Reasons to be cheerful…

With the banking scandal – hot on the heels of Leveson, party funding and MPs’ expenses – there’s growing disillusion about politics and our institutions.

At the National Conversation we believe we can tackle this loss of faith, and get people re-engaged with political life, by promoting frank and open discussion about the big issues our society faces.

Right now, we’re working to set up town hall meetings and online forums to make this ‘sane and not sanitised’ conversation happen.   We’re talking to people from all kinds of backgrounds, across the political spectrum, to build a compelling programme ready to launch in the autumn.

One of the people advising us is Mick Fealty, the brains behind Slugger O’Toole.  Mick’s recognised as one of the country’s leading political bloggers and commentators.  With Slugger, he created a powerful online forum for news and debate on Northern Ireland politics.

Mick made it possible for people with (to put it mildly) deeply-held and conflicting views to come together and talk constructively.  It would be easy for Slugger to be a slagging match: instead, it’s a place for lively discussion, insight and humour.

We wanted to share one of the insights we got from Mick: “Cynicism is evil. It breeds contempt.”  We couldn’t agree more: disillusion and cynicism will get us nowhere.  We believe it’s time for a more constructive approach.

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