The Vimeo recording of the Hexham Debate featuring Peter MacFadyen, founder of Sustainable Frome and author of Flatpack Democracy is here.
A Vimeo recording of the conversation with Chris Jackson, considering the importance of local journalism to democracy, is available here.
The video files Chris wanted to show in his presentation are available here.
A Vimeo recording of the panel discussion, featuring regional and local responses to how democracy can work and what it mean, will be available here shortly.
Authoritarian Contagion: The Global Threat to Democracy
Luke Cooper, Associate Researcher, London School of Economics Hexham Debate 5th February 2022
Sometimes it feels as if democracy is in a state of growing peril. All over the world ‘strongman’ leaders have risen to prominence in the context of the disruptions and crises of the 21st century. How do we explain the source of their appeal and potency? What common features does this ‘authoritarian turn’ have? And what can democrats do about it? Luke Cooper will present some of the findings of his recent book, and discuss the commonalities and differences between this new radical right and the ideas popularised by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
Resources from Our Speakers
Resources from “in conversation” with Chris Jackson.
The three clips that Chris wanted to play in the presentation are available here. (also available from the link above, under the Vimeo recording)
1) Monty Baron editor of the Washington Post talking about the new direction for the paper under owner Jeff Besos (Amazon)
2) Prof Timothy Snyder on why local news matters and led to Trump era politics (This clip not there yet but will be shortly)
3) George Arbuthnott (Sunday Times “Insight” dep editor) on government briefings against journalist’s stories.
Media Consumption in the North East Survey
BBC Sounds: Media Show “There’s no democracy without a strong, free press”
(BBC TV broadcast 39 mins 40)
“Days of Hope”: (You Tube)
Days of Hope is a BBC TV drama serial produced in 1975. The series dealt with the lives of a working-class family from the turmoil of the First World War in 1916 to the General Strike. It was directed by Ken Loach. His first project.
Episode One: 1916: Ben Matthews enlists in the army and ends up serving in Ireland, where there is resistance to British rule. His sister’s husband Philip Hargreaves is sentenced to death as a conscientious objector but is given a last-minute reprieve.
(RT: 1 hr 29 mins)
Episode Two: 1921: During the coal lock-out in 1921, Ben’s army unit is redeployed from Ireland to police the dispute in County Durham. Ben deserts the army and is sheltered by a miner named Joel. He begins a relationship with his eldest daughter. When donations of food from Liverpool are intercepted by the police and the army, the miners revolt and take some soldiers hostage. Joel and his comrades then make demands on the pit owner, Mr. Pitchard.
(RT: 1hr 39 mins)
Episode Three: 1924: Ben is released from prison and joins the Communist Party. Philip Hargreaves is elected as a Labour MP.
(RT 1 hr 17 mins)
“Cambridge Analytica”: (You Tube)
An undercover investigation by Channel 4 News reveals how Cambridge Analytica secretly campaigns in elections across the world. Bosses were filmed talking about using bribes, ex-spies, fake IDs and sex workers.
Ted Talks / Lectures
“Threat to Democracy: The Brexit/Facebook Scandal”: You Tube
In an unmissable talk, journalist Carole Cadwalladr digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK’s super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union.
Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters — and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election — Cadwalladr calls out the “gods of Silicon Valley” for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past?
(RT: 15mins 15seconds)
John Robert Lewis: (You Tube)
John Robert Lewis was an American politician, statesman, and civil rights activist and leader who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1987 until his death in 2020.
He fulfilled many key roles in the civil rights movement to end legalized racial segregation in the United States.
In this TV interview Congressman Lewis traces his journey from the 1960s through to his last graphic novel series ‘MARCH.’
(RT: 8mins 18 secs)
Democracy Corrupted: (You Tube)
Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig makes the case that our democracy has become corrupt with money, leading to inequality that means only 0.02% of the United States population actually determines who’s in power. Lessig says that this fundamental breakdown of the democratic system
(RT: 20mins .53seconds)
While most of the region Andalucía in Spain is suffering severely under the financial crisis, the small village Marinaleda created a utopia where full employment is reality.
Stories of Marinaleda: Spain. In Spanish with subtitles. (8mins)
Marinaleda – A Utopia? In Spanish with subtitles. (20mins)
A truly slippery slope: oil, freedom of press and the Polish media:
An 81 year old Labour member appeals to Keir Starmer to protect democracy.
Making sense of what’s happening in Myanmar
Is Poland already an authoritarian state?