Citizen Truths and Civic Principles: The Reformation of Public Relations

Citizen Truths and Civic Principles: The Reformation of Public Relations

At an event today, the great and the good in UK media discussed ‘where the truth lies’ in business and media today. Guests bristled through a lively conversation on a wide range of topics...
Milton Friedman is Dead

Milton Friedman is Dead

The Gordon Gekko mantra that ‘Greed is good’ is now oft-repeated in casual conversational references to an era passed, but those who still cling to the Friedman obsession with free markets and the doctrine that the social responsibility of business is to maximize its profits...
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Content, Communications & The Art of Absence

Content, Communications & The Art of Absence

John Cage’s 1952 recording of four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence was the musical expression of Duchamp’s belief in the role of spectator as well as artist; in the subversion of the conventional. You can watch a version of it here. David Bowie is another artist who properly understands the power of absence –...
Polising the State of Media

Polising the State of Media

Neil Wallis (formerly of the News of the World and, briefly, the Metropolitan Police) accidentally said that “what we see in the media, we see in all the other institutions of society”. Speaking at #PolisTrust at the London School of Economics, Wallis was referring to the issue of trust. He is of course correct –...
The Indecency of Power

The Indecency of Power

Plato famously believed that philosophers should rule. Aristotle argued that the political class must be led by ‘men of virtue’. They both had a point. “Much of what is amiss in our world”, as Judt commented, “can best be captured in the language of classical political thought”. In today’s city states, nation states and business...
Ill Fares The Land: The Book I Wish I Had Written

Ill Fares The Land: The Book I Wish I Had Written

Possibly one of the finest treatises on politics, Tony Judt’s ‘Ill Fares The Land’ is the one book I wish that I had written. Polemical and passionate in equal measure – and despite Judt’s untimely death – this is in many ways the book for our times: the perfect re-artuclation of social democracy and the...
Bright Ideas: On Creative Spaces, the Citizen State & Sex as Science Fact

Bright Ideas: On Creative Spaces, the Citizen State & Sex as Science Fact

Three short, ‘Bright Ideas’, as featured in today’s eI Individual Digest. These are thoughts collected amid the peaceful beauty of Aldeburgh, Thorpeness and Snape – home to Names Not Numbers 2013, a symposium created by @juliahobsbawm and dedicated to discusing the role of individuality in a mass age. Also billed as “like Davos, but with...
Three (more) things they don’t tell you about capitalism

Three (more) things they don’t tell you about capitalism

Professor Ha-Joon Chang has two things in common with Karl Marx. Firstly he’s right in much of his economic analysis of the ills of capitalism and secondly his prescriptions of the solutions to these ills are lacking. Chang’s best-selling book 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism is a timely and important addition to...
Stealing Back The Commons: Citizen Economics Beyond Capitalism (Part Two)

Stealing Back The Commons: Citizen Economics Beyond Capitalism (Part Two)

In part one of this blog we suggested that it might be time to question the role of capitalism in securing our futures. In this second part of the blog we look at what might replace or update capitalism 1.0. Res Communes – sustainable wellbeing economics of, by and for the citizens I’m involved currently...
Stealing Back The Commons: Citizen Economics Beyond Capitalism (Part One)

Stealing Back The Commons: Citizen Economics Beyond Capitalism (Part One)

Michael Jacobs, an ex-SpAd to Gordon Brown, has recently written in the New Satesman that ‘green social democracy can save capitalism’. Well, not everyone agrees. For some, the ‘green social democracy’ experiment has, thus far, not worked, and indeed, might be running out of time. And as for capitalism – or at least capitalism1.0, it’s...
Nick Clegg's Failure is the Failure to Ask The Right Questions

Nick Clegg’s Failure is the Failure to Ask The Right Questions

Nick Clegg’s current predicament is a perfect example of a leader failing to ask the right questions. Furthermore, as Professor Stefan Stern has pointed out, Clegg has been swept into the classic CEO pitfall of choosing not to pursue issues that sit in the “too hard” basket. Both epitomise serious shortcomings of leadership. The fact...