The Empty Square

The 2010 election saw unprecedented attempts to get into our heads with opinion polls, while online petitions and televised leaders’ debates were meant to ‘engage’ us in new ways.  Universities are told to reach out to the community; news organisations beg us to text/tweet our views.  Is this democratic, or merely patronizing?  Discussions about the public and what it is thinking invariably seem to come from an elite perspective and display contempt for the man in the street.  In today’s individuated society, is there really a public to engage?  In this vital debate filmed at the Battle of Ideas, speakers include: Frank Furedi, professor of sociology, University of Kent; Deborah Mattinson, Director, BritainThinks consultancy; Joyce McMillan, chair, Hansard Society Working Group in Scotland; Graham Stuart, MP Conservative Party.

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