Big questions, difficult box

HIGH profile figures from the worlds of politics and academia will explore key issues facing society in a new public lecture series launched by the University of East Anglia.

Entitled The Too Difficult Box, the special guest lectures will look at the role of politics in tackling subjects ranging from climate change to pensions.

The series is organised by the School of Political, Social and International Studies and former home secretary Charles Clarke. Those taking part include Labour peer and renowned sociologist Anthony Giddens, who will discuss climate change, and Baroness Shirley Williams, former leader of Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords and the only British member of the board of the Nuclear Threat Institute in Washington DC, who will talk on nuclear disarmament.

Former health secretary Patricia Hewitt will look at gender discrimination and fellow ex-Labour cabinet minister John Hutton will discuss public sector pensions, following his appointment as chair of the independent Public Service Pensions Commission.

Diplomat and author Sir Stephen Wall, who was private secretary to three successive foreign secretaries and prime minister John Major, will discuss Britain and Europe, while Sir Hayden Philips, former head of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Lord Chancellor’s Department (now the Ministry of Justice), will speak about the funding of political parties.

February 3 Anthony Giddens - Climate Change

February 24 Hayden Phillips - Funding of Political Parties

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March 3 Stephen Wall - Britain and Europe

March 17 Patricia Hewitt - Gender Discrimination

March 31 John Hutton - Public Sector Pensions

April 7 Shirley Williams - Nuclear Disarmament

Lectures take place on Thursdays from 6pm at the Thomas Paine Study Centre Lecture Theatre, UEA, Norwich. Admission is free. To register interest in attending email

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