Heavy­weight clash to top fes­ti­val bill

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

IT will be pis­tols at dawn as two strong­minded jour­nal­ists take to the stage for a spe­cial Barn­aby Fes­ti­val event.

Nick Robin­son, from the BBC, and Guardian colum­nist Owen Jones will go head to head at an ‘in con­ver­sa­tion’ event at St Michael’s Church, Mac­cles­field on Satur­day, June 18.

Brought up in neigh­bour­ing bor­oughs but in op­pos­ing po­lit­i­cal tra­di­tions, they will take to the stage to­gether for the first time in what prom­ises to be a witty and in­sight­ful dis­cus­sion about in­flu­ences, im­par­tial­ity and po­lit­i­cal life - fol­lowed by a ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion.

Mac­cles­field-born Robin­son was po­lit­i­cal ed­i­tor of both ITV and the BBC and is now a pre­sen­ter of BBC Ra­dio 4’s flag­ship news pro­gramme To­day.

He was a founder mem­ber of Mac­cles­field Young Con­ser­va­tives and went on to chair the na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion be­fore be­com­ing a jour­nal­ist.

And Owen, who grew up in Stock­port, de­scribes him­self as a ‘fourth gen­er­a­tion so­cial­ist’.

He is the author of Chavs: The De­mon­i­sa­tion of the Work­ing Class and ap­pears reg­u­larly on BBC’s News­night and Ques­tion Time.

Karl Wal­lace, fes­ti­val di­rec­tor, said: “This is not only a unique op­por­tu­nity to hear per­spec­tives on pol­i­tics and jour­nal­ism, but also to ex­plore the dif­fer­ing in­flu­ences on two lo­cal lads who went onto be na­tional fig­ures and are at the top of their game. We know there’s a real ap­petite in Mac­cles­field for po­lit­i­cal de­bate and we are hugely grate­ful to Nick and Owen for their sup­port of the fes­ti­val.

“It’s go­ing to be one of the high­lights of this year’s Barn­aby”.

The theme for this year’s fes­ti­val, set to take place from Fri­day, June 17 to Sun­day, June 26, is Space.

Nick Robin­son will also be talk­ing at King Ed­ward Street Chapel on Fri­day 17 June in ‘Space for De­bate’, ad­dress­ing the cur­rent con­tro­versy around free speech. He ar­gues that the con­cept of a ‘safe space’ - cre­at­ing a pro­tec­tive co­coon to avoid caus­ing of­fence - is it­self a threat to open and in­tel­lec­tual de­bate.

Tick­ets for In Con­ver­sa­tion: Nick Robin­son and Owen Jones, are £12.50.

Tick­ets for all events are avail­able at www.barn­abyfes­ti­val.org.uk

See page 12 for Barn­aby Bites

Top po­lit­i­cal jour­nal­ists Nick Robin­son and Owen Jones will go head to head as part of the Barn­aby Fes­ti­val

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