Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Nearing the Tom Paine Bicentenary Festival in Lewes

Tom Paine Bicentenary Festival, Lewes, 4th to 14th July 2009

There've been a lot of delays in moving the Tom Paine Printing Press from Alan May's workshop near Stafford to Lewes. These have been caused by problems with finding suitable vacant premises, but it now looks as though the Market Tower will be available from mid-June, so there should just be time to get the press in there and in working order, with type, paper and ink. Watch this space! I plan to be running a series of letterpress printing workshops, talks and school visits to the press during the Festival.

With all the scandals about Parliament at the moment, Tom Paine's radical views about 'old corruption' are again being aired. I can hear his bones (wherever they are) rattling.

It's interesting that politicians are using the parliamentary expenses scandal to float yet again many constitutional reform projects - and about time too! Many of these, or variants, were proposed over two hundred years ago. We're clearly a Burkean nation, with such a snail's pace rate of reform.

It's also interesting to see the Conservatives, under David Cameron, ahead of the game with firmness of treatment for parliamentary offenders and with constitutional reform proposals.

Now what about the bankers? Everyone's taken their eyes off the ball here! When are we going to have some powerful effective reform of the system of banking regulation, and indeed of corporate governance.