Battle of Ideas – All in Britain strand

All in Britain is taking an important step forward. We are partnering with the organisers of the Battle of Ideas to organise a strand of talks on the Identity Wars.


See below for further details of the talks, dates, times and tickets. Do join us to talk openly about the important issues on culture, race and identity.

Saturday 13 & 14 October

Barbican, London



In partnership with the Battle of Ideas


The Battle of Ideas is a weekend of lively debate and discussion on today’s most pressing political, cultural and artistic issues. The weekend will tackle tough contemporary questions through wide-ranging, thought-provoking and wonderfully argumentative debate.


An antidote to today’s climate of offence taking, the festival slogan is: FREE SPEECH ALLOWED.


This year’s festival features more than 400 internationally acclaimed speakers, over 3,000 attendees and over 100 panels. All In Britain is partnering on the important strand, Identity Wars: Race and Society, which is made up of the following sessions:



Coming at a crucial time for politics and society, the Battle of Ideas is the forum to get to grips with the current political maelstrom. When the world seems more divided than ever, the festival will be a living example of the importance of frank, serious but respectful public debate.


Ticket prices start at £30 (including a wide variety of concessions), so there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to get involved in discussing the key issues of our time at the UK’s premier festival of ideas.


We look forward to welcoming you to the festival!



As the Brexit battle rages on, we’ll be discussing the meaning of democracy and citizenship in our Keynote Controversies.


Advances in science and technology have raised new questions about medical ethics and the role of AI, which we’ll explore in three of our festival strands.


And the feminist #MeToo movement has become such a huge phenomenon that we have dedicated an entire strand of debates to it.


Join us for these and other strands including:



There is a huge range of topics under discussion in over 100 sessions, including:


What is a woman anyway?The moral responsibility of the artistThe Jordan Peterson effectHave we defused the ‘population bomb’?The new Irish border questionDo we need consent classes?From anti-vaxers to ‘Alfie’s Army’: are we losing faith in medical science?Should we be fighting a ‘war on plastic’?Is university making us sick?Democracy under siegeNational identity and belonging: what does it mean to be a citizen?Is free speech a fiction?


You can see an overview of the festival programme here:




Lionel ShriverFrank FurediJulie BurchillAndrew DoyleRobert PlominSimon WesselySir Nicholas KenyonVanity von GlowBrendan O’NeillStephen Kinnock MPJacob MchangamaMunira MirzaKatharine BirbalsinghLinda YuehWendy LiuJane RobinsCatherine McGuinnessJohn LloydTimandra HarknessShiv MalikSophie WalkerJames DreyfusLatifa AkayMatthew GoodwinCameron AbadiJames BallJulie BindelJames DelingpoleDavid GoodhartSimon EvansJulia Hobsbawm • and many more.


Get your tickets now and join the debate! Visit our tickets page here:


See you at the Barbican on 13 & 14 October.


Claire Fox

Director, Academy of Ideas

Portraits of our mothers

Over a number of years, the artist, Franklyn Rodgers, photographed his mother Loretta and her close circle of friends, building up an extraordinary series of large-scale portraits. The size and grandiosity of the works combine with a remarkable intimacy, achieved by the artist’s close relationships with these women.

Whose mythical past?

This month, scientists unveiled a reconstruction of the face of Cheddar Man, who died around 9,000 years ago, and whose skeleton was found in a cave in Somerset in 1903. DNA analysis has now revealed that ‘the earliest known Briton’ – part of a population from which modern white Britons are thought to descend – probably had dark to black skin and blue eyes.

Who speaks for Muslims?

The announcement yesterday that the government has chosen Sara Khan as the Lead Commissioner for its new Counter-Extremism agency has provoked predictable condemnation from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and one of its most high profile allies, Conservative peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.

Thomas Sowell lives!

I read a tweet the other day from Andrew Neil which saddened me. It said “Mr Sowell was a great man. His death a great loss”.

Thankfully, after a quick check, I established that reports of Thomas Sowell’s death have been greatly exaggerated.  Aged 87, he has merely retired from writing to focus on his hobby of photography.