Edmund Wheatley

Edmund Wheatley is a retired headteacher who came to Speakers’ Corner after attending the Methodist chapel where Donald Soper ministered. Impressed, he set up his own platform in 1960 called the British Association for World Government, arguing for a democratic chamber at the United Nations. He still speaks now. His wife attends out of “marital duty.” He was asked to give lecture tours in Germany and Japan on the strength of his performances at Speakers’ Corner. “When you go to Speakers’ Corner your words are thrown out on the wind. You don’t know what the effects are but you mustn’t assume they’re negligible,” he says. He talks about hangings at Tyburn, the arrival of the Nation of Islam in the 1980s, the “incredible cross-section of people” today, occasional incidents of unrest, the “gentler” nature of modern heckling, debate moving onto the internet, and the “I’m saved, you’re not” mentality of religious speakers.

Audio of Edmund