TV Debates Without The Prime Minister Aren’t A Gift, They’re A Test For The Left

Ahead of the UK general election, I've written an article about how the centre-left talk about each other, and why their language matters. You can read the full article online at the Huffington Post:


Academia after Brexit

Michael Gove’s claim that ‘people in this country have had enough of experts’ was one of the most astonishing of the entire Leave campaign. In one short sentence, he single-handedly silenced voices of authority, whether they agreed with him or not. By this rubric, it no longer matters whether the experts in question are right... Continue Reading →

Brexit must be a force for positive change

The next generation of leaders need to step up and shape Brexit’s political void This week has been an immensely emotional and deeply worrying one. I’ve watched with despair as we voted out of a system which, however flawed, sought to protect peace, human rights, the environment, and allow free exchange of people and ideas.... Continue Reading →

The Long View: How musical stories make political policies

Some thoughts on how musical and political narratives inter-relate. This article is part of a project for the CHASE Public Policy Engagement workshop.

The Oxford Culture Review

‘The universe’, wrote poet Muriel Rukeyser, ‘is made of stories, not of atoms.’ Narratives bind together the fabric of society — they help us to make sense of ourselves, of the world around us, and of where we fit within it. Anybody who has been engrossed by a novel, watched a child’s wonderment at the new worlds contained in the pages of books, or seen a storyteller performing live will bear testament to the rhetorical power of these fantasies and fables. Stories have withstood postmodern attempts to fragment the way in which we present the world: indeed, the claims of postmodernism are narratives in and of themselves.

It’s tempting to think of narratives as fictional — confined to the realms of Hogwarts, Middle Earth, and Narnia. But perhaps the most compelling stories are found in the pages of histories. These are tales that structure our world and perspectives just…

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The World We Made: An Interview with Jonathon Porritt

Interview with Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director of Forum for the Future and former Chair of the Green Party

The Oxford Culture Review

Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director of Forum for the Future and former Chair of the Green Party, has laid out a model for thinking about sustainable living in his new book entitled ‘The World We Made’, telling the retrospective story of environmental change from the perspective of a history teacher, Alex McKay, in 2050. I spoke to him about public and political attitutudes towards climate policy, raising environmental awareness, and his work at Forum for the Future.

Why is your model laid out in this form of narrative?

One of the major problems about trying to communicate ‘the world of sustainability’ is that it is invariably full of doom and gloom – and most people find this incredibly difficult to deal with! By going out to 2050, and then looking back to see how we got to such a good world in 2050, it’s possible to give people…

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Arts Emergency: An Interview with Neil Griffiths

Interview with Arts Emergency founder Neil Griffiths.

The Oxford Culture Review

Arts Emergency is a charity founded in 2011 by comedian Josie Long and campaigner Neil Griffiths. They are working to keep subjects in the Arts and Humanities accessible to everyone who wants to study them, regardless of barriers and perceived barriers. I spoke to Neil Griffiths about the aims and motivations of the organisation.

What is Arts Emergency? What’s your goal and how did you start out?

Josie came into my office with an idea for helping at least one student from Hackney Borough (where she lived) to go to university, study the arts, and come out without debt. She thought that was an important thing she wanted to do. We felt that rather than start up a kind of bursary for a limited number of people, we should be looking at the bigger picture and to aim to help as many people as possible in the most useful…

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Challenge Vaizey: An Interview with Fin Kennedy

Interview with playwright Fin Kennedy.

The Oxford Culture Review

Following a meeting with Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, award-winning UK playwright Fin Kennedy is running a campaign to raise governmental awareness of the effects of arts funding cuts upon theatres. I spoke to him about the project and the importance of the arts in Britain.

To anyone who doesn’t know about your campaign – what are you trying to achieve, and who can get involved?

Last month I met Culture Minister Ed Vaizey at a Writers’ Guild event at Parliament. He claimed that the recent round of swingeing cuts to public investment in the arts were having no impact at all on the development of new plays in the UK. I knew from my own experience of seeing the theatre industry I work in contracting all around me that this wasn’t true, but there are surprisingly few facts and figures available. Vaizey said he would look over any evidence I could…

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