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 […]

Compass, the left of centre campaigning group, has been grappling with Brexit – with our help. The management committee has favoured a position of neutrality so that Compass could act as a bridge between leavers and remainers. Some members wanted it to choose sides and to advocate remaining, or at least a parliamentary vote or second referendum on the issue. Talk Shop proposed a consultation event coupled with a survey of the membership. Three hundred […]

Everyone is agreed: reforming the structure of government is vital to reviving local communities and economies in the left behind areas of the North. But if it is to flourish, this approach demands the knowing and full-hearted support of the people who will have to make it work, and not just the mayors, politicians and captains of industry. That’s why Talk Shop is planning a series of mini-conventions across the North designed to give local […]

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 www.communityplanningishere.org 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 www.talkshopuk.org) found an antidote. This is the story of that accident. In the run-up […]