Democracy talk – Episode 3: Brexit

Yoram Gat and Patrick Chalmers chew over the UK’s Brexit vote – the June 23 decision by a majority of British voters to leave the European Union. Patrick argues that the referendum campaign, the vote itself and its messy aftermath show the many layers of Britain’s dysfunctional political system, made clearer than ever. The case […]

Media failures on climate change

George Monbiot doesn’t always get things right – I disagreed with his arguments urging Britons to vote “no” in the Brexit referendum, for instance. Yet he hits the proverbial bullseye more often than most commentators. This recent column on media failures to communicate climate change is a belter, the most relevant paragraphs being the last […]

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 […]