English historian, commonly known as Lord Acton. Letter to Mandell Creighton (5 April 1887) "I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it."


Is it just me or has the popularity of this saying declined over recent times?

Part 2 - Assess - Vision - Fleshing it out

Part 3 - Consider - On Power - The difficulties of ends and means - Dangers and difficulties

THE CHALLENGE OF BEING A MINISTER, Defining and developing ministerial effectiveness, Peter Riddell, Zoe Gruhn & Liz Carolan, Institute for Government, May 2011

"Most ministers will only have around 27 months to do what they can; the average tenure between 1947 and 1997 was 26.8 months for junior ministers, 27.2 for ministers of cabinet rank, and 28 months for cabinet ministers."

"A real constraint on ministerial effectiveness is that many ministers do not stay in their posts long enough, as a result of over-frequent reshuffles. A consistent theme of our interviews – and in much of the research on ministers – was that the relatively short tenure of ministers in their posts can undermine their effectiveness."

Quoting John Reed who had 8 posts in 7 years "[Ministers are] assumed to have made their mark within a year or two... they are going to want to do something quickly. The last thing they are going to want to do is to focus on maintaining a programme that is going to take 10 years to produce results when they will not be there to get the benefit of the praise. That, I think, is an insidious culture."


Part 2 - Asses - Timeline - Present - Poor Governance

THE CHALLENGE OF BEING A MINISTER, Defining and developing ministerial effectivenessPeter Riddell, Zoe Gruhn & Liz Carolan, May 2011

"The limited overlap between a minister and a corporate leader underlines the scale of differences, notably in the nature and scale of accountability."


Timeline - Present - Poor Governance

See The Sheild of Achilles, Phillip Bobbitt, Penguin Books (Allen Lane), 2002, ISBN; 0-71399-616-1 - Bibliography

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

Chathm House, Royal Institute of International Affairs, The London Conference 2015, Challenges to the Rules-Based International Order

In this Briefing Paper they identify three interlocking processes 

  1. The need for legitimacy is undermined when the main superpower (the US) choses to operate outside the rules and then other are inclined to follow
  2. Lack of equity, which has always been a problem, but was masked by the cold war and less apparent when economic progress was being made and has resurfaced since the crash os 2008
  3. Growing self-confidence amongst those who who see the wests claims to spread the benefits of modernity as an aggressive bid for dominance


Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Future - Political Challenges

William Cobbett (1763-1835), Journalist, Pamphleteer and from 1832-5 MP for Oldham

Quoted here..http://www.historyhome.co.uk/people/cobbett.htm see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Cobbett

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Present - Limited Participation and Disengagement - The structure of disengagement

Whether this is extreme discontent or just plain old hatred is a moot point. "Combat 18 is an openly neo-Nazi group that is devoted to violence and is hostile to electoral politics, and for this reason Sargent split decisively from the BNP in 1993" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_18 and "In 1992, a new far right extremist group with openly paramilitary pretensions called Combat 18 (C18) emerged." https://www.sicherheitspolitik-blog.de/2016/03/29/right-wing-terrorism-hate-crime-in-the-uk-a-historical-perspective/

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Present - Current Politics

See; Winners Take All, The Elite Charade of Changing the World, Anand Giridharadas, 2019 - Bibliography

And this article in The Register; Dell rejects the idea of higher rates of tax https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/01/25/michael_dell_davos_tax_rate/

When warnings are ignored, then there is fault, and the fault we need to remember belongs to those with power and agency, those who shape the world we live in and influence opinions. If they will not listen we need to take their power away because pleading doesn't seem to work - which is what see Parts 3 and 4 are all about.

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Past - History Overview - The Recent Past

Democratic Audit, Reports of Parliaments Decline are Much Exaggerated. Citing these positive developments:

  • More resources for select committees;
  • The introduction of ‘core tasks’ for select committees in the Commons setting out their work objectives;
  • More select committees in both houses, holding more inquiries and producing more reports;
  • The Prime Minister holding twice-annual oral evidence sessions with the House of Commons Liaison Committee, which comprises the chairs of the various Commons select committees;
  • The introduction of public bill committees for more effective legislative scrutiny in the Commons;
  • Greater transparency for executive financial accountability to Parliament;
  • A Commons backbench business committee, to some extent loosening the grip of the executive, via the whips, on the Commons timetable;
  • Elections for Commons committee members and chairs, again lessening the influence of the whips;
  • Pre-appointment hearings by Commons committees for preferred candidates for major public appointments; andThe placing of powers previously exercised under the extra-parliamentary Royal Prerogative on a statutory basis, making Parliament the ultimate authority. Most notably, the Civil Service is now regulated by an Act of Parliament.


Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Present - Current Politics

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Present - Poor Governance

Part 2 - Assess - Vision - Good Characteristics

Democratic Audit say; The cumulative adverse impacts of austerity and non-growth policies (2010–18) on core executive capabilities...Civil service efficacy has radically declined, the quality of public services has significantly worsened, and local government has been hollowed out.

