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 […]

Our sights are set high. We want to see Talk Shop used in communities all across the UK. We want to see it used for national issues – with ideas from any participant visible to all the others (a glimpse of the future!). And, we want to see it used for local issues too. We’ve set ourselves a two-part approach of working through nationwide networks, and through one-off local centres. Nationwide networks We’re looking to […]

We are planning a new series of events across the UK in which participants get to grips with tricky issues in a thoughtful and friendly atmosphere, and we are looking for partners to run them with. We will provide facilitators and (in discussion with you) a set of briefing materials. You provide a group – ideally 25-45 people to take part and a venue with plenty of room to move around. We have some ideas […]

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 […]