The Unfinished Revolution Project hopes to launch the first of our political film series in 2019. The series has 6 films, each covering a different contentious topic. Each film will involve a long, open and honest conversation between people who have in some way challenged political, social or cultural taboos in Britain, and have done so from an ethical and pragmatic political perspective. The contributors have a range of political backgrounds, a mixture of centre-left, centre-right, liberal and conservative. They also have a range of professional backgrounds, and include Members of Parliament, academics, journalists, NGO and other professionals, and activists.
The Unfinished Revolution Project has been brought together by people who have been involved with politics in Britain for many years. The aim of the project is to host and share conversations about difficult topics explored from a mainstream perspective. We recognise that many of these topics are not comfortable ones to discuss, and that people often shy away from them through a genuine desire to not cause hurt or offence. Although a perfectly decent motivator, the level of self-censorship on certain topics, combined with the growing trend to socially enforce restrictions on debates, has become oppressive, unhelpful and undermining of social cohesion in Britain.
Over the last decade, much needed conversations about culture, identity, policy and politics have been avoided by many on the political mainstream. This needs to change, urgently. Silencing debates does not make, and has not made, them go away, but rather fuels tension, division and anger. This project aims to show that conversations can – and must – be had about difficult issues, including articulating uncomfortable views, and that this can be done without adding more hate into an already polarised society.
The Unfinished Revolution Project will bring together people who are prepared to have open and honest conversations about difficult, important, and often contentious issues, and to do so in a spirit of sensitivity and tolerance.
Series 1 will include:
Helen Pluckrose, Andrew Copson, Amina Lone, Emily Benn, Claire Kober, Johnny Mercer MP, Matthew D'Ancona, John Woodcock MP, Jess Phillips MP, Rith Dudley-Edwards, Dolly Theis, Sarah Hayward, Chris Coghlan, Senay Nihat, Jonathan Simons, Pamela Dow and Nora Mulready.
Message from Nora Mulready, Founder of the Unfinished Revolution Project
“The films will, I hope, involve long, thoughtful conversations about difficult, contentious, and important topics. The conversations will give a public voice to the widespread, often private, rejection of rigid ideologies, extremism and totalitarianism, as well as a challenge to the ‘you can’t say that’ era. Conversations need to be had, and they need to be had by people whose aim is not to condemn, attack and fuel divisions, but rather to explore ideas, find solutions and bring people together, rather than to drive us ever further apart.”
The issues covered in Series 1 include: (others may be added, subject to funding)
Regeneration of deprived areas in an era of 'social cleansing' allegations and limited resources
Education – what should be taught, and who should decide
Identity politics, "grievance studies" and the impact on public policy and political discourse
Conservative Islam in liberal Britain
#Metoo, #believeher, and 'Innocent until proven guilty'
Long, filmed conversations
Shared on the Unfinished Revolution youtube channel
An antithesis to the twitter age
The Advisory Board
The Unfinished Revolution Project has an Advisory Board, which feeds into, and guides, the project. The Advisory Board is drawn from a cross section of political beliefs. Board members are Cllr Barbara Blake, Chris Coghlan, Pamela Dow, Dolly Theis, Senay Nihat and James Patterson.
The Unfinished Revolution - The Name
In the Unfinished Revolution, Philip Gould made the case that politics should be rooted in real lives, real people, and the real conversations they want to have. This project takes inspiration from that idea, something desperately needed today, and hopes to do it some justice.
'This is an important project, and I very much welcome the attempt to push at the boundaries of discussion about difficult subjects without the baggage of partisan assumptions. If there is a vacuum at the centre of British politics, or more generally British public debate, it needs to be filled with new ideas, which means rigorous thinking and breaking accepted rules. I look forward to being part of a new conversation.' John Rentoul, Author and Journalist
“Internet discourse has curiously widened and contracted debate, ideas and critical thinking. Platforms that can provide alternatives and/or sit alongside the narrowness of electronic debates are a welcome addition. Freedom of thought will only survive if we fight in its defence against authoritarianism. I welcome and look forward to the Unfinished Revolution.” Amina Lone, Co-Director of the Social Action and Research Foundation, National Secular Society’s Nominee for Secularist of the Year, 2018
'We're having a battle for the "soul" of the left right now. What we need is open, honest conversation. Unfinished revolution wants to make that happen. I'm delighted to be involved.' Helen Pluckrose, Editor of Areo Magazine and the author of "How French Intellectuals Ruined the West: Postmodernism Explained". Helen produced the recent "Grievance Studies" Probe with James A. Lindsay and Peter Boghossian, featured on the front page of the New York Times.
'I’m supporting the Unfinished Revolution Project because, as a councillor in a deprived area, I want to see an open, honest and frank conversation about regeneration.' Cllr Barbara Blake, Labour councillor, Haringey, and Advisory Board Member, Unfinished Revolution Project
'I am very much looking forward to working on the ‘Unfinished Revolution’ project next year. Our politics is too often defined by scripts. Polished answers with no real meaning dehumanises our public discourse and only causes frustration and division. This project will bring about some much needed honesty and clarity, which is sorely lacking in our society right now.' John Woodcock MP, Independent Member of Parliament
‘The Unfinished Revolution Project is an inspiring way of taking forward Philip Gould’s magnificent legacy in a new social, cultural and political context that demands unflinching honesty, intellectual rigour and principled commitment from all of us. I’m honoured to be associated with it.’ Matthew d’Ancona, Editor-in-Chief, DRUGSTORE CULTURE
'You've got the gift of asking questions and you shouldn't be afraid to use it! I back the Unfinished Revolution because I believe fervently that questions have the power to ignite deep thinking and the quest for truth. Collectively we should do all we can to challenge each other, find common ground, test ideas, explore solutions and excavate the basis of our own beliefs until we reach the magma of our deepest ideas. Any platform that enables this to happen has my full support". Dolly Theis, Programme Director, Big Tent Ideas Festival and Advisory Board Member, Unfinished Revolution Project
'I'm really excited to be involved in the Unfinished Revolution Project because I believe there is a desperate need for new ideas and a new vision to help our country and our world tackle the huge challenges we face over the coming decades; climate change, the left behind, extreme poverty and the return of great power rivalry. My hope is that the Unfinished Revolution can serve as a platform to highlight some of those ideas that are so desperately needed to help us all realise a better world.' Chris Coghlan, Charity Founder and former Diplomat and Advisory Board Member, Unfinished Revolution Project
The current political environment makes it really difficult to have thoughtful, nuanced and challenging discussions about the big issues facing out country and communities. I'm delighted to be taking part in a project that seeks to help address that deficit and come up with ideas for the future." Sarah Hayward, Former Labour Leader, Camden Council