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    Battle of Ideas 2017

    For Sale:£90.00 
    Item details
    Location: London EC (EC)
    Category: What's On/Events
    Tag: For Sale

    The Battle of Ideas is an acclaimed annual festival that draws together 400 international speakers each year. Since 2005, the Battle of Ideas has challenged speakers and audiences alike to ‘shape the future through debate’. Nearly 3,000 people from all walks of life dispute and discuss the key issues and ideas of our time at a hundred different sessions across the weekend.

    Politics is in a very fluid state, as illustrated by the outcome of the UK General Election in June, when the Conservatives blew a huge lead in the opinion polls to end up losing their overall majority. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, far from being routed as expected thanks to its radical manifesto, saw a surge in its vote. More broadly, there is a palpable sense of changing political alignments in the air.

    Recent events have shown that political life doesn’t follow a preordained script, that democracy throws up unexpected results and voters are not a stage army to be called up to give a mandate and then be put back in their box. The trend has been well illustrated by everything from the surprise Brexit vote, the election of the ‘independent’ Emmanuel Macron in France and Donald Trump in America, the collapse of mainstream parties in many countries and Theresa May’s fall from ‘strong and stable’ to precariously hanging on in the new hung parliament. If once we were told that we were living in an ‘end of history’ era, dominated by TINA (There is No Alternative), now there is a sense that the centre will not hold; a widespread feeling that, after years of economic stagnation and political failure, the status quo is not good enough. The very future of traditional political parties has been called into question.

    But this sense of a changing world can be as disorientating as it is exhilarating. The ability to debate and discuss the shifting trends is an essential antidote to knee-jerk posturing over everything from Islamist terror attacks to the horrific tragedy at Grenfell Tower. For example, what are the wider consequences of the decisions that voters are now making? The question of Brexit, which opens up challenges for the UK in relation to the economy, scientific cooperation and much more, still remains central to political life in the UK. Trump’s election has caused enormous debate on a wide range of issues, like the future of world trade, immigration, the nature of democracy today and international relations.

    Meanwhile the continued assault on free societies from homegrown jihadis,

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