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!
Great to see Dalrymple in a public debate again. Let’s hope he can get more than two sentences in as that will be an improvement over the recent Brand debate.
I know Polly Toynbee has a reputation as the arch-queen of Liberalism but I also heard her speak quite well in the past. Let’s hope Dalrymple, with his rich experience, can get some points over to her. It would also be good to see Peter Hitchens, and indeed A.C. Grayling, speak.
Lewes will be quite a long way for me but if I can make it I will go to support TD and maybe get a recording. Its proximity to Brighton may garner an audience with a particularly liberal attitude, but then again Lewes is a small town, so there’s hope.
Potty Polly will probably cite inequality.
Well, Lewes is much too far for me to travel, but I very much hope that someone gets an audio recording of this event because I can’t think of two people I’d hear locking horns than TD and Polly Toynbee.
There should be three debates (I think) involving TD loaded up here http://iai.tv/home/talks_and_debates?theme=culture-and-society&event=howthelightgetsin-2012
One debate, Selling Ourselves, included Brooke Magnanti and Catherine Hakim… hmmm… I think of Litter where he writes of how he encountered a woman (maybe a director of an arts museum?) and her casual attitude about vomit in the streets “it’s fine!” or to that effect.
TD say’s how he was bascially speechless, what I know of Hakim (not much) and I suspect Magnanti also, he’ll have a few speechless moments.
I’m not going to be able to make it to the Lewes festival unfortunately as I’m going to something else on the 14th which has been arranged for some time. So, it would be good if someone does record TD’s sessions!