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Angela Nagle: Kill All Normies - Saturday 4 November 2:00pm start

Sat 4 Nov 2017: Battle of Ideas Manchester

Alt-right activism and identity politics, discussion with Angela Nagle and others on two pressing subjects

Public discussions and debate in Manchester
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Recent Discussions

Inequality: why the big issue?

February 2013

Daniel Ben-Ami and Danny Dorling introduced a discussion on the impact of inequality

Daniel Ben Ami

There is a broad consensus that we are losing our sense of common purpose as a result of the sharp widening of economic and social inequality in western societies since the 1970s. The super-rich keep themselves aloof at the top, whilst a burgeoning underclass it is thought, if not helped, can easily be tempted into anti-social behaviour at the bottom. What is the best way to respond to this?

 Danny Dorling

A defining feature of socialism was its desire to abolish class and hierarchy so that human potential could be fully realised. Conservatives, meanwhile, have typically argued that material inequality is inevitable and probably also desirable. The contemporary orthodoxy though, sometimes referred to as a “new progressivism”, is fundamentally different from the traditional views of left and right. There are growing campaigns that slate the wealthy for failing to pay their fair share of tax, like for example the Occupy protesters who claim to represent the ‘99 per cent’ against the super-rich ‘1 per cent’.

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Recent Discussions

Regulating relationships: an abuse of power?

February 2013

Helen Reece and Anna Percy introduced a discussion on the impact more regulation is having on relationships, chaired by Ken McLaughlin

Helen ReeceValentine's Day may be a little naff, but could the box of chocolates, some flowers or the meal out be hiding some domestic abuse or hidden 'coercive control'? You may think that question trivialises the serious problem of domestic abuse, but won't that be the consequence of extending the category of abuse into areas of psychology and emotions, being introduced by Nick Clegg in March 2013?

 Anna Percy

The new definition will include 'any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members'. Extending abuse beyond physical or sexual abuse to include financial, psychological and emotional abuse is a big step, and although it brings the law into line with a growing trend elsewhere, changing the law like this is a big deal.

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Recent Discussions

Revolution BarCreative Christmas Party

Revolution Bar in Parsonage Garden, M3 2LF

December 2012

 

Organised by Ben Hui of Creative Industries North West (CING), and jointly promoted through Blood, Sweat & Beers; Junior Chamber International, Poetic Republic, Manchester Irish Lawyers Society and Manchester Salon to bring you a big fat festive party.

 

The party will take place in the back lounge of the Revolution Bar in Parsonage Gardens (behind House of Fraser on Deansgate), and there's a DJ from about 7 pm onwards.

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Recent Discussions

Learning to pay for an education

November 2012

Joanna Williams and Paul Taylor introduced a discussion on the costs of a higher education

Joanna WilliamsFrom September 2012, university students in England are paying up to £9000 a year in tuition fees. But the concept of the ‘student-as-consumer’ pre-dates these most recent fee-increases which have only enhanced the perception that students are consumers of an increasingly marketised university system. The cultural shift in how students consider themselves in relation to their studies and how they are perceived by others in society has been taking place for at least a decade. Even before the introduction of tuition fees directly paid by students, potential entrants to HE were often encouraged by teachers, parents and university marketing departments to seek out the best ‘product’.

 Paul Taylor

In the popular media, fee-paying is sometimes presented as a generally good development in that it gives students greater ‘rights’ and the power to hold universities to account if the service they are offered doesn’t come up to scratch. Indeed, one reason for the government endorsement of tuition fees was the idea that a market in HE would help to drive up standards as institutions would have to get better at responding to customer demands.

 

There has also been much criticism of tuition fees with widely-reported student protests occurring in the winter of 2010/11. Such demonstrations could be interpreted as indicating students’ rejection of the assumption that they are customers. However indicating one’s unhappiness with fee-paying is not always the same as rejecting consumerist attitudes. Indeed, the opposite may be the case, and unhappiness with the level of fees may actually represent the mainstream adoption of a consumerist attitude.

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Recent Discussions

Manchester Science Festival

Battle over the Internet

November 2012

Norman Lewis, Mindy Gofton, Keith Teare and Maria Kutar introduced a discussion about our aspirations for using the Internet, chaired by Martyn Perks

Norman LewisIt's hard for most of us to imagine life without the Internet, even though it's actually quite a recent development. Although not originally envisioned as the ubiquitous entity it now is, its elegant design of distributed command and control means that its management and future have always been contested and to a large extent, in our own creative hands. Whilst many of the early wrangles through organisations like the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EEF) seem to have waned, the focus of discussion is much more on the form and content of communication rather than its technology or administration.

 

Mindy GoftonOur contemporary discussions may lack some of the bite and vision embedded in battles around the technologies of Web 1.0, so what are the ideological battlegrounds today as we move through the technologies of the Web 2.0 era, and how can we best shape the emerging trends as emerge into the truly mobile inter-connected network. Communication forums such as Twitter and Facebook have been celebrated for their role in helping to facilitate the uprisings across the Arab nations recently, and regimes acting to suppress such communications rightly labelled as authoritarian. With a different focus and reason for restricting communications via the Internet, many champions of freedom of expression against Arab regimes, seek to regulate the freedom to express challenging views of hurtful comments towards minority groups.

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Recent Discussions

Manchester Science Festival

Feeding a growing world

October 2012

Rob Lyons, Angelica Michelis, Louise Bolotin and Carol Wagstaff introduced a discussion about how to feed a growing world

Rob LyonsEver since October 2011, when it was estimated that the global population had passed seven billion people, discussions have raged about how the world will cope. With food prices already rising amid deeper environmental concerns, the United Nations and governments worldwide are particularly preoccupied with how we will feed ourselves. An increasing population is overwhelmingly viewed as a matter of more mouths to feed rather than a potential source of solutions.

Dr Angelica Michelis

 

So while feeding the world seems a straightforward technical issue of implementing the most efficient and effective farming practices, a host of extraneous social, political, cultural, even ethical issues seem to thwart the implementation of solutions. The angst-ridden discussion about the pros and cons of growing genetically modified crops is only one example. Meanwhile, Western societies seem disillusioned with the gains of industrialised food production. Factory farming and processed foods are demonised; local, organic, natural are celebrated.

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