Politics

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Michael Sheen

The Aneurin Bevan Lecture

Hay Festival 2017, 

The Welsh actor has made some of the most articulate interventions in political debates of the past years. Now returned home from Hollywood to Port Talbot, he talks about culture and society and the humane vision and tradition that Bevan inspires. Chaired by Phil George.

Michael Sheen

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Bernie Sanders

The 2017 Eric Hobsbawm Lecture

Hay Festival 2017, 

Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In

The US Senator’s brand of populism has galvanised new generations to engage with politics. 

Bernie Sanders

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Stephen Fry, Christopher Hitchens and Joan Bakewell

The Blasphemy Debate

Hay Festival 2005, 
Joan Bakewell chairs a debate on the boundaries of freedom of speech, religious tolerance, multiculturalism and orthodoxy.

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Vanessa Redgrave, Ralph Fiennes, Jay Sanders, Philippe Sands, Gillian Anderson

Hay Festival and The Tricycle Theatre, London present: Torture Team

Hay Festival 2011, 
An inquiry into the interrogation techniques used by the American administration and military in Guantanamo and beyond. When do lawyers who authorise abuse cross a line into criminality? Directed by Indhu Rubasingham.

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Stephen Fry

America

Hay Festival 2009, 
Irony, Obama and our love affair with the New World, from sea to shining sea.

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John McCarthy

You Can’t Hide the Sun: A Journey Through Israel and Palestine

Hay Festival 2013, 

Transported as a young boy by his father’s tales of Palestine, John McCarthy has always been drawn to the mystique of the Middle East. Remarkably, his first-hand experience of its brutal conflicts – he was kidnapped and held hostage in the Lebanon for five years – only strengthened his determination to return and explore its myriad complexities.

In the years since his ordeal, McCarthy has travelled through Israel and East Jerusalem, from the shores of the Mediterranean to the Bedouin encampments of the Negev Desert. His intensely moving encounters with the inhabitants of this beautiful but tormented region reveal the continuing tragedy of the Palestinians who remained in Israel after its formation in 1948 – and who still dare to think of it as home.

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Guillermo Altares, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Manuel Calderón and Christopher Domínguez

in conversation with Mario Jursich

Cartagena 2010, 
The pleasure and responsibility of reviewing books: In this event our guests, consummate readers who have also reviewed many books and authors, will give their opinion about very common and yet pertinent questions, such as the role of book reviews today, how to convey the emotions experienced in reading, how to point out shortcomings, and how to select a book out of the immense choice on offer.

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David Frost talks to Peter Florence

Frost Frost

Hay Festival 2009, 
The peerless satirist and political interviewer in conversation.

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Niall Ferguson

The Barclays Wealth Lecture: Civilization – The West and The Rest

Hay Festival 2011, 
If the West’s ascendancy over the last 500 years is based on six ‘killer applications’ – competition, science, democracy, medicine, consumerism and the work ethic – then what happens now?
 
Read an article by Niall Ferguson www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/

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Emma Bridgewater, Hugh Peachey, Mike Moody and Daniel Butler

The 2009 Country Living Magazine Discussion: Thatcher, Farrier, Cooper…Call Centre Worker?

Hay Festival 2009, 
Rural skills are under threat, and without training for a new generation of craftspeople, the traditions we treasure will exist only in tales of days gone by. Chaired by countryside writer Daniel Butler, who talks to Hugh Peachey, gypsy wagon restorer and stonemason, Mike Moody, chair of the National Heritage Training Group, and entrepreneur Emma Bridgewater. Followed by a single malt whisky sampling by The Balvenie.

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Jill Evans MEP, Lisa Stevens, Kay Swinburne, John Bufton, Alan Butt Philip

European Election Question Time

Hay Festival 2009, 
Peter Florence chairs a hustings for the leading candidates (Plaid Cymru, Labour, Conservative, UKIP and Lib Dem) for the four Welsh seats voted for on 4 June. Questions welcome in advance via hayfestival.com/forum/europe.

Entry to this event is free, but you must book a ticket. There will be a collection for charity at the event.

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Peter Singer talks to Stephen Fry

Things That Matter

Hay Festival 2017, 

The Australian writer and thinker is often described as the world’s most influential living philosopher. He is known especially for his work on the ethics of our treatment of animals, for his controversial critique of the sanctity of life ethics in bioethics, and for his writing on the obligations of the affluent to aid those living in extreme poverty. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Most Good You Can Do, The Life You Can Save, Famine, Affluence and Morality, and most recently Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter. He talks to the Festival president.

Peter Singer talks to Stephen Fry

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Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig and guests

What Do We Want?

