School Lecture: Toby Young
INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER PROGRAMME
Toby Young: 28 April 2012 review by Charlie Gordon (5b)
"Toby Young, Associate Editor of The Spectator, co-founder of the West London Free School and political columnist, gave a presentation that was factual, concise and, in my opinion, gave our school a point of view that is controversial and different to one that I, and I am sure others, had heard before.
The theme for the talk was set by his story of a family holiday to Ibiza where he was invited to a party. What struck him were billionaires with their model girlfriends dressed in ‘normal’ clothing or clothes that one would not expect the stereotypical billionaire to wear. Mr Young used this image to illustrate his theme of the difference between what he regards as the triumph of social equality in comparison to very prominent economic inequality. His theory was that the current economic crisis is not something that we’ve seen before, it is something so global in its effects and it has caught up nations that have previously been independent form western economic influence. He said that previously in British history your fate has been determined by your birth and your parents' wealth and social status and that at present Britain remains one of the most socially immobile countries.
Mr Young believed that the effects of this current economic situation have been worldwide and that they have the potential to cause profound upheaval to notions of democracy, and capitalism has been desirable because it delivers improved living standards for the majority. Events such as the riots in London last August and more importantly the Arab Spring in the Middle East could be signs of mass upheavals against traditional political structures whether democratic or not. A key point which Mr Young made was that this civil unrest is not going to disappear and the global financial situation could generate a political and cultural revolution which disregards the traditional social structure of Britain. Mr Young finished with the idea that one of the many consequences of these alterations in our current society would be that schools such as Sherborne would find the ground cut from under their feet and outdated."
Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012