Simon Tonkin is named Liberty's '80th Writer' on Human Rights Day

Posted by Ian McDonald on 10 December 2014

Simon TonkinWe would like to congratulate Simon Tonkin, who has won our competition to become our ‘80th Writer’.  Simon’s piece, Calais Plage, now stands alongside 79 other works from leading figures in literature inspired by the concept of ‘Liberty’, to mark our 80th anniversary. 
 
The 80 entries from our ‘Writers at Liberty’ demonstrate how fortunate we are in the UK to be able to express ourselves freely on issues we care about.  However, Calais Plage, like many of the pieces, challenges us to view some of Britain’s policies through the eyes of those on the receiving end: reminding us that the protection of fundamental rights at home can actually be a very mixed bag.
 
It’s perhaps fitting, then, that today is also International Human Rights Day.  This year’s theme is ‘Human Rights 365’ – the idea that every day, everywhere, everyone is entitled to the full range of human rights protections set out in the Universal Declaration. 

Our writers and competition entrants, however, have shown that this theme is not necessarily a reality in the UK.  Their poetry and prose are a reminder that, despite the many successes of past decades, there’s much work to be done.

As long as our members and people like Simon Tonkin are willing to speak out in defence of rights and freedoms, that work will go on.  And Human Rights Day will be a cause for celebration for years to come.
 
All 80 pieces from our Writers at Liberty have been compiled into a book which can be downloaded here.