This multi-award winning channel produces programmes made by volunteers trained by the charity WORLDwrite

Subscribe to our podcasts using your preferred service:

Help with our podcasts

The Empty Square


The Empty Square

The 2010 election saw unprecedented attempts to get into our heads with opinion polls, while online petitions and televised leaders’ debates were meant to ‘engage’ us in new ways.  Universities are told to reach out to the community; news organisations beg us to text/tweet our views.  Is this democratic, or merely patronizing?  Discussions about the public and what it is thinking invariably seem to come from an elite perspective and display contempt for the man in the street.  In today’s individuated society, is there really a public to engage?  In this vital debate filmed at the Battle of Ideas, speakers include: Frank Furedi, professor of sociology, University of Kent; Deborah Mattinson, Director, BritainThinks consultancy; Joyce McMillan, chair, Hansard Society Working Group in Scotland; Graham Stuart, MP Conservative Party.

Recommended links:

Related topics: Debates, Democracy-Brexit

Subscribe to our newsletter


Leave a comment now

football said:

That brings us to quite possibly the most intriguing match-up to that point of the season when Oregon comes to Rice-Eccles.
The different types of defensive football positions are:.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State moving the Egg Bowl away from Jackson, Miss.

Vanessa said:

I think there really is a problem in-between the relation of Public and Politic. The attitude of the public towards politics and politicians is intoxicated by this kind of thinking that politics is done to people, they can’t influence the decisions at all, some people even think, no matter who they are voting, it don’t make any difference. And politicians are power-hungry and don’t act for the purpose of social service. Now, I think what, if this is the case, it is even more necessary and the assignment of the public to do something against it. We need a stronger, more committed political culture, because there is now one else to represent our interests for us. On the other side the political system need to be more open for influences from the public and interaction with the public.

rachel said:

I think the discussion about the relationship between politicians and the public is very interesting. I enjoyed both Deborah & Joyce’s comments in the beginning. Deborah talks about the disengagement with politics in a way that puts some of the blame on politicians and the role of politics. For her the public has sort of a cynical view on politicians, in a large part because they don’t understand what it is that politicians do and are not given the right opportunities to engage. Politics, as she says, are done to the people. I also enjoyed listening to Joyce’s ideas that it is normal for people to be some what disengaged when things in their lives are going right and that action takes things like injustice.