Flatpack Democracy’s DIY independence

Frome ex-mayor Peter Macfadyen (not the current mayor, as incorrectly stated in the interview) talks in this audio interview of how a group of ordinary people in southwest England took control of their local government by standing as non-party, independent candidates. His story involves a group of local residents – meeting in a pub, of […]

Democracy Talk – media fraudcasts

A second video episode of Democracy Talk to add to the audio series hosted here – this one featuring Yoram Gat as the questioner and me, Patrick Chalmers, as the interview subject. In this episode Patrick Chalmers and Yoram Gat talk about Patrick‚Äôs inside view of establishment journalism. Patrick presents his analysis of the roots […]

Greenwald nails state of US “democracy”

I’m a big admirer of the work done by Glenn Greenwald, not just in his efforts with the US whistleblower Edward Snowden but also for his ongoing work in exposing and commenting on the realities of US foreign policy. He and Jeremy Scahill have just come out with a new book on the US drone […]

Democracy Talk, Episode 1

Democracy Talk TV – this inaugural episode sees presenters Patrick Chalmers and Yoram Gat tackle the question of “sortition” – what it is and why it might produce far fairer and more transparent political decisions than currently emerge from electoral politics.

Where next for Anywhere but Westminster?

I love what John Harris and John Domokos have been doing with their ad hoc video journalism project “Anywhere but Westminster” for the Guardian. Theirs was an inspired decision four years ago: to travel around the UK to cover national politics rather than stagnate among the self-absorbed and self-obsessed of London’s media and political pools. […]

Germany and refugees – why so different?

Katja from the French association Playing for Change Occitanie (PFCO) explains what her organisation is trying to do to help Syrian refugees in a rural corner of Southwest France. PFCO has helped two new arrivals from Syria, recently arrived in France, to make the most of their talent for pottery. They hooked them up with […]

Democracy without elections?

What if our democracies didn’t depend on celebrity politics or money-fuelled elections but rather on systems that served the majority of humanity and the planet more widely? That may seem the stuff of dreams for citizens enduring the likes of the US presidential elections yet it isn’t as far fetched as all that. Experiments in […]

GDP vs something saner, more human

It so happens that two news reports out today neatly show the difference between dead-hand conventional economic measures and something that would do more to reflect people’s real lives and the performance of conventional politicians in trying to improve those lives. This may seem like dry abstract stuff but it’s the raw material of most […]