Events

Friday 12 October

  • Happy Governments

    Date: Friday 12 October

    Time: 15.15 to 16.45

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were enshrined in the United States Declaration of Independence and Aristotle described politics as the science of well-being. Yet the UK and the U.S. are ranked way down the 2018 World Happiness Report.  Is citizens’ happiness the purpose of government or have policy makers been misled by cognitive […]

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  • Did Baby Boomers Steal My Future?

    Date: Friday 12 October

    Time: 16:00 to 17:30

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    In partnership with Scottish Youth Parliament By virtue of their demographic might, the baby boomers rule our country. But has this generation achieved the wealth, health, housing and financial stability at the expense of their children and grand-children? Millennials are constantly told they will be taxed more, work longer hours for less money, have lower […]

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  • Fighting Proud – LGBT+ and the Military

    Date: Friday 12 October

    Time: 18:15 to 19:45

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    In partnership with SPOut Join chair Jamie Greene MSP, Co-Convener on Cross-Party Group on LGBTI+ and panellists Dr Emma Vickers, Senior Lecturer History, Liverpool John Moores University, advisor on National Festival of LGBT History; Duncan Lustig-Prean, LGBTI campaigner who won his sexual orientation discrimination case at the European Court of Human Rights; Elaine Chambers, author […]

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  • Peacemakers of the 21st Century

    Date: Friday 12 October

    Time: 19:45 to 21:15

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    Who are the invisible power-brokers and peace-makers who can defuse nuclear stand-offs to global conflicts? Join our chair Professor John Sturrock QC and panellists Lord Browne of Ladyton, former Secretary of State for Defence; Major General Martin Smith Royal Marines (retired); Dr Jasmine Gani, School of International Relations, University of St Andrews and Mark Muller Stuart […]

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  • Posh or Poor?

    Date: Friday 12 October

    Time: 17:00 to 18:30

    Cost: £5.00/£3.50

    The demise of forelock tugging and deference to those ‘upstairs’ may make class less obvious, but with inequality and poverty rising, has Britain really thrown off its class obsession? Join our chair Kenny Farquharson, The Times, and panellists including Claire Ainsley, Director, Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Darren McGarvey aka Loki, author of Poverty Safari; Chris Snowdon, […]

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  • America – A Second Term for President Trump?

    Date: Friday 12 October

    Time: 17:15 to 18:45

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    With midterm elections in November 2018, what does the future hold for President Trump and the United States of America? Join our chair Deputy Presiding Officer Linda Fabiani MSP and panellists including Catherine Philp, The Times; Brendan O’Neill, The Spectator; Jason Boxt U.S. pollster; and Dr Meryl Kenny, Politics and International Relations, University of Edinburgh, […]

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  • Environmental Migration

    Date: Friday 12 October

    Time: 17:45 to 19:15

    Cost: £5.00/£3.50

    In partnership with RSE Droughts, floods and hurricanes are to blame for the predicted 200 million “climate refugees” estimated to be displaced from their homes by 2050. Will governments take action only when Australia succumbs to desertification and London is submerged? Join chair Peter Jenkinson, cultural change agent and panellists including Dr Alistair Rennie, coastal […]

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  • Who Owns and Stewards Scotland’s Land?

    Date: Friday 12 October

    Time: 19:15 to 20:45

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    Scotland is said to be disproportionately owned by a small number of individuals and companies. Join our chair Deputy Presiding Officer Linda Fabiani MSP and panellists Andy Wightman MSP, Local Government and Communities Committee and author of The Poor Had No Lawyers: Who Owns Scotland and How They Got It; Ninian Stuart, Centre for Stewardship; […]

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  • A Forgotten History: The Scottish Clearances

    Date: Friday 12 October

    Time: 17:30 to 19:00

    Cost: £8.00/£6.00

    Historian Sir Tom Devine OBE’s ground breaking new book The Scottish Clearances: A History of the Dispossessed (1600-1900); is a unique and challenging reinterpretation of one of the most controversial subjects in Scottish history – The Clearances. Join chair Presiding Officer, Professor Emeritus, Sir Tom Devine and Professsor Stana Nenadic, Professor of Social and Cultural […]

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  • In Conversation with Darren McGarvey aka Loki

    Date: Friday 12 October

    Time: 20:00 to 21:30

    Cost: £8.00/£6.00

    Darren McGarvey, aka LOKI, is a writer, performer, community activist and columnist. His book Poverty Safari, has recently won the prestigious Orwell Prize, is described by Irvine Welsh as, “an intellectual and spiritual rehab manual for the progressive left,” He was rapper-in-residence at Police Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit and McGarvey’s views are being sought on […]

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Saturday 13 October

  • Is the Internet Killing Democracy?

    Date: Saturday 13 October

    Time: 18.15 to 19.45

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    In partnership with Scotland’s Futures Forum As the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica data breach highlighted, democracy is not infallible in the face of the digital revolution. Join chair Dr Rebekah Widdowfield, Chief Executive of The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), and panellists Jamie Bartlett, Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at DEMOS, television presenter, […]

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  • What’s Wrong About Foodbanks?