...major departments has stuttered and malfunctioned ... generating policy disasters over Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Brexit in foreign affairs, and in the domestic realm over NHS reorganisation (2010–12), Universal Credit (2011–18) and the complete erosion of building safety regulations that became evident in the Grenfell Tower catastrophe. UK democracy is still limited by legacy arrangements from imperial or pre-democratic times that should have no place in a modern liberal democracy, including: A completely unelected second chamber ...with no accountability to citizens at all, an extensive ‘dark state’ apparatus, subject to no or only vestigial overview ...an unclear residue of ‘crown prerogative’ powers ...to take major executive actions alone, without parliamentary approval. A main electoral system ...that dates from mediaeval times and erratically assigns parties seats ... power-sharing devolution arrangements in Northern Ireland have ceased to operate.


Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Present - Poor Governance

c. 2018 Just to take Leeds City Council (my home city) it has 61 Labour Seats, all the other parties combined have 38, over 60% of the seats for 46.4% of the votes cast.

In the 2016 General Election when the smaller parties were squeezed the conservatives 317 seats were based on 42.4% of the votes cast and relys on a confidence and supply arrangement with the DUP. 

Democratic Dashboard is a great site to look up how recent results. http://democraticdashboard.com/elections

General Election Results going back to 1945 can be found on http://www.ukpolitical.info/2015.htm the stand outs are

  • 1983 Conservative landslide 397 seats 42.4% of the vote
  • 1997 Labour landslide 418 seats 43.2% of the vote
    • This scale of this result meant the end of the now largely forgotten agreement between Blair and Ashdown 
  • Outlier 2010 Coalition - Conservative 306, 31%, Lib-Dem 57, 23% overall 54% of the electorate
  • 2015 Conservative workable majority 331 seats, 36.9% of the votes
    • The Lib Dem collapse to 8 seats for 7.9% vote, when a proportionate result would be 50 seats is either down to geography, their role or the first past the post systems depending on your view 

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Present - Limited participation and disengagement

John Putnam Demos; Entertaining Satan, Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195174830


Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Using the Present to Explain the Past

Collapse, How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive, Jared Diamond, Allan Lane/Penguin, 2005, ISBN 0-731-99286-7 - Bibliography

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Future - projection of trends

Richard J Evans: In Defence of History, Granta, 1997, ISBN 1-86207-395-3

See the introduction to Chapter 8 Objectivity and its Limits. p224-9.

On p227 "he provided extensive coverage of events and controversies before 1917 which, even if their immediate consequences appeared small, played a vital part in the later history of the revolution" He goes on to discuss Carrs beliefs, since the Bolsheviks were successful he ignored all counter arguments and opposition his purpose was to show the origins and developments which they put into effect after coming to power.

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Using the present to explain the past

Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, Introduction https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Milton_Friedman 

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Present - Limited Participation and Disengagement - The structure of disengagement

Milton Freedman, Capitalism and Freedom, Preface 1982 ed. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Milton_Friedman

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Present - Limited Participation and Disengagement - The consequences of Disengagement

Part 4 Act - Tactics - Information - HoPEdia

R. Buckminster Fuller (12 July 1895 – 1 July 1983) was an American philosopher, systems theorist, architect, and inventor

Buckminster Fuller, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, 1968.

There is a summary at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operating_Manual_for_Spaceship_Earth

See also; https://www.bfi.org

Part 2 Assess - Vision - A vision for realists

See J. K. Galbraith, The Culture of Contentment, Penguin, 1993, ISBN 0-14-017366-8, Page 151-2 - Bibliography

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Current - Limited Participation and Disengagement - The Structure of Disengagement

Chaos, James Glick, 1987, Vintage, ISBM 9-780-74938606-1. See pages 69-71 - Bibliography

See also Does God Play Dice, Ian Stewart Penguin, 1989 ISBN 0-14-012501-9, Chapter 13 Imbalances of Nature esp. pp 267-8 - Bibliography

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

This sense of cumulative crises was best captured by the President, Michael D Higgins, in a passionate speech. “If we were coal miners,” he said, “we would be up to our knees in dead canaries.” For centuries, our industrial economies have treated nature as a capital resource that can be endlessly exploited, with little reinvestment. But the feedback from ecosystems, as they reach critical tipping points in our century, is telling us that we cannot continue with business as usual.

Irish Times Feb 25 2019, https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/editorial/the-irish-times-view-on-the-biodiversity-crisis-nature-s-wake-up-call-1.3804065

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Past - History Overview - Life and Evolution 


House of Commons Library, Briefing Paper Number CBP7501, 3 August 2017, Political disengagement in the UK: who is disengaged? 


Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Present - Limited Participation and Disengagement 

House of Commons Library, Briefing Paper Number SN05125, May 2018, Membership of UK Political Parties 


Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Current - Limited Participation and Engagement

Tristram Hunt, The English Civil War at First Hand, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2002

He kindly inscribed my copy “From a reluctant cavalier to a reluctant puritan” which is why I was somewhat surprised when he turned up as a Labour MP.  I’m sure he’s better off at the at the V&A.

