29th Oct 2016: Ragged University; Visit, Listen, Discuss, Write

Come along and join the Visit – Listen – Discuss – Write activity which this time will be focusing on the panel presentation given by Richard Murphy, Lesley Riddoch and Andy Wightman discuss Transforming Our Land and Taxation Policies on the 29th of October.  After the panel discussion we will be having a chat in the Out of the Blue Drillhall cafe area about what we have learned…

Wordpower Books

The Ragged University project is about socially learning and being active in lifelong learning through practicing our skills.  Everyone who is interested is invited to make a field trip to the amazing 20th Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair run by Wordpower Bookshop on Saturday 29th of October.

It is by actively investigating the world that we learn more. Drawing ideas from the Children’s University, The Democratic Intellect and Lifelong Learning in general that these field trips are to provide a setting for exercising our brains.

Join me, Alex Dunedin, on this field trip to learn what we can and write an essay on what you have taken away from the panel discussion. Anyone who wants to publish their essay on the website and review other people’s, are invited to do so.

Nothing is compulsory, so if you just want to attend and have a chat, you are welcome to join the group.


So the plan is:

  • Turn up at Out of the Blue Drillhall from 9.30 – 9.45 am
  • Listen to the panel discussion
  • Reconvene to the cafe to have a discussion
  • Go away and write about what we have learned (optional)
  • Publish, share and review our essays on the website (optional)


Out of the Blue & Drill Hall

36 Dalmeny St, Edinburgh EH6 8RG



Please be aware, this is a public event, so places are limited to first come, first served.  The event which we are visiting is organised not by Ragged University, but by Wordpower Bookshop, so we are guests visiting to learn what we can.

Wordpower Bookshop has been running free learning events for decades, and as an independent bookshop is an important site of learning which has contributed to the Edinburgh landscape.  As a local business, it deserves support as all its events are free.  More information about the panel discussion can be found on the Wordpower Bookshop website or written below:

More Information

At a time when new tax powers are being devolved to Scotland, Quakers in Scotland host a panel discussion and share ideas on a fairer tax system with Lesley Riddoch (journalist, broadcaster and author of Blossom), Andy Wightman MSP (The Poor Had No Lawyers) and Richard Murphy (political economist who has proposed a radical reform of our taxation system in The Joy of Tax and has been a significant influence on Corbynomics). Chaired by Sally Foster-Fullerton, Head of Christian Aid in Scotland.

Rev Sally Foster Fulton

Rev Sally Foster Fulton is the new Head of Christian Aid Scotland. For over eight years she was associate minister of Dunblane Cathedral. As a former convener of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council, she finds much resonance between her work for the church and the three key themes of Christian Aid: gender justice; climate justice; and tax justice. She sees the importance of linking the local and the global and finds that folk in Scotland are seeing the connections between the world we live in, and the neighbours we may never meet but whose lives are impacted by ours.
Richard Murphy

Richard Murphy  is a chartered accountant and was a founder of the Tax Justice Network, He now directs Tax Research UK and campaigns on issues of tax avoidance and evasion. He is also Professor of Practice in International Political Economy, City University of London.The Guardian newspaper has described him as an “anti-poverty and a tax expert.” He was named “most influential personality of the 7th world of taxation” by International Tax Review in 2013. He created the entirely new accounting concept of country-by-country reporting which is now being implemented by the OECD, EU and many countries around the world.
He has written extensively and blogs regularly. He has featured in many radio and television documentaries on taxation issues. He also made oral and written presentations before committees of the House of Commons and House of Lords. He is co-author of “Tax Havens: How Globalization Really Works”, published by Cornell University Press in 2009, and the author of “The Courageous State”, published by Searching Finance in 2011, “Over Here and Under Taxed”, published by Vintage Books in 2013, “The Joy of Tax”, published by Random House in 2015 and “Dirty Secrets”, a new study of tax havens to be published in 2017 by Verso.
Lesley Riddoch

Lesley Riddoch is one of Scotland’s best known commentators and broadcasters.  She was assistant editor of The Scotsman in the 1990s (and editor of the Scotswoman in 1995 when female staff wrote, edited and produced the paper) & contributing editor of the Sunday Herald.  She is best known for broadcasting with programmes on BBC2, Channel 4, Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland, for which she has won two Sony speech broadcaster awards. Lesley runs her own independent radio and podcast company, Feisty Ltd which produces a popular weekly podcast and was a member of the 3 year EU-funded Equimar marine energy project.
Lesley is a weekly columnist for the Scotsman and National and a regular contributor to the Guardian, Scotland Tonight, Question Time and Any Questions. Lesley is Director of Nordic Horizons, a policy group which exchanges expertise between the Nordic nations and Scotland and is completing a PhD supervised by Oslo and Strathclyde Universities. She founded the charity Africawoman and the feminist magazine Harpies and Quines and was a member of the Isle of Eigg Trust, which led to the successful community buyout in 1997. She wrote Riddoch on the Outer Hebrides in 2007 and published Blossom – what Scotland needs to Flourish with Luath in 2013 and Wee White Blossom — what post referendum Scotland needs to Flourish in Dec 2014. Her website is www.lesleyriddoch.com and her blog is Another Side of Lesley Riddoch www.lesleyriddoch.co.uk  She is a patron of Scottish MND and lives in Fife with her husband and podcast sparring partner Chris Smith.
Andy Wightman MSP

Andy Wightman MSP was elected as an MSP in May in 2016. He is a member of the Economy, Jobs & Fair Work Committee and the Local Government & Communities Committee in the Parliament. He is a respected writer and campaigner on land rights, democracy and the economy. Andy is the author of publications including Who Owns Scotland (1996), Scotland: Land and Power (1999), Community Land Rights: A Citizen’s Guide (2009) and The Poor Had No Lawyers (2010). He has served as a special advisor to the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee and represented the Scottish Green Party on the Commission on Local Tax Reform. Andy lives in Edinburgh and in any spare time he enjoys mountaineering, cycling and music.