Varoufakis’ speech last Michaelmas was thought to attract over a thousand students
[The following is re-posted from the Cambridge Union’s The Tab]
With the Autumn Statement of the new Government looming, the Cambridge Union takes over Inner Temple hall to question the dominance of austerity politics in the United Kingdom. Yanis Varoufakis, the ex-Greek Finance Minister, will be speaking in favour of the motion ‘This House has Lost Confidence in Austerity’. Joining him on the Proposition side will be former Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable and Lord Karan Bilimoria. Facing them across the floor on the Opposition bench will be the former Executive Director of Conservatives IN Charlotte Vere and Head of Public Policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Ryan Bourne. The confirmation of Varoufakis will cause a slight switch-up for the Union’s President-Elect Kate Dunbar, who will move from the Proposition to the Opposition. The timing of the debate is politically salient. It will come in advance of the government’s autumn statement which parliamentary circles suspect will see Theresa May roll back on a commitment to austerity.
Varoufakis has already proved to be hugely popular with Cambridge students. His ‘Negotiation at the Brink’ talk last Michaelmas was one of the Union’s most successful events of the year. The talk enjoyed a packed chamber and queues running down the street.
Michaelmas President Asia Lambert has expressed her excitement, commenting: “Mr Varoufakis offers a unique perspective on austerity politics and we are exceptionally happy that he has chosen to speak.”
The London Debate, which is being held at Inner Temple Hall, follows in the steps of last September’s Bicentenary debate, the first of a now annual series of Union events.
The Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable, President (Easter 1965)
Sir Vince is a former former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and the former Member of Parliament for Twikenham. He was a key figure during the coalition negotiations following the 2010 election result and a key member of the 2010 Governmnent known for his serious reservations about austerity. He is an alumnus of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.
Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE, DL (Vice President, 1988)
Lord Bilimoria is the Founder and Chariman of Cobra Beer and the UK India Business Council, as well as a founding member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council. He was appointed as a cross bench life peer in 2006 and is Chancellor of the University of Birmingham. He is an alumnus of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.
Mr Yanis Varoufakis
Yanis is a Greek economist, academic and a former Member of the Hellenic Parliament who served as Greek Finance Minister from January to July 2015 before his resignation. He led negotiations with the Troika during the Greek Government debt crisis and is also a regular commentator and analyst on news television.
Ms Charlotte Vere
Charlotte was the Executive Director of Conservatives IN and FInance Director and Spokesperson for the NO to AV Campaign. She challenged the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas as the Conservative candiate for Brighton Pavilion in 2010.
Ms Katherine Dunbar (President-elect)
Katherine is President-elect of the Cambridge Union and is currently studying English Literature at Magdalene College. She has twice represented Cambridge at the European Universities’ Debating Championships and has been a finalist at the Oxford Inter-Varsity.
Mr Ryan Bourne
Ryan is Head of Public Policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs and a weekly City AM columnist. He is an alumnus of Magdalene College where he studied economics as an undergraduate and MPhil. One of the 8 founding members of ‘Economists for Brexit’, he is a strong advocate of fiscal consolidation and has written on the ‘debt timebomb’ facing the UK given an ageing population.
Taking place just a few miles from Her Majesty’s Treasury, this debate will gather politicians from across the political spectrum to examine the financial legacy of David Cameron’s premiership, and debate the future of Theresa May’s spending priorities.
Following the UK’s historic referendum on our membership of the European Union, this debate will also be a chance to ask if the coming turbulence necessitates a change in economic direction.