Author of Jokes and their Relation to Society, The Mirth of Nations and The Right to Joke, Christie Davies is Professor Emeritus of Sociology. His research concentrates on the comparative and historical study of humour and morality, in which latter field he has published The Strange Death Of Moral Britain. He argues here that we have not only the right to tell politically incorrect jokes that may offend all manner of sensibilities, but often a duty to do so as well.
Recorded at Christ Church, University of Oxford, on 21st October 2009
The growth of the database state in recent years is a major concern of civil libertarians: each new social problem is greeted with calls for greater surveillance and restriction of the private sphere. Guy Herbert spoke about the origins and underlying ideology behind this worldview, tracing its roots far deeper than the whim of headline-seeking New Labour ministers.
General Secretary of NO2ID, a grassroots campaign against ID cards, Guy Herbert is a prominent figure in the fight for civil liberties in the wake of the progressive growth of the surveillance state in recent years. Most active in opposing the Identity Card project and the National Identity Register, which sits behind it and will collate the intimate personal details of all citizens, NO2ID also oppose the government's efforts to centralise medical records and fingerprint young children. Guy is an occasional contributor to The Guardian and libertarian blog Samizdata, and is professionally a business affairs consultant. He stood for parliament in 1992 for the Green Party, though he now considers himself a 'Tory anarchist.'
Recorded at the Manor Road Building, University of Oxford, on 16th October 2009
The Speak Easy is a regular forum organised by the Oxford University Liberal Democrats, Compass Oxford and the Oxford Libertarian Society, with discussion topics of interest to liberals of all kinds.
Hicham Yezza is a writer and activist. He has edited Ceasefire magazine since its founding in 2003 and is also a founding member of the Nottingham Peace Movement. In this talk, he discusses his experience starting in 2008 of several long periods of arbitrary detention under the Government's anti-terrorist and immigration powers, as well as the Home Office's attempt to deport him.