In 2018, the good people behind the Edinburgh Festival kindly invited me to host a series of discussions under the title KILLING DEMOCRACY? My remit was: Further to explore the question of whether the current form of financialised capitalism is devouring democracy, reflecting on my work with the Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25). In a series of four events I tried to explore the ways in which the demos can be put back into our democracies.

  1. My first event took place on Saturday 18 August, 13:30 – 14:30, at the Baillie Gifford Main Theatre where I was joined with Pussy Riot’s Maria Alyokhina to discuss the different varieties of totalitarianism that we are currently threatened with, her fight for free speech against the forces of Vladimir Putin’s regime, her hunger strike protest while in prison, as well as the work she is now doing to help Russian prisoners at home.

  1. Immediately afterwards, on Saturday 18 August and in the same venue at 15:15 – 16:15, I discussed with Shami Chakrabarti (Labour member of the House of Lords) the Economics of Liberty: democracy, liberty, internationalism and radical Europeanism.

  1. On the following day, Sunday 19 August 20:15 – 21:15 (again at the Baillie Gifford Main Theatre), aided by Ruth Wishart, I was given the opportunity of a solo presentation of the theme: GIVING DEMOCRACY NEW LIFE; reflecting on the 2008 Global Capitalist Crisis, the Greek and European crisis, Brexit, Trump, other such horrors – as well as the prospects of a Progressive International spanning DiEM25 in continental Europe, Corbyn’ Labour in the UK, Bernie Sanfers’ Political Revolution in the US, President Amlo in Mexico etc.

  1. Finally, on Monday 20 August 20:30 – 21:30 (at the Baillie Gifford Main Theatre) I had the pleasure to host Jeremy Corbyn in a discussion on the theme of REVIVING DEMOCRACY & THE RESURGENCE OF SOCIALISM; an opportunity to discuss  the renaissance of the left, the future of democracy, and the task of building a Progressive International so as to counter both the clueless establishment and the Nationalist International (inspired by Donald Trump in the United States and revanchist racist forces in Europe).