Former Secretary of State of International Development, Clare Short, was the first speaker in this year’s series of St Wilfrid Lectures.
Having resigned over the war in Iraq, the former Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood, recalled some of her disagreements with Prime Minister Tony Blair over foreign policy, during the talk titled Questions of Right and Wrong – the role of faith in contemporary society.
Her lecture addressed the question, Aid – moral duty or national self interest? And in a wide ranging talk in which she spoke frankly from her own experience to the packed Cathedral audience, she argued that foreign aid, coupled with a ‘fair’ foreign policy, should be both a moral duty and in our national ‘intelligent’ self-interest.
Clare Short is the author of An Honourable Deception? New Labour, Iraq, and the Misuse of Power (2004) and is a trustee of Trade Out of Poverty, the Welfare Association, Africa Humanitarian Action, and the Human Trafficking Foundation.
The lecture was the first in the 2012 series of St Wilfrid Lectures jointly organised and sponsored by Ripon cathedral, the Methodist District of York and Hull, the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds and York St John University.
Other speakers in this year’s series will include the Bishop of Bradford, Rt Revd Nick Baines on Thursday, April 26, writer and broadcaster Elaine Storkey on Thursday, September 13, theologian Lisa Isherwood on Thursday, October 18 and philosopher and academic Peter Vardi on Thursday, November 22.
The subjects will be wide ranging covering the media, medical ethics, children, sex and gender and capitalism.