What you won’t hear in the Queen’s speech

If positive social and political change worked top down, we wouldn’t have to make this programme. Sadly, it doesn’t. So at a time when the political class is out of ideas and the corporate class is out of excuses for its behaviour, the job of finding new perspectives and insights and ideas falls to the independent media. As a busy year draws to a close we look back at those people who have inspired and enlightened us in 2017. This is the first of two shows that are a whistle-stop tour around the thinkers, writers, doers and Renegade types we met over the last 12 months.

A just social-wage and a job guarantee

The last thing anyone would have expected in 1970 is for the lowest paid workers in the US, UK and Australia to have their relative positions deteriorate over the next fifty years. Yet, this is exactly what has happened. In an economy which has for many years been productive enough to end absolute poverty for good, millions of people have been left in financial hardship, for reasons rooted not in economics, but ideology.

Right to Left: UK foreign policy on Syria follows an historical pattern

From the colonial-imperial wars of the early 19th century through to the 1950s in Syria and the early 1980s in Afghanistan and beyond, the objectives of the Western powers has always been the same – the drive for profits. In which we critique the role both the Right and the Left in Britain have, and are, playing in the propaganda process. Has there ever been an ethical dimension in relation to UK foreign policy in Syria and elsewhere?

Asleep on the pillow: Why we don’t get better government

Miyamoto Musashi, arguably Japan’s greatest Samurais, said: “To Hold Down a Pillow” means not allowing the enemy’s head to rise . . . you must always be able to lead the enemy about. The important thing in strategy is to suppress the enemy’s useful actions but allow his useless actions.” This is also, effectively, what our Federal Governments do to us, the body politic. Journalist, Mike Woodcock examines why we don’t get better government and what we can do to stop falling for the same gag.

Did you know housing gets counted twice in GDP?

Your car gets counted once when it is built, not when it is driven. Your clothes, your bicycle, your furniture, all get counted once when they are manufactured, and not again when they are worn, ridden, or sat on. But homes are counted twice in GDP, writes Dr Cameron Murray: Once when they are constructed, and again when they are occupied. If we are going to count housing in GDP, shouldn’t we count it just once?