Latest Event Updates
We’re delighted to report that our first event, What’s the Point in Voting? on 25th June is sold out.
If you haven’t got a ticket but would like to come, please leave a comment below and ask to be emailed about new comments; we’ll ask people who have tickets but aren’t coming to leave posts there. To make sure you don’t miss out next time, please sign up to the blog, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
If you have a ticket – congratulations! We look forward to seeing you on 25th for beer, debate and a bowl of chilli at Bradford Brewery.
Watch this space for forthcoming events covering devolution and elected mayors. We’re hoping to have speakers from Yorkshire First, the Hannah Mitchell Foundation and others, as well as Gerry Sutcliffe and Philip Davies speaking in July and August.
The leader of the Council, Councillor David Green, is asking you to email him your views on devolution and having an elected mayor.
The Government has said that regions who opt for devolution and directly elected ‘metro mayors’ will be given additional funding and powers over transport, including running local bus companies, infrastructure and economic development, policing and health.
Bradford’s local economy has benefitted from additional funding and a stronger voice in lobbying Government for resources, to support local economic growth and improve infrastructure, as part of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
West Yorkshire and the City Region is an area of 3 million people and 106,000 businesses. It has the largest city region economy in the north – the second largest in the country.
Cllr David Green, Leader of Bradford Council, said:
“The combined resources of the local authorities and business in the region can bring greater economic prosperity…
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The ballots have been cast and the votes are in… but there’s always another vote round the corner.
After our first poll, elected mayors and devolution came out top. We’re busy behind the scenes organising some great speakers to come and speak to you!
Watch this space for updates but, as a little taster, we’ll be confirming our August debate soon… with Philip Davies, Shipley’s MP known for speaking his mind not toeing the party line, and Gerry Sutcliffe, former Bradford South MP who’s said he’d love to be West Yorkshire’s first elected mayor, debating the mayoral issue.
And don’t forget that it’s our first event this month: 25th June at Bradford Brewery where Cllr Debbie Davies, former MP David Ward and Baroness Glenys Thornton will do battle against our co-founder and skeptic Will Robinson to debate – What’s the point in voting?. Get your free ticket here.
But, for now, content yourself with voting in our latest poll. What do you want to hear discussed, debated and dissected in Bradford’s burgeoning Independent Quarter?
No matter what they say at our first event, this vote matters!
A short taster of what you can expect during Politics in the Pub’s first event from Will Robinson, skeptic, cynic and co-founder of Politics in the Pub…
What if your doctor got their job because 37% of the local community said they’d make a good gardener?
How would you feel if your car mechanic got their job by getting the most Facebook likes?
That’s the process we run our country by. We vote on a very basic set of principles and a large dollop of personalities for a set of people who we want to speak on our behalf in a central location (not geographically central, no, that would be too logical).
These people choose – between only themselves – who should be responsible for the entire economy, our entire foreign policy and running our entire National Health Service. At no point during that job interview did anyone ask for any previous experience, any qualifications or even of any desire to take on those specific roles.
This is one of many reasons why our politicians are losing credibility. Why do we take the effort once every 5 years to cast our votes in the country’s most expensive popularity contest then crawl back to our everyday lives battling through the effects caused by these unqualified, inexperienced people?
Do you agree with me? Do you think that voting is magic trick giving us the illusion of choice? Or do you think the vote I cast every election actually makes a difference to you, me and everyone in the country? Either way, come and hear me speak at our first Politics in the Pub event at Bradford Brewery on Thursday 25th June. I’ll be trying to convince you and my fellow panelists, Baroness Glenys Thornton, David Ward and Councillor Debbie Davies, that voting doesn’t matter.
You can get your free ticket here or learn a little more about the event and the speakers here. We have great speakers, great beer and great company… and if you buy a ticket, Bradford Brewery will even give you a free bowl of chilli to further spice your night.
The general election was followed by many saying that there’s no point in voting, that voting doesn’t change a thing and that many votes were ‘wasted’ as smaller parties which gained a significant proportion of the total vote were denied a voice in Parliament. Others felt that the present system meant that they had to vote tactically, putting a cross not next to their preferred party, but next to the party they felt would keep out the one they liked least. However, for most – with 66% of us casting a ballot, the highest proportion since 1997 – voting is an inalienable right; a demonstration that we the people wield the power; a show of strength and the most important choice we make.
But what difference does voting make?
