Next Salon Discussion

Angela Nagle: Kill All Normies - Saturday 4 November 2:00pm start

Sat 4 Nov 2017: Battle of Ideas Manchester

Alt-right activism and identity politics, discussion with Angela Nagle and others on two pressing subjects

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Opinions from the North West
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Ian Bett's opinion articles

Gael Garcia Bernal

Gael Garcia Bernal's search for brotherhood

Ian Betts reflects on the importance of solidarity in Gael Garcia Bernal's films and others from the ¡Viva! Film Festival at the Cornerhouse - March 2012

 

Gael Garcia Bernal has starred in many definitive Latin American films: Amores Perros, Y Tu Mama Tambien and The Motorcycle Diaries have all garnered international awards and credibility for the way they represent the social issues of their respective cultures. Ironically though, they all depict Bernal as the cunning underdog struggling to escape the confines of the societal entrapment they criticise.

 

What is it about Gael that is so appealing? Perhaps it is because he lacks the hyper-masculine posturing of many established Hollywood stars; in Amores Perros, his character Octavio, a stubborn, beleaguered teenager, seeks to escape the squalor of his neighbourhood by entering his Rottweiler into dog-fighting competitions as he wishes to finance a new life for himself and his abused sister-in-law. A stubborn, beleaguered teenager, Octavio is an endearing and familiar protagonist who epitomises working-class ambition despite being failed by the promises of capitalism.

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Ian Bett's opinion articles

Young people pose the thumbs up

Votes at 16: an aspiration?

Opinion piece by Ian Betts January 2012

In my Salon article New Year, New Optimism, I suggested reducing the voting age to 16 to help end the stagnation of progressive politics and the endemic disaffection of young people in our society. Here, I lay out my reasons why I believe this to be the case.

 

Whatever your political leanings, this year will see significant developments in the mechanisms of our democracy. How we register to vote will change with plans to introduce Individual Electoral Registration, and how we are grouped in constituencies will be reworked by the Boundary Review. With a week of campaigning planned in February by Votes at 16 supporters to add names to their e-petition, it seems timely and relevant to discuss this proposal now.

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