14:07

Debate

The Chalke Valley History Festival, Wiltshire. Go to it next year; it's wonderful. We went to a discussion between Michael Gove and Tristram Hunt on the teaching of history.

I won't try and paraphrase the discussion and or repeat the jokes - though both were of top quality. We all came away with a sense of relief - and gratitude - that public life could still attract such intelligent, balanced and civilised individuals. It also threw into relief the tedium of what now passes for debate both on the radio and the television where the all discussion runs along party lines with no surprises or exploration of ideas: the quest for blood by the likes of Paxman and Humphrys allows politicians only to survive and not thrive. It may be entertainment, of a rather unpleasant and cynical kind, but enlightenment, subtlety, nuance, and wisdom are the unfortunate casualties. Why is it their assumption that all politicians are conniving, dishonest and self serving? The ones that I know are anything but. What a change to hear the words 'I'm not sure' and 'that's a good point'.
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