Martin Yarnit For years, governments have put off making a decision about the future of social care. At the same time, local authorities have been forced to cut back on their spending on this Cinderella service. Arguably, it was the unpopularity of their plan to get householders to pay for social care that setlost the Conservatives back so much at the last election. But now there is a glimmer of light. A citizens assembly , […]

We at Talk Shop need a part-time volunteer data analyst/ data visualiser to stengthen the work we’re doing in deliberative democracy. We believe that the future of democracy involves enabling ordinary citizens to take part in respectful, informed discussions that lead to real collective decisions. We offer card based kits for small groups to discuss important topics (see this), and promote larger meetings that make use of the kits too. Ongoing topics include Health & […]

A while ago we said, “We’re excited to announce our new project to get 10,000 people talking about health and social care…” Now we’ve even more excited, because the Royal Society of Arts have given us a ‘Catalyst Award’ to help us to start that conversation. The reason for initiating this project was that we felt that the paralysis on social care funding showed that politicians could not to grasp the nettle alone: citizens need […]

Here’s a post copied from Richard Priestley’s blog about a recent event we held in Hereford’s Dee Koffee Pot. Last night in Hereford we had an excellent evening discussing Citizen’s Income. Perry Walker of Talk Shop chaired the session and Dr Malcolm Torry from the Citizens Income Trust led a fascinating talk and discussion. To quote from the Citizen’s Income Trust introductory pamphlet ‘A Citizen’s Basic Income is an unconditional, automatic and nonwithdrawable payment to […]

Here’s a copy of a blogpost from about how Perry helped with the DEMOCS card method in Northern Ireland. This project aims to raise awareness of the new power of Community Planning in Antrim and Newtownabbey, Newry Mourne and Down, and Mid and East Antrim Borough Councils. Participatory Card Games  We are working with pupils from Abbey Community College to develop and design a Participatory Card Game focusing on the themes of Skills and […]

There’s been time to reflect on the significance of the referendum in the aftermath of the 23 June. Here’s one view – from Martin Yarnit – and we welcome your response in the comments box below.   The EU referendum has been an object lesson in how to polarise discussion and reduce citizen trust in the political system. There was precious little dialogue between those who warned of the risks of leaving and those who were […]

From Perry Walker My title is taken from the title of a recent book by a Canadian author called James Hoggan. It sums up neatly what the attitude seemed to be of many people involved in the EU referendum debate, whether that debate was face to face or on social media. By accident, I and my colleagues in Talk Shop (see found an antidote. This is the story of that accident. In the run-up […]

Hi everyone I’m writing a book democracy at the moment. The concept of legitimacy is the element I’m finding it hardest to get to grips with, so I thought I’d set out my dilemma and see if others can help me out. Imagine that there’s some important national decision to be taken. It could be taken in at least three ways (or in some or all in combination): Parliament could decide. That would give most […]

The academics refer to this sort of talk as ‘deliberation’, where people give reasoned arguments for their point of view that other people accept or try to refute with counter-arguments. But that’s not how it works in real life. An American pollster called Daniel Yankelovich described what actually happens very well in a book called ‘Coming to Public Judgement’. People need to work through issues, he says, in three ways: intellectual, where people clarify their […]