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A Magazine for Sheffield

Festival of Debate: Why Not Give A Toss?

Well, it’s here. Over 40 events across March and April, leading up to the General Election. As you may know from reading last month’s lead-in article, we do not claim to be representing every opinion or point of view. But we also won’t be telling you who to vote for. The aim of the Festival of Debate is to get people talking, discussing and engaging in the issues that matter to them. Our keynote speakers are Owen Jones (9 Mar), Shami Chakrabarti (10 Mar) and George Monbiot (16 Apr). We’ve picked out a few events happening over the next few weeks, but make sure you pick up a programme in town, and go to to register your interest in specific events. Most are free entry, but it would be helpful if you could sign up on the relevant Eventbrite page so we can get an idea of numbers. We’ll be documenting events with audio, video, photos and reviews throughout, so keep an eye out on social media for lots of supporting info and talking points. Most importantly, come along yourself and get involved. OPENING PARTY Sat 7 March | 8pm | Devonshire Cat Politics pub quiz, political music and the festival ale from Abbeydale Brewery, Why Not Give A Toss?, in full flow. Link REGATHER ROAST Sun 8 March | 1-5pm | Regather Works A traditional three course Sunday roast of fresh, local produce - high welfare lamb, stuffed mushrooms and organic veg. Discussion led by Leon Ballin (Soil Association) - ‘Eating seasonally is good, isn’t it?’ BYOB. Tickets £20 at OWEN JONES: THE ESTABLISHMENT Mon 9 March | 7:30pm | Foundry, SU Author, columnist and political commentator Owen Jones offers a biting critique of the British establishment and a passionate plea for democracy. Tickets £7.50 at SHAMI CHAKRABARTI: ON LIBERTY Tues 10 March | 6:30pm | SU Auditorium Shami Chakrabarti, civil rights advocate and director of Liberty, talks on the topic of her new book, On Liberty. Followed by Q&A and book signing. Free, but please register online. Link PECHAKUCHA - PUT UP OR SHUT UP Thurs 12 March | 7:30pm | Theatre Delicatessen “It’s not who we are underneath, but what we do that defines us. Come and find the inspiration for where to draw your line in the sand.” Tickets £6 standing, £9 table, MOTD - GASLAND 2 Weds 18 March | 6pm | Union St Academy Award-nominated documentary looks at US communities affected by fracking. Presented by Friends of the Earth. Link YOUR EUROPE: PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS & FREEDOMS Thurs 19 March | 6-10pm | SU Auditorium An evening on the importance of upholding human rights and freedoms. Armchair interviews, talks, music, film and spoken word. Stalls from a range of NGOs and food and drink available. Link INFOWOW W/IDEOLOGICAL WARFARE Fri 20 March | 7:30pm | Theatre Delicatessen AltComCab bring comedians Chris Coltrane, Tiernan Douieb and more to Theatre Deli. Fiver on the door. Link THE PROBLEM WITH IMMIGRATION Weds 25 March | 7pm | Union St This election cycle’s hot potato. An open, frank discussion facilitated by Adam Clark. Link POLITICS OF THE STREET Thurs 26 March | 3-5pm | Union St Why are there still people sleeping rough in 2015? A panel and audience led Q&A about rough sleeping and associated barriers to political engagement. Link CLIMATE CHANGE: SOLUTIONS TO INACTION Thurs 26 March | 8pm | Union St Discussion and keynote speech from Prof Anthony Ryan OBE, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Science at the University of Sheffield. Link DISCUSSING THE GENERAL ELECTION Tues 31 March | 11am-12:30pm | City Hall Prof John Curtice and Dr Robert Ford discuss the General Election - prospects for each party, the possibility of a hung parliament and the likely state of politics after May 2015. Link SAVING THE NHS: WHY MONEY ISN'T ENOUGH Weds 1 April | 7pm | Central United Reformed Church Jillian Creasy, GP for 25 years and city councillor for ten years, leads a discussion about changes needed to improve health and health care. Link DEVOLUTION DEBATE Weds 8 Apr | 7:30pm | Central United Reformed Church Discussion with public questions looking at the impact of devolution on the city. Panellists: Paul Blomfield MP, Green Councillor Jillian Creasy, Vicky Seddon (Sheffield for Democracy), Dr Matt Wood (Politics, Uni of Sheffield), Dr Bob Jeffery (Sociology, Hallam), Robin McAlpine (Common Weal). Link )

Next article in issue 84

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