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In Conversation with…

22 October 2012

In Conversation with

Cardiff University and The OU in Wales have formally launched a series of events aimed at promoting and facilitating debate about politics and government in modern Wales and beyond.

'In Conversation with…' is a collaboration between Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre (WGC) and The OU, which sees leading public figures interviewed and probed about their life, influences and views. Each event takes place at the iconic Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay, a stone's throw from the Senedd.

These events, and other lectures at the Pierhead, such as the WGC annual lecture given by the Deputy Prime Minister earlier this year, will be available to the world through The OU's OpenLearn and iTunesU platforms.

The first event welcomed the Rt Hon Peter Hain MP to give his unique take on his life in politics, with Rob Humphreys, Director of the OU in Wales as the interviewer.

Mr Hain took the audience on a journey from apartheid South Africa to the Northern Ireland peace process, stopping off to discuss the Brown-Blair tensions, the election for leader of Welsh Labour in 1999 and his own attempt to be Deputy Leader of the Labour party.

Richard Wyn Jones, Director of the Wales Governance Centre said: "This was one of the most insightful public events I have ever attended in terms of opening a window on the realities of political life – the highs and the lows; the ideals that motivate as well as the inevitable compromises of power.

"As well as reflecting very great credit on him personally, Peter Hain's open and honest responses to sometimes difficult questions completely vindicated the 'In Conversation with…' format. All of us involved in the Wales Governance Centre will look forward eagerly to future events as well as to deepening our cooperation with the Open University in Wales."

Rob Humphreys, said: "Moving away from 'soundbite' culture, these events allow us to learn, and interrogate, the motivations and unknown stories behind the careers and decisions of leading public figures.

"Through OpenLearn we can ensure that we open up debates about Welsh governance and politics, but also place it within the context of other developments in these islands, as well as European and global politics.

"The OU in Wales is delighted to be working with Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre to present an exciting programme of events, widening access to debate and understanding of contemporary politics and governance."

The events and other lectures at the Pierhead will be available through the Open University's OpenLearn and iTunes U platforms.

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