The independent London newspaper

Be part of the rebuilding process on March 14

07 March, 2019

Polly Toynbee

• IT is good to see your paper reflecting readers’ protective involvement with our libraries, especially in light of the spatial fragmentation of the UK’s urban centres.

This has raised questions about the nature of contemporary culture and identity in this Brexit age. In our view libraries play a central role in the rebuilding of our social spaces and community feelings.

The mini citizens’ assembly at Belsize Library – which Polly Toynbee has kindly agreed to take part in on March 14 (6.30pm for 7pm) – to discuss some of the basic issues of our relationship with Europe is intended to make a small contribution to this rebuilding effort.

The following poem (below) by Robert Ilson, friend of Belsize library, expresses our hopes and expectations for the meeting.

Former Chair of Camden Public Libraries Users’ Group

The Belsize Brexit Talkathon
by Robert Ilson

Come one, come all
And fill our hall
When Brexit we’ll discuss:
Whate’er your view
We urge you to
Come speak of it to us.
This is a chance
Your cause to advance
So state it loud and clear!
But bear in mind
That others find
A different viewpoint dear.
So use your best ability
But argue with civility
And listen – don’t just tell
So even your opponents will
Granting your kindness and your skill
Dissent – but wish you well.


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