I’m talking about persuasion and politics in The Age of Consent on BBC Radio 4 tonight at 8pm. If we think the authority of our governments depends in some sense on our consent, then what do we make of the manufacture of consent on the part of spin doctors and producers of fake news? Was the US election really ‘free and fair’ if the voters were influenced by propaganda? Is Brexit really the will of the British people if half truths swung the vote? I have no idea, but it’s worth thinking about how democracy might be under new sorts of pressure as our powers of persuasion grow.