Kenneth Griffith's Documentary About Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine - The Most Valuable Englishman Ever (Part 1 - YouTube)

Thomas Paine - The Most Valuable Englishman Ever (Part 2 - YouTube)

Thomas Paine's Clarion Call For Freedom
When in 1776 the United States of America broke away from Britain, a country without a written constitution, with an established Church and an unelected House of Lords, Thomas Paine, an artisan from Thetford in Norfolk, England, made a call for freedom that is still reverberating around the world today. At the end of the 18th century this great free-thinking philosopher was wanted dead or alive in England for daring to fight for democracy, votes for all men and women, the abolition of slavery, and a welfare state with pensions for all. Those caught reading the following books could be heavily fined or deported to Australia:
Common Sense (1776)
"The sun never shone on a greater worth. It is not the concern of a day, a year or an age, posterity is virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected, even to the end of time, by the proceedings now: now is the seed time of American continental union, faith and honour. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe, Asia and Africa hath long expelled freedom. Europe regards freedom like a stranger, and England hath given freedom warning to depart. O America, receive the fugitive freedom, and prepare, in time, an asylum for humankind."

Crisis (1777)

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis turn from the service of his country, but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered, yet we have the consolation with us, the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it."

Rights of Man (1791)
"When it can be said by any country in the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them, my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars, the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive, the rational world is my friend because I am the friend of happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and government. Independence is my happiness, the world is my country and my religion is to do good."

The Age of Reason (1794)
"I hope for happiness beyond this life, I believe in the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavouring to make our fellow creatures happy. I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Muslim Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church."

"All national institutions of Churches appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and to monopolise power and profit. Now some will say are we to have no word of God, no revelation? I answer, yes, there is a word of God, there is a revelation, the word of God is in the creation we behold, and it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God, speaketh, universally to man."

"Where freedom is", said Benjamin Franklin, "there is my country,"

"Where freedom is not," replied his friend Paine, "there is mine,"

All these quotations are taken from Kenneth Griffith's brilliant Thomas Paine documentary that somehow, in 1982, crept past the thought police who control the BBC in England. All requests for a repeat have been flatly rejected.