- Dr Patricia Clavin (Jesus College, University of Oxford)
- Will Hutton (The Observer, Executive Vice Chair of the Work Foundation)
- Mark Thompson (shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2009 with The White War, editor of Television Across Europe: More Channels, Less Independence)
- Chaired by Professor Jean Seaton (Director of the Orwell Prize)
The seventh of the Orwell Prize’s events at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival 2009.
‘I see it all. I see the posters and the food-queues, and the castor oil and the rubber truncheons and the machine-guns squirting out of bedroom windows. Is it going to happen? No knowing. Some days it’s impossible to believe it. Some days I say to myself that it’s just a scare got up by the newspapers. Some days I know in my bones there’s no escaping it.’ Orwell’s 1939 novel, Coming Up For Air, was written with war looming, a war created in part by political tensions that were the shrapnel of a global economic crash. With a credit crunch and global downturn now upon us, will political crisis follow? Is it going to happen, or is there some way of escaping it?