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.

The rise and fall of the property-owning democracy

Ever since the Global Financial Crisis, living standards have split between those who own their own home and those who do not. Inability to find work is no longer an indicator of poverty. In fact more than half of those living in poverty come from a household where someone is in work. The property-owning democracy was meant to make people more conservative, but the rise in home ownership exacerbated the rise in inequality. What effect its reversal might have on our politics is anybody’s guess.