On our third episode of byline, we speak with journalist Peter Geoghegan, author of the new book Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics, tracking the money that flows through British politics. We talk to Peter about Brexit, the DUP, Arron Banks, as well as Peter’s career, his work with openDemocracy, and his encounters with Steve Bannon.
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Many of us bought the Tiocfaidh Ár Sesh jumpers filled with hope and optimism during lockdown and this week, the first hint of the (official) night time industry peeped its head out as a club was reformatted in Dublin to make way for a new way to party. There were temperature checks on arrival, socially distanced tables, substantial glam bites to nibble on, table service and a show provided Dublin Drag Diva, Davina Devine. We’re catching up with Davina to see how lockdown impacted the entertainment industry, bringing drag online, how it feels to be back IRL and what the future holds for the night time economy (and the sesh).
In this bonus episode, we talk to Gary Grant of the Irish company Imbibe, which sells high-end coffee, yet also returns 3% of its turnover to Women’s Aid, its own staff, and projects in countries where it sources coffee. How has this small company designed itself with ethics and decency in mind, and how can more people do this?
One of the recurring conversations we have off mic over the past couple of years is around how the internet radicalises people, how people become indoctrinated by their own particular echo chambers – from men’s rights red pill stuff to conspiracy – and how it’s so hard to engage with people on this because it’s like their minds are made up, they’re totally closed off. The growth in visibility of the far-right in Ireland, some of it rooted in outright conspiracy, and the spread of QAnon-related conspiracy and conspirituality online has brought this to the fore again. People have even started listing it as a hobby on Tinder.
So we wanted to talk to someone who can tell us what to do if someone we know starts falling down the rabbit hole. We’re talking to Rick Alan Ross, who is a specialist in cults, and deprogramming. He has handled hundreds of deprogramming cases around the world, he was consulted by the FBI during the infamous Waco siege in 1987, he is the author of Cults: Inside And Out, and is the director of the Cult Education Institute.
This week, we’ve not only given up our counties format but we’re eschewing many of our regular features for a very special ‘The 8th’ film special.
The 8th opened this year’s Galway Film Fleadh on Tuesday, albeit in a digital capacity, but has still managed to excite both feminists and film lovers alike with both subject and style. We’re joined by the 3 co-directors Aideen Kane, Lucy Kennedy and Maeve O’Boyle to talk about the making of the film, releasing it in a COVID world and the films onwards journey.
This week, we delve into the world of QAnon. Una and Andrea discuss the genesis of a conspiracy turned community turned cult-like structure that has seen an increased real-life impact, from its followers running for public office in the US, to people losing family members and friends who are falling down a Q-shaped rabbit hole. Aoife Gallagher from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue joins us to talk about where QAnon came from and where it’s going. Also, in this episode, Andrea is out and about while Una remains in her bunker, a new government is formed with some very random ministers, and the Great Hotel Buffet Debate.
The overspill of people on to the streets as a result of our socialising being restricted to public space because cafes, pubs and restaurants are closed has really highlighted the lack of amenities we have in our towns and cities when the commercial providers are taken out of the mix.
Which begs the question, who is public space for (or not as the case may be) and can we enjoy it if we’re not spending money? We talk to Joan O’Connell from Streets Are For People and Green Party Cllr Claire Byrne about the seating situation as well as the anticipation around the PfG votes.
This month on BYLINE, we’re joined by one of the most vital voices in American journalism today, Sarah Kendzior.
Kendzior is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America, and her latest brilliant assessment of American carnage, Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America.
Kendzior rose to fame as the urgency in her voice grew throughout 2016 when she warned about the likelihood of Donald Trump’s election win, and has since laid out – with terrifying accuracy – his kleptocratic actions since then.
She is also the co-host with Andrea Chalupa of the podcast Gaslit Nation, which you can support on Patreon.
BYLINE is our monthly series where we talk to excellent journalists reporting on the stories that matter. In this episode, we talk to Kendzior about her formative years in journalism, the power of being an outsider, the transnational crime syndicate that is the Trump administration and its hangers on, the Russian mafia, the upcoming November election, Qanon, and more.
It’s the Notorious PfG. What does it mean? What’s in there? What’s not?
Una has her reading glasses on as she runs through the Programme for Government agreed by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil and the Greens with now the parties and their members needing to agree that the document and coalition is worth going for.
Joining us to talk about the economic aspects of the document, is Aidan Regan, Associate Professor at the School of Politics and International Relations at UCD.