the Fabian Commission on Life Chances and Child Poverty and the National Equality Panel. Her book Poverty introduces readers to the meaning and experience of poverty, one of the most urgent issues of our time, in the contemporary world, discussing current debates around its deﬁnition and measurement before embarking on a thought-provoking and multi-faceted exploration of its conceptualisation.
Rory is the MP for Penrith and The Border and Secretary of State for International Development, having previously served in several other ministerial roles, including Minister of State for Prisons, Africa and International Development, and as a diplomat. His book The Places In Between gives a moving account of his walk across Afghanistan in January 2002 on which he was nearly defeated by the extreme conditions but survived to report back on with unique insight on the war-torn region. Occupational Hazards is his inside account of his time governing in Iraq, confronting gangsters, Iranian-linked politicians, tribal vendettas and a full Islamist insurgency. In The Marches, he muses on history, memory and landscape on the 600-mile, 30-day journey traversing ‘the Marches’, the borderlands between England and Scotland, with his father.
Tom is director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a leading left-wing progressive think tank which publishes reports each year making recommendations on topics including economic policy, energy, transport, climate change, families, work, health, migration, integration, communities, democracy, devolution and public services. He is also chair of their Commission on Economic Justice, whose report Prosperity and Justice: A Plan for the New Economy analyses the challenges facing the UK’s ‘broken’ economy, explaining how its deep weaknesses reflect profound imbalances of economic power. It sets out a bold vision for change, with a radical policy agenda for 2020 including new missions to drive productivity and innovation, an overhaul of our financial system and reforms to improve wages, job quality and the redistribution of wealth.
Charles is a Labour Party politician, who was the MP for Norwich South from 1997 until 2010, and served as Home Secretary from December 2004 until May 2006. He introduced the idea of the “too difficult box”, an explanation as to why politicians often opt out of taking action to resolve many serious political issues, discussed in his book The “Too Difficult” Box: The Big Issues Politicians Can’t Crack with each chapter covering a specific political issue considered to be in the “too difficult box”. He has also written The British Leaders series, with a book on British Conservative, Labour and Liberal leaders, considering the attributes and achievements of each party leader in the context of their respective political landscape.
Maha specialises in political risk and prediction across varied industries and disciplines. She is a professor, author and cartoonist in the MA International Relations Program at NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, specialising in global risk and prediction, and is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Global Affairs at LSE. She previously served as chairwoman of a small team that co-launched the New Silk Road Generation, the first e- mentoring program for university students in Afghanistan. Her book, Future World Order, on global risk predicts the world will be defined by a unique global legitimacy crisis in the
coming years, which she argues has been worsened by technology, yet offers hope that it can be creatively leveraged to be part of the solution.
Darren is the chief executive of Arts Council England and previously led Classic FM for 15 years as managing editor and then as managing director. He was appointed an OBE for services to music and has received the British Academy President’s Medal for his contributions to music education, music research and the arts. His book Creativity: Why It Matters argues the importance of creativity for everyone, not as the sole preserve of arts- based subjects but at the heart of medical, scientific, engineering and entrepreneurial progress too. He argues that creativity should be at the heart of the education system as the best route to ensure cultural benefits are open to all so that the next generation will have the skills necessary to invent tomorrow.
Guy is a Conservative Party politician and the MP for Hexham, having previously been a barrister, predominantly at the criminal bar where he did many years of pro bono work, providing free legal assistance in hundreds of cases on behalf of Victim Support and Citizens Advice Bureau. He is also a great supporter of the NHS, which he credits with saving his life after suffering from a brain tumour and his mother’s from cancer, having raised almost £10,000 for charity. Arguing that the tackling of crime and reoffending should be a number one priority, he has written a book, Doing Time: Prisons in the 21st Century, in which he analyses the weaknesses of past prison regimes, assesses how things are changing and makes recommendations for future changes.
Damian is a Conservative Party politician and the MP for Folkestone and Hythe. He is also the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. He is the author of Charmed Life: The Phenomenal World of Philip Sasson, the story of a fascinating man who was himself elected as MP for Hythe in 1912. A famed aesthete, politician and patron of the arts and a wealthy socialite, he connected the great politicians, artists and thinkers at the height of British global power and influence. He worked at the right hand of Douglas Haig during the First World War and then for David Lloyd George for the settlement of the peace, and he gave parties attended by the likes of Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw and Lawrence of Arabia.
Ella is the chairman of Conservative Young Woman and managing director of One Young World, the global forum for young leaders that identifies, promotes and connects the world’s most impactful young leaders to create a better world, with more responsible and effective leadership. At the annual One Young World Summit, talented delegates from over 190 countries are counselled by influential political, business and humanitarian leaders, such as Justin Trudeau, Paul Polman and Meghan Markle, in leadership. Her book, How to Make a Difference: The Definitive Guide from the World’s Most Effective Activists, is a roadmap to modern day activism created by the brilliant minds behind the world’s biggest campaigns, including Emma Watson, Sir Bob Geldof, Matt Damon and Black Lives Matter.
George is a Conservative Party politician, the MP for Mid Norfolk and Minister of State for Transport, Technology and Innovation, having previously been Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State for Life Sciences. His book, Britain Beyond Brexit: A New Conservative Vision, is a landmark collection of essays in which a new generation of Tory MPs from all sides of the party - Leave and Remain, left and right, North and South, urban and rural - set out a bold vision for the future. It explores the unprecedented challenge facing the Conservatives of renewing themselves in the face of rising populism and deep mistrust in politics, which has been turned inside out by Brexit.
Gavin is a journalist, television presenter and author. He was the main presenter on Newsnight, a presenter across the BBC of BBC News at Five, BBC World News, Dateline London, The Film Review and Talking Books, and of Radio 4‘s factual series Four Corners. He also wrote regular columns for The Scotsman and The Independent and is the author of five novels and two-non fiction books, including Brexit Without the Bullshit: The Facts on Food, Jobs, Schools and the NHS, which discusses some of the potential consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU for food and diet, health and the NHS, jobs and industry, education and travel to Europe. It is not about the Brexit promised but the Brexit that is arriving.
Vernon is Research Professor at the Institute for Contemporary British History at King’s College London and Professor of Politics at the New College of the Humanities. He is also Emeritus Professor of Politics and Government at The University of Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. He is one of Britain’s foremost constitutional experts and has written extensively on political and constitutional issues, including The New British Constitution which describes and analyses Britain’s new constitution, asking why the old system came under challenge and why it is being replaced, showing how the constitution can be reformed and the political system opened up, comparing the two. His latest book, Beyond Brexit: Towards a British Constitution, explores the ever-changing relationship between Britain and the EU, the constitutional consequences of Britain’s EU membership and the impact of Brexit on the constitution, raising the question of how the UK is to be preserved.
Kate is an award-winning poet, novelist, non-fiction writer and teacher. In her book, Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me, she looks back over her 30-year career as a teacher, from sex education for 13-year-olds to working in the ‘Inclusion Unit’ with kids excluded from regular lessons to her multicultural poetry group full of migrants and refugees. She wants to change the world and believes school is the place to do it, celebrating teaching, this most creative, passionate and practically useful of jobs when it is all too often demeaned, diminished and drastically under-resourced.