Watch this space for latest news about events and speakers ...  

Open for business

29/09/08 - The Freedom Zone will be open from 8.00 this morning, with the first meeting at 10.00. Writing on his blog last night, Iain Dale had this to say: "Anyone in Birmingham, don't forget the Freedom Zone fringe at 12.30pm where I'll be interviewing David Davis, followed at 2.30 by the blogging fringe with Guido, Nadine, Dizzy and the Devil. I don't drink, but if you see me in a bar later on tomorrow afternoon you'll understand why I might need a double vodka ..."

Out and about at conference

28/09/08 - The Freedom Zone will have a team of people handing out programmes and flyers from Sunday through to Tuesday afternoon. Delegates will also find a Freedom Zone flyer in today's delegate pack.

Hannan and Carswell's cunning plan

26/09/08 - The Plan, by Daniel Hannan MEP, a Freedom Association Council member and Douglas Carswell MP, a leading supporter of Better Off Out, demonstrates that Britain is heading in the wrong direction. Daniel and Douglas will be speaking in the opening session of The Freedom Zone at 10.00am on Monday 29 September and will be on hand to talk about The Plan and sign copies.

Let's party like it's 1984

25/09/08 - The Free Society will be giving away ONE THOUSAND copies of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four at The Freedom Zone. The publisher, Penguin, says: "Nineteen Eighty-Four is George Orwell’s terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime."

According to its Wikipedia entry, "The book has major significance for its vision of an all-knowing government which uses pervasive and constant surveillance of the populace, insidious and blatant propaganda, and brutal control over its citizens."

Simon Clark, director of Forest and The Free Society, said: "Nineteen Eighty-Four is a gripping, must-read book. I hope delegates will take a copy home as a reminder of what can happen if political zealots acquire too much power."

Music maestros

20/09/08 - The Boisdale Blue Rhythm Band will provide the live music for the Forest/Free Spirits reception Cigarettes and Civil Liberties (Tuesday 30th September, 5.30pm). The band played at the Forest reception (Politics and Prohibition) in Bournemouth in 2006 and have played at a number of Forest events in London. In 2007 the band recorded a CD, You Can't Do That! Songs For Swinging Smokers.

Heather Brooke on Taking Liberties

19/09/08 - Heather Brooke, freedom of information campaigner and author of Your Right To Know, has been confirmed as a guest on Taking Liberties, Monday 29th September, 7.15pm.

Wanted - Tories with talent

19/09/08 - Writing on his blog, Iain Dale reports: "As part of The Freedom Zone at the Tory Conference, I will be hosting a talent show called Tories Got Talent. Simon Cowell I ain't (teeth not white enough, trousers not high enough), but it's rather worrying that they are promoting it as "a political talent show that could be a work of genius or a complete disaster!" Well, with me presenting and Sharon Osborne Nadine Dorries and Piers Morgan Jonathan Isaby as my fellow judges, what could go wrong? If you would like to take part as a contestant, email me. The event is being held in The Freedom Zone at 7.30pm on Tuesday 30th September."

Tim Montgomerie on Libertarian Paternalism

18/09/08 - Influential Conservative blogger Tim Montgomerie (Conservative Home) will defend the concept known as "libertarian paternalism" on Tuesday 30th September (1.00pm). Other panellists discussing "Libertarian Paternalism and the Nanny State" include Shane Frith (Progressive Vision), Brian Monteith (The Free Society) and Dr Eamonn Butler (Adam Smith Institute).

Cash bar from 6.00pm

18/09/08 - In response to public demand (!), The Freedom Zone will now feature a cash bar serving wine, beer and soft drinks from 6.00-9.00pm. Complimentary tea and coffee will be available all day from 8.00am.

Michael White on Taking Liberties

16/09/08 - Michael White, former political editor now assistant editor of the Guardian, is the latest journalist to sign up for The Freedom Zone. White will appear on Taking Liberties, the political chat show hosted by Claire Fox (Institute of Ideas) on Monday 29th September, 7.15pm.

Heffer's Half Hour

12/09/08 - Outspoken Daily Telegraph columnist Simon Heffer will hold court on Monday 29th September (5.30pm). A regular critic of Conservative leader David Cameron, Heffer will be interviewed by Roger Helmer MEP, chairman of The Freedom Association.

Tories Got Talent

11/09/08 - Iain Dale is to present Tories Got Talent, the final event in The Freedom Zone on Tuesday 30th September (7.30pm). Featuring a series of quick fire speeches, contestants have just three minutes to impress the judges: Jonathan Isaby (Daily Telegraph), Nadine Dorries MP, and Dr Madsen Pirie (Adam Smith Institute).

Claire Fox on Taking Liberties

10/09/08 - Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas and a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze, has been confirmed as the presenter of Taking Liberties - A Political Chat Show on Monday 29th September (7.15pm). Guests will be announced in due course.

Freedom and the Internet

09/09/08 - Leading bloggers Paul Staines (Guido Fawkes), Phil Hendren (Dizzy Thinks) and Chris Mounsey (Devil's Kitchen) have been confirmed as the panellists for an interactive discussion about Freedom and the Internet on Monday 29th September (2.15pm). The event, which will discuss the impact of the Internet on elections on both sides of the Atlantic, will be presented by broadcaster and blogger Iain Dale.

An Audience with David Davis MP

09/09/08 - Former shadow home secretary and civil rights campaigner David Davis has confirmed that he will make his one and only conference appearance at The Freedom Zone on Monday 29th September (12.30pm). Davis will be interviewed by his former chief of staff Iain Dale.

Campaign groups announce new conference event

08/09/08 - Three campaign groups have joined forces to launch the biggest event ever held on the Conservative conference fringe. The Freedom Zone is a two-day mini-conference organised by Forest, The Free Society, and The Freedom Association.

Simon Richards, director of The Freedom Association, said, “The Freedom Zone will bring free and open debate back to a party conference scene that for too long has been stifled by political spin and stage management. It will also introduce some fun to the conference fringe.

"Freedom of expression and freedom of action are serious matters, but The Freedom Zone will try to bring a light touch to many of its events, to provide conference delegates and others with an experience that is enjoyable as well as informative.”

"The Freedom Zone," added Simon Clark of the smokers' lobby group Forest, "is dedicated to putting individual freedom at the top of the political agenda."





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