Response by Prof Stephen Coleman on the public lecture The Lost Art of Listening: The Missing Key to Democratic and Civil Society Participation by Prof Jim Macnamara

Thank you Jim.

I listened, with growing admiration… great project. We want more of it.

Your subject could not be more politically timely, for we’re living through what increasingly feels like an insurgency of the unheard.

For most of my lifetime, it’s been complacently assumed that the unheard would simply fade away, that’s not always the verb that was used, into solemn silence, interrupted by occasional bouts of vulgar peak and localised self arm. Leave them alone, exclude them from polling models, because they won’t vote. Humour their audacious resentments. And tell them what’s best for them, from how to bring up their kids, to how to speak.