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David Blunkett examines the ‘politics of pessimism’ in Policy & Politics annual lecture

25 March 2014

With worryingly high levels of distrust and disengagement with conventional politics, MP David Blunkett will address how to bring politics alive in the 21st Century when he gives a lecture at the University of Bristol.

With worryingly high levels of distrust and disengagement with conventional politics, MP David Blunkett will address how to bring politics alive in the 21st Century when he gives a lecture at the University of Bristol.

Mr Blunkett will explore why established political processes and institutions seem unable or unwilling to re-engage with vast sections of the public when he gives the Policy & Politics annual lecture on Thursday, 27 March.

With evidence mounting of a divided democracy in which levels of political inequality are increasing in the UK, he will look at how to move away from ‘the politics of pessimism’ and instead nurture a new model of engaged citizenship.

In his lecture, Mr Blunkett will argue that ‘we need to find imaginative ways of persuading people that politics can really make a difference, that governments can bring about change for the better and - like it or not  - that political parties and processes do matter’.

He will also discuss the prospect of another post-2015 coalition government and how it hampers the opportunities of those elected to office from implementing their policies, concluding that ‘no one gets any of what they wanted’.

Questions for Mr Blunkett can be submitted in advance by using the Twitter hashtag #askBlunkett which will also be in use during the event.

It’s been organised by the international journal Policy & Politics, which is published by Policy Press at the University of Bristol, in partnership with the School for Policy Studies.

There will also be a live chat on the Guardian Public Leaders Network about citizen engagement in politics and policymaking, from 12pm to 2pm on Friday [28 March]. 

David Blunkett has been an MP since 1987 and is currently the Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough.

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