Please note – due to unforeseen circumstances, the event day and time has changed. Please be careful when making your bookings!
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Economics
Guests: Yanis Varoufakis, Ann Pettifor, Mufti Abdur Rahman Mangera.
Date: Tuesday 23 February
Time: Doors open 3.30pm for a 4.00pm start
Location: Round Chapel, Lower Clapton Road, E5 0LY
Book tickets: Click here
“It’s the Economy, stupid!”
It’s easy to get lost in the cacophony of economic terms that are thrown at us daily. From deficits to national debt, booms through to bubbles and unpayable rent – what do these terms mean, and how do they affect our day to day lives?
These questions are all the more important for all of us, as many in the UK now face the prospect of never being able to afford their own homes, and are burdened with unimaginable debt.
This seminar asks: how did we get here? And how can we get out of this mess? Hitch a ride with us through the topsy-turvy world of contemporary economics – no prior knowledge required!
We are delighted to host presentations from:
Yanis Varoufakis (Former Greek Finance Minister)
The Debtors’ Banquet
Ann Pettifor (Director, Policy Research in Macroeconomics)
Conflicts of Interest
Mufti Abdur Rahman Mangera (Imam, Casenove Road Mosque, Hackney)
Virtue-nomics and Ethical Money
Our chair for the evening will be Beth Foster-Ogg, Member of Youth Parliament for Hackney.
We expect a wide-ranging QnA and discussion following presentations, on topics including:
- Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party
- Google and tax avoidance
- Housing Crisis
- Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump`
- National Debt
- The Banking Crisis
- Third World Poverty and Debt
Tickets are free and open to all!
This event will be recorded.
People’s PPE is a grassroots organisation that seeks to empower communities within their own local spaces and contexts. This seminar will be held in Hackney’s Round Chapel – once a church, it now serves as a community venue with a history of nonconformity. The event space is fully accessible, and is open to all – more details at: www.roundchapel.org
Thank you all for coming to the People’s PPE launch event!
Please find below a reading list, with some notes, recommended and inspired by our three guests.
A must-see conversation between our Owen Jones and Peter Oborne, recorded about a fortnight before our event. Topics include: Foreign policy, Dissident traditions, Jeremy Corbyn, and an emerging ‘soft apartheid’ in Britain.
Owen Jones – Reading List
- Owen Jones: The Establishment and how they get away with it (book).
- Owen Jones: The Establishment (youtube). Lecture and discussion at Durham University
‘The Establishment’ is central text for this topic: “Jones shows how, in claiming to work on our behalf, the people at the top are doing precisely the opposite. In fact, they represent the biggest challenge to our democracy today”.
- Owen Jones: Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class (book).
- Owen Jones: Interview with Russell Brand (youtube). Covers democracy, capitalism, and popular disenchantment with politics.
Peter Oborne – Reading List
- Peter Oborne: ‘The Rise of Political Lying’ (book).
- Peter Oborne: ‘The Triumph of the Political Class’ (book).
Both books provide a devastating account of the rise the ‘Political Class’, who serve themselves, rather than the public, at the cost of our democracy.
Peter has also authored a number of very important articles outlining issues raised in our discussion. They are as follows:
- ‘Why I have resigned from the Telegraph’, Open Democracy (article)
- Peter Oborne’s submission to the Leveson Enquiry (a must read!)
- ‘David Cameron Truly is Heir to Tony Blair’, Open Democracy (article)
- ‘Does Britain Have a Free Press?’, Open Democracy (article)
- ‘HSBC, Muslims and Me’, BBC Radio 4 (iPlayer)
Peter has recommended three further texts for the reading list. The first two are related to one another, and deal with the notion of a ‘Cartel Party’ – a single party that governs the state, even if there is an illusion of two or more prominent parties. These two texts are as follows:
- Peter Mair: ‘Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy’ (book).
- Richard Katz and Peter Mair: ‘Changing Models of Party Organisation and Party Democracy: The Emergence of the Cartel Party’ (journal article).
- Chapter 1 of ‘Ruling the Void’ is available online.
- Seventeen years after the original article, both Mair and Katz have restated and refined their theory in this succinct article.
- Peter Oborne reviews the above two texts in an article in the Daily Telegraph; the popularity of this article led to a new reprint of Mair’s book!
