Are rich people who come from poverty more likely to be sympathetic to others in poverty because they understand their lives? Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, clearly isn't: here he is speaking in 2014 'You are poor because you have no ambition'. And a new study confirms that those who make the journey from rags to riches are more likely to pull the ladder up behind them. It goes to show that, if we want a fair and just society where young people have not only the life skills but also some resources to achieve their potential as an adult, we must build the strategy into the structure of our economic governance: much as public health and addressing climate change are accepted by an all-party consensus.
Background Music: Waterfall by Aakash Ghandi
Welcome to our 250th commentary, produced over these last five years since Share Radio moved to 100% online broadcasting. It's been a period of massive change and increasing clarity on what we need to do to sort out the problems of the world, and we hope these thoughts are making some contribution in that respect. To mark this staging point we thought it might be helpful to set out some of the guiding principles which have steered, and will continue to steer, our comment.
For our full list of commentaries, please visit https://www.shareradio.co.uk/thinkingaloud/newsletters/
Background music: Hovering Thoughts by Spence
In much of modern life we value the present much higher than either the past or the future; the latter because, if we'd like our descendants to remember where they came from, we would need to leave them a legacy — which we’re clearly not prepared to do, either in our personal and civic lives. So this week we consider some of the range of areas afflicted by this timeline poverty, and how this focus on the ‘now’ threatens the whole prospect of a legacy for our species as a result of both climate change and international aggression. Background Music: Turn - The Tower of Light
Boris Johnson clearly hopes that an increased focus on home ownership will restore his fortunes as we approach the next election in the United Kingdom: we've certainly slipped a long way from the focus on ‘right to buy’ and popular capitalism over the decades since Margaret Thatcher was in power. Politicians often speak glibly about ownership as if it's a definitive term, but the sense of ownership depends on a whole range of features. We look at a number of different styles of, and pressures on, ownership, and how they weaken or strengthen that sense of connection for which Boris Johnson is no doubt seeking.
Background music: Timeless by Slenderbeats
The Commonwealth's extraordinary ability to reconcile and accept diversity of politics and faith in this huge and growing family of nations started with Elizabeth seventy years ago. Democracy works well within nations, but her generosity of spirit has proved how an appointed leader can bring about real reconciliation between nations. The British people have yet to learn what this lesson of true partnership in the Commonwealth of nations and faith really means. We are too quick to recall our sense of history and importance, too quick to reach for our Union Jacks and our ‘Rule Britannia’. We have a lot to learn from our Queen, and perhaps we should start by paying much more attention to the Commonwealth which she has fostered so brilliantly over the past seventy years.
Background music: Airline by Geographer
It's sad to see the demise of Raleigh International, which has arranged for 55,000 young people to join expeditions to developing countries over the past 44 years. Not only have they helped many communities in Nepal, Tanzania, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, but they have also helped open the eyes of young adults to the wider world. In this commentary we look at Raleigh as an example of an organisation that failed to adjust to the challenge of the pandemic and other global impacts, and that had allowed itself to become too reliant on Government over recent years. At a time when global convergence and inter-generational rebalancing are urgently required, we hope a solution will be found by the Raleigh administrators to recover and rebuild their activities.
Background music: India Fuse by French Fuse
'Consult not your fears, but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.' - Pope John XXIII
The old saying ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’ (George Santayana) has its place, but only to the extent that it helps us to move to a better future. It is a feature of our material existence that time marches forward at a constant pace — we cannot revisit the past, for better or for worse: so why dwell in it? At a time when there is a perfect storm of convergent problems, it's worth looking beyond our present experiences and seeing how we can make the world a better place.
Background music: 'Communicator' by Reed Matthis
The Bank of England expects the price inflation peak to be high, but short-lived: however if it feeds into wage inflation it could seriously undermine both national debt servicing and the property market: that's why the Government appears to be adopting a tight fiscal stance and announcing a large reduction in the civil service. Carefully targeted support with the swiftly rising cost of living is urgently needed for those most in need and, if the Government can't or won't respond, it could be enabled through the voluntary sector: with Government acting as catalyst. However this is a role to which they're not currently accustomed.
Background music: 'Everything has a Beginning' by Joel Cummins.
Will Johnny go marching home, after this awful set of mid-term elections for the Conservatives? He has the intelligence needed to steer this country forward, as he's shown with both Brexit and the Covid-19 vaccine strategy. However, he has a major handicap: he not only lacks a firm foundation in Conservative values, but he's also prone to falling foul of the cult of personality. As he can't seem to get to grips with this handicap, the Conservative Parliamentary Party should take steps to build a new leadership to move it forwards, closely aligned to its core values.
Background music: 'Johnny comes marching home' by Cooper Cannell
The Theos Think Tank has demonstrated that the ‘angry hostility towards religion engineered by the new atheist movement is over' in their report ‘Science and Religion: moving away from the shallow end’. This shows how young people are increasingly open to exploring the meaning of life, and prepared to explore the bridge between science and faith. This commentary brings out some of the key points emerging from their work and provides insights from economics and the book of Ecclesiastes in order to argue that the best way to tackle these dilemmas is through the application of logic. The background music is the track 'Resolution' by Wayne Jones.
There are a wide range of links from the webpage version of the commentary, which can be accessed at https://www.shareradio.co.uk/thinkingaloud/newsletters/comment-wc-2022-05-03/
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