The Constitution Unit


Ruth Davidson 'Nationalism should not be confused with patriotism' – our divided politics

15 May 2017


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Ruth Davidson MSP, leader of the Scottish Conservatives will give the Orwell Prize Shortlist Lecture 2017, co-hosted by the UCL Constituion Unit and Chaired by Tony Wright.

Shortlists for the Orwell Prizes 2017 will be announced after the lecture. To read about the longlists, click here.


  • Ruth Davidson is the leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Central. After graduating from Edinburgh University, Davidson worked as a BBC journalist and signaller in the Territorial Army. She joined the Conservative Party in 2009 and was elected leader in 2011.
  • Chair: Tony Wright is Visiting Professor of Government and Public Policy at UCL's constitution unit and was co-editor of Political Quarterly from 1995 until 2015. MP for Cannock Chase from 1992 to 2010, he chaired the Public Administration Select Committee for over a decade and as chair of the Reform of the House of Commons Select Committee introduced the 'Wright reforms' that strengthened the role of the Commons. His most recent books are Doing Politics (2012) and the second edition of the very successful British Politics: A Very Short Introduction (2013).

The Orwell Prize is the UK's most prestigious prize for political writing. Founded by Professor Sir Bernard Crick, it has been awarded since 1994 for the books and journalism which best meet Orwell's ambition to 'make political writing into an art'. The Orwell Prizes are awarded by the Orwell Foundation.

The Orwell Foundation is based at UCL's Institute of Advanced Studies. 


Download a copy of the speech >