- Joseph Ward has also neatly summarised the two texts and Peter Oborne’s own position in: ‘Political Disenchantment and the Roots of the Cartel Party’.
Finally, the third text recommended by Peter Oborne outlines the British history of dissent against foreign policy. Peter Oborne has argued that Jeremy Corbyn, far from being a historical anomaly, continues this very long and proud British tradition:
- AJP Taylor: ‘The Troublemakers: Dissent Over Foreign Policy 1792 – 1939’ (book).
Dr. Layli Uddin – Reading List
Dr. Layli’s talk covered the life and times of Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani – otherwise known as the ‘Red Maulana’. He was the founding father of the Awami League, the current ruling party of Bangladesh. Though instrumental in mass mobilisation, anti-colonial resistance and winning elections for the Awami League, he never held any formal political positions.
- A concise introduction to Maulana Bhashani
- Maulana Bhashani’s wikipedia article
- A short video of Maulana Bhashani
Dr. Layli’s book on Maulana Bhashani is still to be published, though her work can be found here:
- Layli Uddin: ‘Maulana Bhashani: The Lessons of Freedom’ (article)
- Amitav Ghosh: Interview with Layli Uddin (article).
Interestingly, though Maulana Bhashani is the founding member of the current ruling party, and convened its first meeting, his legacy has been dropped from the National Curriculum of Bangladesh.
If you have any more recommendations, questions or comments – do leave a note in the comments section!
People’s PPE Guest Seminar: A People’s History of Politics
Guests: Peter Oborne, Owen Jones, Dr. Layli Uddin
Date: Wednesday 10 February. 7.45pm
Time: Doors open 7.45pm for a 8pm start
Location: London Muslim Centre, Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JX
Tickets: Book here.
We are experiencing an curious time in British politics. With the spectacular win of the SNP in Scotland, the rise of UKIP across the UK, and now with Jeremy Corbyn’s ascendancy to the Labour leadership – it appears that there is a genuine thirst for a new kind of politics felt by ordinary people. It seems that the electorate have become dissatisfied by the current political establishment, and are seeking alternative political visions that better represent the ‘ordinary’ person.
This seminar aims to explore the genealogies of these alternative political traditions, and the historic relationship between ordinary people and power.
We are delighted to host presentations from:
Peter Oborne (Political Editor, Daily Mail):
The History of the English Radical Tradition.
Owen Jones (Columnist, The Guardian):
What is the Establishment, and how do they get away with it?
Dr. Layli Uddin (Researcher, Royal Holloway):
Revolutionary political voices in South Asia and their influence in the UK.
We expect a wide ranging QnA and discussion following presentations, on topics including:
- Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party,
- Britain’s role in the Middle East,
- Corporate corruption,
- The refugee crisis,
- Politicians, media and bias.
People’s PPE is a grassroots organisation that seeks to empower communities within their own local spaces and contexts. This seminar is kindly being hosted in the London Muslim Centre’s conference facilities; the event space is fully accessible, and is open to everyone irrespective of their faith background. There is no dress code.
We hope introduce our attendees to a variety of community venues via our events in the future. If you represent a venue and would like to work with us, please email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at the University of Oxford is the degree course of choice for those in politics, policy or journalism. In fact more than 40 current MPs including the Prime Minister have studied PPE, as have countless other world leaders.
This is because knowledge of politics and economics, and the philosophy that underlies the two, allows one to more meaningfully engage with, comment upon, and indeed govern society. Those who do not have access to this knowledge are open to manipulation by those who do.*
We do not think that those in power should have a monopoly on this knowledge.
Our project, “People’s PPE” aims to deliver a series of lectures, seminars, debates and workshops aiming to empower the grassroots and enable ordinary people to become more politically engaged and literate.
For more information about People’s PPE or to get involved, please complete our short form here. Thank you.
*A clear example of this can be seen with the current government’s justification of austerity with the oft-repeated comparison between the nation’s budget and a household budget. This analogy is completely false, as has been demonstrated countless times by academics and economists, yet this false comparison remains popular. Unless ordinary people are politically and economically literate, they will not be in a position to critically address and deconstruct misleading narratives such as these.