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Mo Lovatt
Mo Lovatt is co-Director of The Great Debate. She is a writer and academic based in the North East of England. She has been an active member of The Great Debate since its inception in 1998. Her academic interests centre on participatory arts and literature, reading for pleasure, the aesthetic experience, qualitative research methods and the politics of cultural participation. She co-wrote and lectures on the core modules of Northumbria University’s Masters Programme in Creative and Cultural Industries Management. Prior to this, Mo was a writer, director and producer in the Performing Arts sector for fifteen years, having managed a number of high profile events such as the Festival of the North East, the national Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations and, for the Cultural Olympiad, West Side Story with Sage Gateshead and the RSC. In 2007, she received a bursary from the Arts Council’s Cultural Leadership PEACH placement to work in South Africa for two years under the mentorship of Peter Stark OBE. During this time, she set up the trans-national programme, The Swallows Partnership / Sihlanganiswa Ziinkonjane between the North East of England and the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Working in South Africa (where her grandmother was born) provided Mo with the inspiration for her first novel, African Violet which received a Northern Writers’ Award in 2013. Her second novel, The Park, will be published this year.

Mo has a BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford and is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Northumbria. For The Great Debate, Mo brings together her event management experience and her dual interests in Arts and Politics. She has convened and chaired a number public engagement discussions including Is Anti-Americanism Xenophobic? (In association with The Ashton Group’s production of Lockerbie 103) and What does it mean to be human? (In association with David Glass Ensemble’s production of The Chimp That Spoke). Among her countless contributions to The Great Debate she was instrumental in organising and obtaining Mediabox funding for The Great Debate's documentary-making project for young people, Living in a Changing World in 2010 which was the inspiration for The Great Debate's film-making programme.

Why #FucktheTories just isn’t good enough by Mo Lovatt

Where have all the liberals gone? No, not those guys. I’m talking about the Big Guns, the John Stuart Mills, the Isiah Berlins, the Amartya Sens. Those thinkers, be they left or right, who argued for freedom; for a person’s ability to do or be something without fear of interference; to realise their full potential as creative, fully-rounded human beings.

It was something Nick Clegg said in his resignation speech that got me thinking about this. “One thing is clear,” he said, “liberalism, here, as well as across Europe, is not faring well against the politics of fear.” He went on to say the politics of identity, of nationalism, of “us” versus “them” is on the rise.

Clearly Clegg was invoking the malign spirit of that brutal period in Europe’s history when liberalism stood firm against nationalism. Perhaps it was a coy attempt to say to his supporters, our party’s failure at the polls wasn’t just about a broken election promise on tuition fees, it was, in fact, part of a wider sentiment sweeping the continent.But nonetheless, I think Clegg was on to something ... Click here for full article

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