I met Billy Bragg the other week. What a great pleasure, having seen him perform many times over the years. Lest we forget, here’s one of his most beautiful love songs:
Billy was talking about the idea of Power and Responsibility at the RSA and I managed to pick a copy of his book “The Progressive Patriot” up whilst swapping it for a copy my book Punk Rock People Management along with a badge and plectrum ( I realise this probably sounds like an “Alan Partridge Tie and Blazer combination pack” as I write the sentence 🙂 Bragg turns up in the chapter on Unions and he seemed pleased to receive a book about a snappier and more authentic approach to HR and business.
Here’s some of the stand-out takeaways for me:
- We need much better ways to engage people with decisions that affect them
- Current ways of voting cause a large proportion of the population to disengage with politics and politicians on all sides
- The gap between rich and poor has increased exponentially since 1979, independent of which Government has been in power
- The only thing the 1% fear is the 99% getting organised
- Social media offers a way to increase meaningful participation in society, but it also presents significant barriers
Here’s the full lecture below, including the question from yours truly. In private conversation with Billy we discussed the idea that it’s possible to get much greater levels of engagement by posting a cat picture on Facebook than it is a discussion about economics etc. !
Bragg’s book The Progressive Patriot is a superb read. We leave with another piece of his music and my own contribution to the poetry of economics via the video for my song “Fiscal Cliff”: