#41 – Westminster Briefing

In this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by John Ashmore, chief reporter for PoliticsHome, to discuss the latest developments in British politics. Is Theresa May on borrowed time? How relevant is Tony Blair? Plus a look at Grenfell, Brexit, terrorism, Donald Trump potentially visiting the UK, and much more. PoliticsHome describes itself as the most viewed and valued specialist online news source in Parliament. You can find the web site at www.politicshome.com. You can find John on Twitter @smashmorePH.

You can tweet Aidan with your thoughts @theaidanproject. As noted in the podcast, ‘Notes on Mrs. May‘ serves as something of a prequel to this episode.

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#37 – Dogmatic Silence: Abuse in the Church

In this edition of the podcast, Aidan talks to David Greenwood, Chairman of Stop Church Child Abuse. The Catholic Church has a history of cover-ups and scandal, a history of secret Catholic Courts, and a history of unscrupulously moving priests between countries once abuse has taken place. What are the current attitudes emanating out of the Catholic Church in respect of child sex abuse? Furthermore, the Church of England has its own shameful story to tell, or rather, a story that requires activists such as David to tell, for the Church will not seek to do it itself. ‘Abuse Of Faith’ was an independent Church of England review, published in June 2017, which looked at Peter Ball, a former Bishop of Lewes, who was jailed in 2015 after admitting a number of sex offences between 1977 and 1992. How much of a landmark moment is this review? In this Pope-Truth world, Aidan and David discuss the dogmatic silence of church leaders and the institutionalized resistance to transparency. Stop Church Child Abuse is an alliance of clergy sexual abuse survivors, charities that support survivors, specialist lawyers and interested individuals working in the field of child safeguarding. The organisation seeks to investigate and highlight the serious safeguarding failures of church institutions, from 1954 to the present. This episode highlights the serious failings of the Church of England and looks at the campaign to urge the UK Government to set up an Independent Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy, religious and other church officials. You can read “Abuse of Faith” at https://www.churchofengland.org/media/3999908/report-of-the-peter-ball-review-210617.pdf. If you were affected by any of the issues raised in this episode, you can visit http://macsas.org.uk/, e-mail helpline@macsas.org.uk, or call 08088 01 03 40.

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#27 – Project Extra: Whitewashing

In this bonus edition of the podcast, enjoy previously unreleased audio from Aidan’s conversation with Jared Miracle, a cultural entomologist with an M.Ed. and a PhD. in anthropology from Texas A&M University, from the episode, ‘The Great Cat Massacre’. In this ‘Project Extra’ episode, Jared explains the concept of Whitewashing, with particular reference to the current debate over casting decisions in Hollywood movies and on television. Is this a question of racism? And where does the phrase ‘whitewashing’ originate from? You can follow Jared on Facebook (facebook.com/jaredmiraclewriter) and Twitter (@DocKungFu).

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#17 – The Fake News Agenda

In this edition of the Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by Gary Herman to discuss press freedom, fake news, citizen journalism and the future of a free press in a digital age. Also discussed on this show is Donald Trump’s scheduled autumn visit to the United Kingdom, why journalists often refrain from pressing public figures on evaded questions, ‘Stop Funding Hate’, the lack of trust of the public in the media, Facebook as a news source, Leveson, and much more. Gary is a member of the British National Union of Journalists and has been campaigning for press and broadcasting freedom for 37 years. Gary sits on the National Council of The Campaign for Press & Broadcasting Freedom (http://www.cpbf.org.uk/), which is funded by membership and trade unions. Established in 1979, the CPBF strives for a more accountable, freer and diverse media. Gary has a background in journalism and writing, beginning his career as a freelance journalist and author, specialising in film and popular music and authoring or co-authoring a number of books. If you would like to find out more information about Gary, you can visit http://www.keywordsassociates.com/.

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#16 – On Liberty and Free Speech

The title of this episode is an homage to an important philosophical work by John Stuart Mill, ‘On Liberty’, which was published in 1859. In this edition of The Aidan Project, Aidan is joined by journalist, podcaster and activist, Joshua Thomas, host of Liberty Live and the Political Conundrum Podcast. Whilst Aidan and Joshua disagree on several points, a true liberal democracy’s interpretation of free speech must surely mean that diametrically opposed arguments can be made without shouting your opponent down. In addition to the central theme of the episode, also discussed and defined are ‘fake news’, ‘the regressive left’ and ‘social justice warriors’. Aidan and Joshua also look at the Daily Mail infamously labelling UK judges as ‘enemies of the people’, and much more. For more information on Joshua, you can catch Liberty Live every Saturday evening at 8PM GMT on YouTube, where you can also find the Political Conundrum Podcast. Joshua is on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/PoliticalConundrum/) and YouTube (http://bit.ly/2g4ZXiN).

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