We are now in a time of enormous political engagement, but most of us are ill equipped to truly understand and debate the issues currently rocking our world. Instead, we become entrenched in our echo chambers, convinced that those with a different viewpoint are stupid, awful human beings whose actions must be stopped. This lack of political knowledge and wider understanding is unsurprising – after all, few of us are taught about our political system or about different ideologies – but it leaves us unable to engage in the conversation, to influence others’ opinions, or to effect change. It leaves us with no control.
Tatton Spiller is the founder of ‘Simple Politics’, a hugely successful project that aims to explain and engage people with politics, both online and via talks. He has been a teacher and journalist, and worked at the Houses of Parliament devising, training and delivering education sessions for visiting school students. While there he watched many debates, engaged thousands of people, and organised Q & A sessions with hundreds of MPs. These experiences gave him a real insight into how the whole thing works and the nagging feeling that nobody was really breaking down politics in a way that engages people has never left him.