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Battle of Ideas festival: beyond London
Our annual festival at Church House in Westminster was a great success - and the debates continue across the UK and Europe. PLUS: upcoming events and recent media appearances.
The annual Battle of Ideas festival in London was a great success. Thousands came to Church House in Westminster to engage in a huge variety of debates on the big issues of our time. But it has long been the mission of the festival to take debate beyond the capital - indeed, beyond the UK.
Our biggest upcoming event is the Buxton Battle of Ideas festival. Now in its third year, Buxton has its own unique character. In 11 debates over the course of Saturday 25 November, we’ll carry on our tradition of tackling the thorniest topics of the moment in an atmosphere where everyone in the room gets involved. We like to say that in London, the audience is the festival, and this is equally true of our Buxton festival. Find out more here.
But the list of other events is impressive, from Birmingham to Zurich, Berlin to Liverpool. (We even pop back to London, too, for a night of laughter with Comedy Unleashed.)
Zurich: Friday 10 November
WOKE CAPITALISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS
What should we make of the ‘woke capitalism’ phenomenon? Is it an endeavour to be cheered or a manifestation of an elite ideology that tends to subdue criticism of those in power? Speakers: Timandra Harkness, Marko Ković, Elena Louisa Lange, Dr Nikos Sotirakopoulos.
London: Tuesday 14 November
Come along for an evening that features headliner Andrew Doyle, the co-founder of Comedy Unleashed. Andrew will be joined by Mary Bourke, Alistair Williams, Edd Daggers and MC Bruce Devlin.
Liverpool: Saturday 18 November
DESIGNS FOR LIVING
House building in Britain has failed to keep pace with the needs and aspirations of a rising population. The political failure to plan and make provision for the future seems strikingly at odds with the idealism of postwar Britain. Should we look for answers to today’s problems in the ‘can do’ attitude of the past?
Speakers: Dr John Boughton, Ronnie Hughes, Dr Michael Owens.
Birmingham: Saturday 18 November
BOXING: DON’T COUNT IT OUT
In his Letter on Liberty, Boxing: don’t count it out, writer and boxing enthusiast Chris Akers argues that boxing, more than any sport, has a unique way of tapping into the consciousness of the poor, the disgruntled and the forgotten. Join Chris and respondents to look at boxing’s contemporary challenges.
Berlin: Thursday 23 November - two debates
THE FUTURE OF ENERGY: CAN IT BE GREEN, SECURE AND CHEAP?
Affordable and plentiful energy has not only been the bedrock of Germany’s economy. It has also been the basis of high living standards. With rising prices and a rejection of nuclear power that has led to a resurgence in the use of coal, what should we make of Germany’s energy policy today? Speakers include Rob Lyons and Armadeo Sarma.
BERLIN’S HOUSING CRISIS: WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?
Berlin, like other big German cities, has a housing crisis. According to one report, the city needs 100,000 additional flats. Berlin is not alone, with similar problems of supply and affordability in Amsterdam, Barcelona, London and more. What’s the answer: more building, price controls, social housing, better transport?
Speakers: Alastair Donald, Lysia Leal and Dr Tim Wihl.
Saturday 11 November
Claire Fox is chairing a panel on academic freedom at the AFAF Annual Conference, which will be held at City, University of London from 13.00 – 17.00. To register, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday 20 November
Claire Fox and Ella Whelan will be appearing alongside Simon Clark, author of the new Letter on Liberty Freedom: Up In Smoke? at ‘Nanny State of the Nation’, 6.15-9.00pm at Old Queens Street Café (UnHerd), 6 Old Queen Street, Westminster. Get tickets via Eventbrite.
Tuesday 21 November
Claire Fox will take part in The Ayes Have It! The Ayes Have It!, a ‘fun and feisty parliamentary-style argument’. She will be arguing against the motion ‘Brexit has been a disaster and now must be reversed’. Teams, led by David Davis MP and Scotland’s former first minister, Alex Salmond, will be joined by Gina Miller, LBC’s Andrew Marr and Mike Graham of TalkTV, all under the ever-watchful eye of legendary Commons Speaker John Bercow. See: The Ayes Have It! The Ayes Have It! - Leicester Square Theatre
IN THE NEWS
‘Identity politics has allowed antisemitism to thrive’
Claire Fox spoke to TalkTV’s Kevin O’Sullivan and Alexandra Phillips.
Talking the Battle of Ideas with Vance Crowe – Claire Fox
In a return visit to Vance Crowe’s podcast, Claire talks about free speech, anti-Semitism, radical Islam, cancel culture, and the changing dynamics of public discourse.
‘Me me me’ Brits would let someone die for a good selfie
In the post-Covid era, keeping your distance is the acceptable thing to do. It’s time we rediscovered our humanity, says Ella Whelan.
The thought police want to destroy the arts, but classical music is unimpeachable
At the Battle of Ideas, the Telegraph’s classical music critic, Ivan Hewett, explained why the likes of Mozart will always evade ideological capture
‘Anti-Semitism is on the rise, and up pops Keir Starmer saying there’s a huge rise in Islamophobia!’
Claire Fox talked to Patrick Christys on GB News about the Islamaphobia Awareness video posted by Labour leader Keir Starmer in the midst of rising anti-Semitism.
Britain is itching to get back into lockdown
Storms, colds, concrete and heatwaves all seem to be an excuse for the country to stay home. We urgently need to shake the pandemic psyche, writes Ella Whelan.
Parent launches petition demanding answers as Jesmond Park Academy remains closed
Buxton Battle of Ideas festival speaker Jon Bryan has launched a petition to demand why his children’s school is still closed, weeks after Storm Babet. View the petition here.
Frenemies in the Lords
Claire was invited onto Times Radio as the political ‘frenemy’ of Baroness Tina Stowell. With presenter Ed Vaizey, they discussed with how they became friends, the rights and wrongs of pro-Palestinian demonstrations during the Armistice weekend, and whether the Covid inquiry is focused on the right things.