Oh, to be in Lewes. Now that July’s (almost) there.
Dalrymple will participate in the Lewes Speaker Festival on July 14. That’s Bastille Day of course, and he will discuss “The future of French society after the May elections” with Jonathan Meades and Jonathan Fenby. The fireworks start a few hours later when he debates the resolution “The welfare state and liberal attitudes to morality are the principal causes of the breakdown of British society” with… oh my… Polly Toynbee of the Guardian.
Of course, you can have a welfare state without liberal attitudes to morality, and Dalrymple has always maintained that Britain’s social problems were caused by one and not the other:
Welfare states have existed for substantial periods of time without the development of a modern underclass: an added ingredient is obviously necessary. This ingredient is to be found in the realm of ideas.–Introduction to Life at the Bottom
But I for one find it heartening that the “the breakdown of British society” seems to be taken as a given. Will Ms. Toynbee cite a different cause for this breakdown or deny that it exists at all? I’m not familiar enough with her position. Were last summer’s riots enough to wake up even liberal Guardian columnists — to the problem if not to the cause?
The website for the event has more details as well as a link for purchasing tickets. I don’t see anything about an internet broadcast or other kind of recording, so perhaps one of our readers can do us a favor and make one themselves.
So that we might recapture the first fine careless rapture!