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Personal Principles and the Political Game

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Abstract

Politics was described by Aristotle as “of, for, or relating to citizens”.

In more modern terms the definition of politics is “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power”.

But is the practice of politics really about providing for the citizen, as envisaged in the Greek meaning, or, has the game of politics become an end in itself?

And, in the game of politics, is winning the ultimate aim, even if this requires sacrifice of principles?

Biography

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi is a lawyer, a businesswoman, a campaigner and a cabinet minister, Sayeeda Warsi has had many roles, but she is best known for being the first Muslim to serve in a British cabinet and in 2010 became the first Asian to chair a political party.

Sayeeda is consistently named by the Royal Strategic Studies Centre as 1 of 500 of the most influential Muslims in the world and The Equality and Human Rights Council named her as the most powerful Muslim woman in Britain.

Described by the Telegraph as “Northern, working-class and Muslim, Sayeeda Warsi has evolved a language of diplomacy that is all her own. She takes people with her, rather than dictates. She represents modern multicultural Britain in all its complexity, and she’s a Conservative. She is on her way to inventing a new type of politics for the looming age of authenticity”.

In 2014 she resigned her position in Government, citing the Government’s morally indefensible policy on Gaza.

Her tweet announcing her resignation was re-tweeted more than 35,000 times and was used by 2015 Political Awards as the most influential tweet of 2015.

Sayeeda is currently an Advisor to Georgetown University, Visiting Professor at St Mary’s University and recently appointed as Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Bolton.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Lecture Series series.

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