Come and listen to our expert speakers who will argue, espouse and explain why voting does – or does not – matter. When? Thursday 25th June – 7pm to 9pm and beyond Where? Bradford Brewery – 11 Rawson Road, BD1 3SH Your free ticket is available here*
- Baroness Glenys Thornton of Manningham (Labour & Co-Op) – Baroness Thornton is Labour’s Shadow Spokesperson for Equalities & Women’s Issues in the House of Lords. Prior to this, she was a Shadow Spokesperson, Government Spokesperson and Government Whip, all in the Lords, has chaired Social Enterprise Coalition and is a former General Secretary of the Fabian Society.
- David Ward (Liberal Democrats) – David is the former MP for Bradford East and former Bradford Councillor for Idle & Thackley. A Bantams fan, he worked at Bradford City FC to help the club build links with the communities in Manningham, and his interests and work, including charitable, continue in anti-racism and community cohesion. An outspoken figure, he is not one to toe the party line, mince his words or bite his tongue when he believes something needs saying.
- Debbie Davies (Conservative) – Debbie is Conservative councillor for Baildon and is Bradford Tories’ Spokesperson on Children’s Services. Among her policy interests are literacy and oratory, supporting the Bradford Literacy Campaign and Debating Matters. After graduating in Historical & Political Studies at Huddersfield, she went on to be the agent and secretary for Haltemprice & Howden Conservative Association and was also a parish councillor before being elected to Bradford Council in 2012.
- Will Robinson (no party) – Will is one of the co-founders of Politics in the Pub and believes that many of us want to be more engaged in politics but thinks that politics needs to become more engaging, putting the onus firmly on the politicians and parties. A natural cynic and skeptic, he’ll be arguing that voting is pointless.
- Speaker’s Corner: John Atkinson – Why are our kids worth less than London’s?
If you have any questions for our speakers on What’s the Point in Voting? you can submit them as a comment here. We’ll pre-select a few before the night, but there’ll also be a Q&A later in the evening.
*People with tickets will be given priority entry if the event is overly popular for the room, and will get a free bowl of chilli courtesy of Bradford Brewery.
Elected Mayors won the day with over 20% of the vote but, coming second, devolution and the Northern Powerhouse gained nearly as many votes.
We’ll be holding events on both these topics in the future. In July, Shipley MP Philip Davies will debate elected mayors with Gerry Sutcliffe, former Bradford South MP and a politician who’s said he’d love to be West Yorkshire’s first elected mayor. The debate on the Northern Powerhouse and devolution is in the planning stages, so if you’d like to see someone at the event, leave a comment or get in touch to tell us who we need.
In the mean time, to make sure we’re debating what matters to you, we need new topics for a brand new poll. Mayors and devolution will come off, as they’ll be debated in future, as will the number & duties of councilors and a debate on splitting up Bradford District – they simply weren’t popular enough right now.
But what should we discuss? What do you want to know more about? What’s the burning issue you want debated by experts? Leave your idea in the comments section and we’ll put it up for consideration.
Until then, please follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and follow the blog to make sure you get told about all our events first, starting with June’s ‘What’s the Point in Voting?” which we’ll tell you about in full this week.
Centuries ago, in a Greek taverna, some Athenian stared sullenly into his cup of wine and asked the most important, most aged question that the infant idea of democracy ever spawned: What’s the point in voting?
At Politics in the Pub, your vote matters. You get to suggest topics (at the event, by leaving a comment on the blog, or through Facebook or Twitter) and you get to vote on which topics are discussed here on our blog.
But the only way to have your say is to vote – right here.
Voted? Good. So what happens next?
The winner of each poll will be announced live at the event. We’ll get straight on to getting the best speakers from a broad range of views to come along, tell you what they think and take your questions.
That subject can’t be discussed that night – we need some time to find the right people from the full range of the political spectrum to come, engage and try to persuade you that they’re right and the others are wrong – but our aim is to put that event on within a couple of months, or at least have it booked in for a future event.
What’s the point in voting? Allow us to explain, explore and discuss at our first meeting. We’ve got some fantastic speakers for our first event who’ll engage you over a pint or two as they tell you why exactly you should take part in elections and how voting changes the world we live in… and a speaker who says it’s all a waste of time and voting matters not one jot.
What do you think? Is voting the cornerstone of our civilisation or an illusion of power? Is an X in the box the most important mark you make or does it just make you cross?
Sign up for an email alert, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to be the first to know when we’ll share a pint of Odsal Top and get to the bottom of the age old question: What’s the point in voting?
Where: Bradford Brewery
When: June – date and time to be confirmed