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RSS FeedsWhy millennials are lapping up every tweet and podcast from 94-year-old agitator Harry Leslie Smith
(The Star Environment)

 
 

17 september 2017 01:16:55

 
Why millennials are lapping up every tweet and podcast from 94-year-old agitator Harry Leslie Smith
(The Star Environment)
 




BELLEVILLE, ONT.—His voice is reed-thin — best you lean in to hear it — and there is the occasional pregnant pause to recover his breath but not his thoughts; this is a man who knows exactly what he wants to say. Ninety-four years of life, with its joys, heartbreak, triumphs and hard lessons, has imbued him with wisdom he feels compelled to share.Now Harry Leslie Smith is imploring you, all of you, to listen.So he writes books and newspaper columns, goes on university speaking tours, takes to Twitter (117,000 followers) and, in hope his message touches today’s youth, records passionate podcasts. On platforms that didn’t exist during his first 80 years, Smith preaches about preserving democracy and the welfare state, creating a just society and living a life of compassion, all from an enthusiastically leftist perspective. And he rails against Donald Trump, Brexit, inequality, corporate greed and whatever else he finds loathsome, his pointed words delivered with an engaging, guy-on-the-next-barstool folksiness. In his tenth decade, Smith is trying to change the world, with the urgency of someone who understands the time constraints.“As we get into our late years, surely we should all be endeavouring to give something back to the country, to make it a better place when we leave,” he says. “Life is not permanent, although a lot of people look at me and say, you’re coming damn close to it.”Smith, who divides his time between Belleville and his native Britain, has lived through the ravages of war and he fears those storm clouds are building again. He’s heard the cries of pain from those abandoned to die in the days before socialized medicine and is troubled those hard-earned benefits are being eroded. He served in the Royal Air Force when the Allies pushed back the Nazi scourge and is chilled by the prospect of such evils rising anew.He survived a depression, world war and cold war and believ ...
 
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