    Date: Saturday 13 October

    Time: 18:00 to 19:30

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    A decade ago foodbanks were an oddity. In 2018 there are over 400 foodbanks run by The Trussell Trust alone across the UK. Join chair Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame MSP and panellists including Professor John McKendrick, Glasgow Caledonian University; Lindsey Welsh, Development Officer Moray Foodbank; and Emma Revie, CEO, The Trussell Trust to debate whether the existence […]

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  • Brexit and Young People

    Date: Saturday 13 October

    Time: 17:30 to 19:00

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    The demographics of the Brexit vote reported that 73% of people under the age of 24 who turned out, voted to remain; compared with only 40% of people over the age of 60. Join chair Jack Norquoy MSYP our panellists Tom Harwood, Vote Leave NUS; Alicja Pawluczuk, Edinburgh Napier University; Caroline Macfarland, Director of Common […]

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  • What Does Gender Equality Look Like?

    Date: Saturday 13 October

    Time: 16.15 to 17.45

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    In partnership with Royal Society of Edinburgh. The World Economic Forum predicted that the gender pay gap will end – but not till 2095. Join panellists Melanie Reid, The Times; Emma Ritch, Engender; Suki Wan MSYP, Chair, Scottish Youth Parliament; and Professor Lesley Yellowlees, Professor of Inorganic electrochemistry, University of Edinburgh and Royal Society of Edinburgh […]

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  • Russia v The West – A New Cold War?

    Date: Saturday 13 October

    Time: 16:00 to 17.30

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    Relations between Russia and the West may be at a chilly low, but if the Cold War was a battle of military and ideological rivalries then current tensions are more a chess game of great power politics. Join chair Jason Boxt, U.S. pollster and our panel of experts including Professor Vera Tolz, University of Manchester; […]

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  • Abnormally Funny: Disability & Comedy

    Date: Saturday 13 October

    Time: 15.45 to 17.15

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    A 2017 survey by disability charity Scope found that one in four people avoided having conversations with disabled people because of feelings of discomfort and fear of saying the wrong thing. Join chair Ethan Young, Civic Participation Officer at Inclusion Scotland, and panellists including Dr Sharon Lockyer, Centre for Comedy Studies Research, Brunel University; Laurence Clark, […]

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  • Body Perfect

    Date: Saturday 13 October

    Time: 15.15 to 16.45

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    In partnership with Girlguiding Scotland With an unprecedented number of young women reporting mental health and eating disorders, the media and societal attitudes are often blamed for promoting unattainable body-perfect images that fuel this lack of self-worth and confidence for young people generally. Join chair Katie Horsburgh, Girlguiding Scotland and panellists Michelle Elman, body confidence […]

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  • The Big Conspiracy

    Date: Saturday 13 October

    Time: 15.00 to 16.30

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    In the era of fake news, conspiracy theories abound, from the Illuminati to the 9/11 attack. Join our chair Ann Packard, Hon. Fellow RIAS, and panellists including Dr Hugo Drochon, conspiracy and democracy researcher, University of Cambridge; Robin Ramsay, editor of The Lobster; and Magnus Linklater, The Times, to debate how urban myths and superstition […]

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  • Is Your Phone Toxic?

    Date: Saturday 13 October

    Time: 13.00 to 14.30

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    We reputedly check our phones on average 47 times a day. Join chair Charles Fletcher, Caledonia Media, and panellists Tanya Goodin, founder of digital detox movement Time to Log Off and author of Stop Staring at Screens; Dr Zaheer Hussain, Lecturer in Psychology, University of Derby; Dev Kornish, 5Rights Youth Leadership Group; and James Williams, Oxford Internet Institute […]

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  • Future of Public Broadcasting Service

    Date: Saturday 13 October

    Time: 13.30 to 15.00

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    In partnership with BBC Scotland Does the rise of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon mark the end of TV as we know it, or is public service broadcasting needed now more than ever? Join chair Torin Douglas, former BBC media correspondent and panellists including Andrew Billen, The Times; and Professor James Bennett, Professor […]

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Thursday 11 October

  • Film screening – Red Skirts on Clydeside (U)

    Date: Thursday 11 October

    Time: 13:30 to 14:10

    Cost: Free but limited spaces

    A fascinating documentary that looks at the process of rediscovering women’s history, using the 1915 Glasgow rent strike and key figures such as Mary Barbour and Jean Ferguson as a focal point. Tickets for these FREE screenings will only be available from the Festival of Politics ticket office 45 minutes prior to each screening on […]

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  • Living Outside the EU

    Date: Thursday 11 October

    Time: 17.15 to 18.45

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    Though the UK’s future relationship with the EU is still to be determined, countries such as Norway, Iceland and Canada’s relationships with the EU provide an insight into our future. Join our chair Ann Packard, Hon. Fellow RIAS, and panellists including Jill Rutter, The Institute for Government; and Lesley Riddoch, Nordic Horizons and author of […]

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  • Oh! What a Lovely War (PG)

    Date: Thursday 11 October

    Time: 15.30 to 17.55

    Cost: £5.00

    Described as exhilarating, emotional and technically brilliant – this free-for-all 1969 classic takes the tragedy of the First World War and redefines it as a bawdy music hall. Directed by Richard Attenborough, the all-star cast includes Dirk Bogarde, Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith.     British Sign Language (BSL) Available

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  • Prejudice: Free Your Mind!

