Can We Talk seminar Sunday March 4, 7.30pm

This Sunday marks the first event in what is hoped to be a long and successful collaboration between GPS and Barter Books in Alnwick.


The proprietors of Barter Books have set out to establish it as the centre of social and political debate in Northumberland and GPS are jointly developing a full programme of debates for later this year and 2013.


The first of these debates takes place on

Sunday 4th March 2012 at 7.30pm at Barter Books.


The topic for the debate is:

'Should Assisted Suicide Be Legalised?'


The Yes case is being argued by Tom Shakespeare. Tom trained in sociology at the University of Cambridge, and has worked at the Universities of Sunderland, Leeds and Newcastle. Since 2008, he has worked in the Disability and Rehabilitation team at the World Health Organization, although he is speaking in a personal capacity at this event. 

His books include The Sexual Politics of Disability, Genetic Politics: from eugenics to genome, and Disability Rights and Wrongs.  He has written and broadcast widely about bioethics and disability rights issues, and has been involved in the disability movement for  25 years.


The No case will be argued by Kevin Fitzpatrick, Director, Inclusion 21 Ltd.

Kevin, who has a PhD in Philosophy, has almost 40 years direct experience of disability and the issues affecting disabled people. He is leading Not Dead Yet UK's responses to the call for a law to allow euthanasia/assisted suicide. He is Director of Inclusion21Ltd, offering training and consultancy promoting equality and diversity, a former university lecturer, and is an associate of the Welsh Institute of Health and Social Care at the University of Glamorgan. He is also a non-executive director of the Welsh Ambulance Services Trust and a board member of Consumer Focus Wales. Kevin chairs the board of trustees of St David's Children Society adoption agency, and of Arts Care Cymru. He was appointed Disability Rights Commissioner for Wales at the DRC's inception in 2000, staying in this role until the Commission ended in 2007. He was awarded OBE for services to disabled people in Wales in 2011.


Each speaker will have 20 minutes to present their case before 20 minutes of questions from the floor. After the debate there will be an informal wine reception for the speakers and attendees.


Barter Books was recently voted as one of the world's most beautiful bookshops and so is a great venue for the debate.


The venue seats about 60 people so if you would like to attend please let Dr Simon Philpott know so that a seat is reserved. There is a small charge of £5 to attend the event.


If there are any questions about this week's even or other upcoming debates please do let me know and I will do my best to answer.


Dr Simon Philpott

Senior Lecturer in International Politics Director of External Relations School of Geography, Politics and Sociology Newcastle University Newcastle upon Tyne


Ph: 44+191+2227473


published on: 29th February 2012