Video: Robbing the Poor

James Meek asks how, in a time of austerity economics, we define the robber and the robbed

James Meek delivers his lecture, ‘Robin Hood in a Time of Austerity’, as part of the LRB’s 2016 Winter Lecture series at the British Museum. Meek argues how the Robin Hood myth has been turned on its head by the wealthiest and most powerful, so that those who were previously considered ‘poor’ are now accused of wallowing in luxury and not needing to work, funded by the taxes of 'hardworking people'. He considers statements by George Osborne, David Cameron, Stephen Harper, Marco Rubio and more and reflects on how Eric Hobsbawm’s characterisation of Robin Hood as the 'noble robber' has changed.