He started work on a farm at the age of 14 and after a few years, became a village branch secretary of the National Union of Agricultural Workers. He eventually became North Lindsey Union District Organiser, overseeing the union activity of over 100 union branches for over thirty years. Great improvements were made in farm workers’ wages and working conditions during his time there.
It was his reading of Henry George’s Progress and Poverty that led him to recognise the potential of the land-value tax to eradicate many of the social ills associated with inequality and poverty. During his time as a Labour councillor on the Lindsey and Humberside County Council and member of the North Lincolnshire Council, and as a magistrate, he was frustrated by the party’s failure to appreciate that public services could be greatly enhanced if private ownership were restricted to things produced by labour and the economic rent were collected for public revenue.
He became a qualified local Methodist preacher in 1949, and, like Henry George, believes that ‘there is in true Christianity a power to regenerate the world’.
Following six years of study with the Open University, he was awarded a BSc (Hons) degree in Social Sciences. He felt the study and degree were of little avail because of the complete absence of the philosophy of Henry George from his studies. He believes there is a need to include this philosophy in order for education to eradicate social ills.
George Curtis is the author of Poverty is not Natural. To order, or find out more about this book please click on the cover image below.
“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings” Nelson Mandela
“Inequality is an issue that looks set to rise inexorably up the political agenda in the coming months and years. This excellent and timely little book addresses one of the fundamental causes of inequality, and puts forward a solution that could in principle be acceptable to those on both the left and right of politics.”
Bernadette Meaden, Ekklesia. Read full review here.