Speak up

We all have moments when we really need to get something off our chest.

And we all have different ways of expressing what is on our mind.

Some write letters to the editor of their local newspaper, others like to get a bit chopsy with their local councillor, there are those who subject their nearest and dearest to regular weekly rants and quite a few of us blog.

There is a long and rich tradition in this country of providing people with a platform to express their opinion on whatever issue they choose, as well as share information and ideas.

For some blogging has become an increasingly useful platform. But one of the oldest platforms is about to make a welcome return to Lichfield – a Speakers’ Corner.

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The Speakers Corner Trust is well advanced in preparations to create a speakers’ corner in Lichfield.

An exhibition of the preparations opens at the Wedge Gallery, on the South Staffordshire College campus at The Friary, next month ahead of a planned launch event in May. The local organising committee has also set up a website to keep local people informed.

During the last century open air public meetings were central to our political and social life and played an instrumental part in some historic moments – such as electoral reform.

Over the last 20-30 years our politicians and decision-making institutions have increasingly been seen as remote and out of touch with popular opinion. The idea behind a revived Speakers’ Corner is to once more provide the public with a platform they have lost access to over the years – a case of going back to the future.

Communities and individuals are being encouraged to take a much greater part in political debate and have their say on everything from national Government policies to much more localised issues.

We are all guilty, at times, of becoming a little complacent about features of our society that others in so many different countries are involved in a daily fight to secure.

We have freedom of speech, we have a democracy. We must stop taking such privileges for granted.

If the resurrection of Speakers’ Corner plays a part in breaking this complacency then it deserves universal support.

We’ll be keeping a very interested eye on developments in Lichfield.

And, of course, we’ll be expressing opinions, sharing information and promoting ideas.

  • Lichfield’s Speakers’ Corner – Work in Progress takes place between April 20 and May 1 at the Wedge Gallery & Project Space (10am-4pm Mon-Fri; 10am-12pm Sat).
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Group Editor for a media and publishing company - laidback, with a sunny disposition and a belief that everyone is fantastic and there's nothing wrong with modern life at all. A Welsh exile - tidy darts.

12 Comments

  1. Pingback: Speak up « Groves Media

  2. Pingback: The Lichfield Blog » Blog Archive » Lichfield Speakers’ Corner project pushes on

  3. Mr lol

    16th May, 2009 at 9:42 am

    i missed the speakers coner in town

    how did it go

  4. Roger de Havilland

    18th September, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Why don’t you do anything for the visual arts ?

    Is no one interested?

    Why can’t you use empty shops (there are quite a few blighting the City) to promote local arts and crafts. Other places do.

    It is shocking that no one in charge of “ARTS” seems to not acknowledge the talent around you.

    Roger de Havilland

  5. Paul Groves

    18th September, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Roger.
    Who do you mean by “you” when you say “why don’t you do anything for the visual arts?”
    This blog, which is run by volunteers not linked to any official organisation, does cover the visual arts when the information is provided.

  6. Roger de Havilland

    18th September, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Sorry Paul

    I did a copy paste of e-mails I sent to Council and Arts Organisers in Lichfield. I didn’t mean you or your fine blog :-)

    I am just fed up with getting no response from anyone.

    I wondered what your fellow bloggers might think.

  7. Paul Groves

    18th September, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    No need to apologise Roger.
    In fact it sounds like material for a possible article on the blog!
    I’ll email you.

  8. John

    18th September, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Does anyone ever use Lichfield’s Speakers Corner?

  9. Paul Groves

    18th September, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    John: I tend to be muttering myself whenever I go past on my bike early in the morning (not sure that counts though). You can go to http://www.lichfieldspeakerscorner.org.uk and register for updates on events.

  10. Unconcerned Citizen

    19th September, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Roger –
    the idea of doing something with the empty shops is quite good but i expect each shops situation is different (different landlords etc – if its in use, council tax must be paid i believe , the local council have no powers to reduce this tax other than the discount granted to charities).
    I know a lot of different art and crafts does occur in the city and i think some different ‘models’ of promoting them can’t hurt. – theres already a market for art here and tourists are always after a nice souvenir.
    Its fair to say they could be more prominent – if you dont go looking – you might miss it.

    Maybe you could put your efforts/concerns to people with similar thoughts/common goals and work together – i expect this occurs in other towns and someones got to get the ball rolling.

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