Tom Paine Festival -
Sir Menzies Campbell
The Tom Paine Project’s Festival 2006 Lunchtime Lecture
series has been a great success this year, and it is set to
close on a high today when Sir Menzies Campbell gives his
lecture. It is entitled A Liberal Britain in a Liberal World
- and Viva Lewes can reveal that it will focus on civil liberties,
and the erosion of rights and liberty under recent and forthcoming
legislation. He will talk about the depletion of personal
liberties and the Liberal Democrats' alternative vision which
puts a rights-based legal system at its heart. Menzies Campbell
will also use the opportunity to talk about the expected extradition
of the "Natwest 3" on Thursday morning.
When asked by Viva Lewes what Tom Paine represents for him,
Sir Menzies Campbell commented: "Tom Paine recognised
the importance of rights as a means to protect the individual
from coercion by the state. He recognised an inalienable worth
in every human being and he sought to put that at the centre
of their relationship with their government and fellow man.
He stood by those views when it might have been easier to
abandon them. That is a quality to which we should all aspire."
Sir Menzies Campbell is one of the most respected and revered
politicians of his generation. He is MP for North East Fife
and has been the Leader of the Liberal Democrats since March
2006. However, athletics, not politics was his first love.
He ran the 200m for the GB team at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics
and held the British 100m record from 1967 to 1974. KA