    Date: Thursday 11 October

    Time: 15.15 to 16.45

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    Why are some people deemed viable targets of abuse on the basis of faith, race, sexual orientation, disability and gender? How can political organisations and civil society challenge institutionalised discrimination when it pervades public bodies from schools to the labour market? Join chair Patrick Harvie MSP, Deputy Convener, Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, and […]

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  • Unelected Oligarchy – The Think Tank

    Date: Thursday 11 October

    Time: 14:45 to 16:15

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    Think tanks have shaped policy and public opinion in Britain for decades; but what are they? Join chair Sue Cameron, broadcaster, and panellists Jane-Frances Kelly, Director, David Hume Institute; Rebecca Lowe, Institute of Economic Affairs; and Simon Duffy, Director, Centre for Welfare Reform, to discuss whether think tanks are the face of unelected corporate and […]

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  • Red Clydeside 100 Years On

    Date: Thursday 11 October

    Time: 14:45 to 16:15

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    The 1918 Representation of the People Act extended the franchise at a time when Glasgow’s political radicalism, with rent strikes, trade unionism and social rights culminated in the Battle of George Square where tanks met 100,000 protesting workers. Join chair Monica Lennon MSP, Deputy Convener, Local Government and Communities Committee and panellists Maggie Craig, author […]

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  • BBC Question Time

    Date: Thursday 11 October

    Time: TBC to TBC

    Cost:

    The BBC’s flagship political debate programme, Question Time, will be held in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament. This is the first time the programme has come from the main chamber of a UK parliament. Chaired by David Dimbleby, a panel of politicians, commentators and other guests will debate the issues of the week […]

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  • People, Parliaments, Possibilities?

    Date: Thursday 11 October

    Time: 17.15 to 18.45

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    In partnership with Canon Kenyon Wright Memorial Panel For many onlookers the perception is that democracies are in turmoil, politics is shaken and disillusioned voters are rebelling. Proactive possibilities do exist though. From the crowd-sourced Icelandic constitution to the fearless municipal cities, a radical and existential reimagining at the heart of politics is emerging. Join […]

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  • Freedom to Offend

    Date: Thursday 11 October

    Time: 17.45 to 19.15

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    In partnership with Battle of Ideas Free speech was once an unquestionable virtue but now it is explicitly queried. With universities potentially fined if they don’t allow freedom of speech on campus, how do we navigate this right with that of the freedom to offend? Join our chair Claire Fox, Battle of Ideas, and panellists […]

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  • The First World War – Re-Thinking Remembrance

    Date: Thursday 11 October

    Time: 18.30 to 20.00

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    In partnership with The British Academy The First World War established patterns of remembrance for those killed in war which were novel at the time. A century later, none of those taking part in observance ceremonies have any conscious memory of the events they are marking – and none actually fought in the war. Join […]

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Wednesday 10 October

  • Trade Wars

    Date: Wednesday 10 October

    Time: 16:00 to 17:30

    Cost: £6.00/£4.00

    Free, fair and mutually beneficial trade appears to be a long-gone ambition of former global trading partners in an age of fractious G7 deals and Brexit negotiations. Join our chair Deputy Presiding Officer Christine Grahame MSP and panellists including Professor Michael Keating, Chair in Scottish Politics, University of Aberdeen; Douglas Fraser, BBC Economy Editor; and Dr […]

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  • Brexit – Armageddon or Miracle? (Sold Out)

    Date: Wednesday 10 October

    Time: 15:45 to 17:15

    Cost: Sold Out

    On 29 March 2019 the UK will leave the EU ending 46 years of membership. What will the repercussions be on trade, investment, immigration, employment and security? Join our chair Rachel Sylvester of The Times, and panellists Professor Graham Gudgin of Briefings for Brexit; Professor Nicola McEwen from the University of Edinburgh; and Dr Kirsty […]

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  • In Conversation with Rt Hon Lord Michael Heseltine

    Date: Wednesday 10 October

    Time: 18:00 to 19:30

    Cost: £8.00/£6.00

    Lord Michael Heseltine is often accorded the title, Conservative grandee, reflecting a distinguished career at the heart of politics and a party he served for 35 years as MP, including ministerial office in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, not least as Deputy Prime Minister.  Join Lord Heseltine in conversation with the Presiding […]

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