Hay Festival 2015, 

Eight hundred years after a gang of barons met in a tent by a river, which Rights do we want to fight for today? A fortnight after what looks like a rough old election, let’s dream about what a better world might look like and talk about how that might be achieved.

The festival President hosts this first in a Magna Carta series of twenty events at Hay Festival 2015, and is joined by international guests to discuss equalities.

Stephen Fry, Sandi Toksvig and guests

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James O’Brien talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

The Christopher Hitchens Lecture 2018

Hay Festival 2018, 

The LBC talkshow host has become one of the most exacting and powerful voices calling out political lies and speaking truths to both power and prejudice. He discusses the weaponising of fake news and ignorance, the power of dialogue and the urgent need for journalistic vigilance and authority. O'Brien is writing a book on these issues entitled How to be Right, to be published by Penguin Random House in November 2018.

James O’Brien talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

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Richard Wyn Jones and James Mitchell talk to Bethan Rhys Roberts

Scottish Independence: How Might it Affect Wales?

Hay Festival 2014, 

In light of the First Minister for Wales’s call for UK-wide constitutional conventions, how does the Scottish independence vote, whether yes or no, affect the people of Wales?

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Hugh Dennis talks to Marcus Brigstocke

Britty Britty Bang Bang

Hay Festival 2013, 

The Now Show and Outnumbered star muses on a self-confident, pluralist Olympic Britain – a country where a major politician can dangle helplessly from a zip wire like a discarded straw dolly and gain in popularity, and whose Jubilee Queen can send herself up and then descend by parachute.

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Carl Bernstein

Hay Festival 2013, 

The legendary journalist who broke the Watergate story for The Washington Post discusses the second-term Obama administration, and the resonant American anniversaries of Gettysburg (150), the end of the Vietnam War (40) and JFK's assassination (50) with Peter Florence.

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Peter Hitchens and Johann Hari

A Rational Debate About Drugs

Hay Festival 2015, 

It’s 100 years since drugs were first banned, and drug use and drug crime have continued to grow steadily across the world. What are people addicted to? Are any of the policies adopted around the world based on scientific data? Are any of them working? Hari is the author of Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War Against Drugs; Hitchens is the author of The War We Never Fought. Chaired by Hernando Alvarez, editor of BBC Mundo.

Peter Hitchens and Johann Hari

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Hans Blix talks to Jon Snow

The Joseph Rotblat Lecture 2013

Hay Festival 2013, 

This year’s lecture is given by the Swedish politician and diplomat. As Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency he led the Western inspection and response to the Chernobyl disaster. As head of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission he led the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq between 2000 and 2003, finding none. Chaired by Jon Snow.

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Paddy Ashdown

The Joseph Rotblat Lecture 2009: Ashdown’s Third Law

Hay Festival 2009, 
The WMD Awareness Programme lecture this year is given by the Royal Marine commando, party leader and international peacekeeper, whose memoir A Fortunate Life is published this month. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.
Paddy Ashdown

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Simon Schama, Niall Ferguson, Gary Younge and David Reynolds talk to Bronwen Maddox

Obama’s America

Hay Festival 2010, 
The historians set the current US administration and its achievements in context.
Simon Schama, Niall Ferguson, Gary Younge and David Reynolds talk to Bronwen Maddox

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Yanis Varoufakis talks to Martha Kearney

And the Weak Suffer What They Must

Hay Festival 2016, 

The former Finance Minister of Greece shows that the origins of the European collapse go far deeper than our leaders are prepared to admit – and that we have done nothing so far to fix it.

Yanis Varoufakis talks to Martha Kearney

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Nick Clegg talks to Philippe Sands

Hay Festival 2010, 
The Deputy Prime Minister gives his first public interview, discussing The Rule of Law, Constitutional Reform and the Coalition government.

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Periodismo y blogs: Arcadi Espada y Miguel Ángel Aguilar

Alhambra 2009, 
Arcadi Espada, profesor de Periodismo en la Universidad Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona, colaborador del diario El Mundo y autor, entre otras
obras, de Periodismo práctico, y Miguel Ángel Aguilar, colaborador de El País, secretario general y miembro fundador de la Asociación de Periodistas Europeos, reflexionan sobre el fenómeno de los blogs y su papel dentro del oficio periodístico.

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Professor Howard Williamson CBE, Karen Doherty, Hilary Hodgeson, Derek Browne and Dan Sutch

UK Youth Debate: Vision, Not Division

Hay Festival 2010, 
What young people need, but schools can’t deliver. Chaired by Susanna Reid.

Entry to this event is free but you must reserve a ticket.