Tom Paine Festival - Polly Toynbee talk

To celebrate the Tom Paine Festival the Tom Paine Project have arranged a series of lunchtime lectures around the theme of ‘liberty’ by influential thinkers of our time. First up is Polly Toynbee, the Guardian columnist and voice of the small ‘l’ liberal left in the UK, who is giving a lecture with the provocative title ‘Why we need less liberty and more equality.’ “I’m not against liberty,” says Toynbee, “but it annoys me that so many people spend so much time complaining over issues like ID cards which are minor infringements of our liberty. Meanwhile gross inequalities in our society are getting worse and worse: there is soaraway poverty at the bottom and soaraway greed at the top. The liberty of the poor is fantastically more curtailed by their poverty than it would be by the introduction of an ID card. Meanwhile there is disproportionate discord about that issue by people who should be putting their attention to more relevant issues. There is something a more than a little decadent about such class blindness.”

“The gap between the bottom and the middle and the top are growing bigger and bigger,” she continues. The government have very little chance of achieving the targets they have set on child poverty. Rawls said that he didn’t think much of liberty if all it meant was freedom for the rich to dine at the Ritz. The liberty of the rich to earn as much as they want isn’t a liberty.” AL

Julian Bell’s Tom Paine points us in the right direction for liberty:
up to Market St and turn left
Westgate Chapel
How Much? 12.30-2pm
How Much? Free

Tom Paine Project
(w) Website