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Past - Using the present to explain the past - Avoidance - letting the sources speak

The International Civil Service Effectiveness (InCiSE) Index 2017



In the PDF, scroll down to 4.30 United Kingdom where there is visual representation of effectiveness on 12 indicators; tax admin, inclusiveness, capability, openness, integrity, HR, crisis management, regulation, fiscal management, digital services, social security.

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Poor Governance 

Tim Jackson, Prosperity without Growth, Earthscan, 2009 - Bibliography

Part 2 Asesss -Vision - A vision for Realists

Limits Revisited, A review of the limits to growth debate, by Tim Jackson and Robin Webster, April 2016. This report to the APPG on Limits to Growth has been published under Creative Commons, CC BYNC-ND 4.0: http://limits2growth.org.uk/revisited and Bibliography

See also, Meadows et.al Beyond the Limits which followed 20 years after the original Club of Rome publication The Limits to Growth 

Timeline - Future - Political Challenges 

There are two sources for this which I have read reviews of, but I have not actually read the books themselves.

  • Own Jones; The Establishment and how they got away with it, Allen Lane, 2014
  • Martin Williams; Parliament Limited, Hodder & Stoughton, 2016

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything, Capitalism vs the Climate - Bibliography.

This is a very detailed analysis of the politics blocking action and the things that need to change in order for it to start happening. I have taken these messages to heart and quote a couple of key passages in the bibliography entry. These are relevant to the general case for holistic political economy and wider than this footnote.

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

Leeds City Council procurement strategy, looks like it might be going in the right direction


Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Present - Poor Governance

Revenge of Gaia, James Lovelock - Bibliography

This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein - Bibliography

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Future - Political Challenges

Appendices - Systems: an overview - Human systems

See Post Capitalism a guide to our future, Paul Mason, Penguin, 2015, ISBN; 978-0-141-975-29-0 - Bibliography

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

Morris: Why the West Rules - for Now, the Patterns of History and what they Reveal About the Future, 2010 - Bibliography

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Past - History Overview - Life and Evolution

See New Scientist article: The war against antibiotic resistance is finally turning in our favour, by Debora MacKenzie 16 Jan 2019 at 

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2190957-the-war-against-antibiotic-resistance-is-finally-turning-in-our-favour/ (paywall)

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Future - Political Challenges

Although for some of the larger historic reforms we did have committees of MP's taking evidence, e.g. the Sadler Commission prior to the 1833 Factory Act, the advent of Select Committees has to some extent revitalised the process of MP's in cross party groups taking evidence.

Part 2 - Assess - Vision - Good Characteristics - Tests to be applied to policy

The model I have used to do a round up of current politics is freely adapted from Porters 5 forces of competition. You do not need to be familiar with the original to follow the analysis I make using it - it will stand on its own.

If you are interested the Havard Business Review Article for 1979 can be found here https://hbr.org/1979/03/how-competitive-forces-shape-strategy. A google search for Porters 5 forces will show how ubiquitous this has become as an analysis tool.

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Present - Current Politics

Polly Toynbee went undercover and worked as a cleaner, she then wrote about her experiences. One of the things she reported back on was the failure to have a learning process that could fix things based on experience of the staff doing the work - because the test was to apply the contract terms. Implicit in this is that to have any learning one must wait for the next contract negotiation - too slow and cumbersome compared to proper hands on management. This does not invalid outsourcing specifically but it does imply a simple contracting approach is a poor substitute for good, hands on management. The actual point then is that good governance is difficult and has to be striven for, there are not ideological quick fixes - neither outsourcing (privatisation) or being it back in house guarantees good governance.


Part 2 Assess - Vision - Good Characteristics

Part 3 Consider - On Power - Difficulties of Ends and Means - Time, Reaction and Ultility

Some of Milton Freedman’s conclusions and analysis is frequently bang on, he was opposed to big power because of it corrupting effect (be it in government or business) as already noted and he thought that power needed to be dispersed rather than concentrated. He also though that spending other peoples’ money was a bad thing, on both points I strongly agree, I would merely point out that one persons freedom can be another persons shackle - money brings agency which is denied to the small business and/or poor citizen, in a similar vein it is the banks and the financial sector that dispose of the great majority of other peoples’ money, and they do it with much less accountability than government - taking cuts along the way. 

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Present - Limited Participation and Disengagement - The consequences of disengagement

The term BRIC countries was coined by Jim O'Neil (Lord O'Neill of Gatley) when he was at Goldman Sacs, he also identifies the next 11. His analysis was based on economic potential. Of course counties which are poor may convert large amounts of their money into arms and it is possible to engage in armed conflict with very few resources of your own, so long as you can obtain supplies from one of the power blocs or a helpful state, rogue or otherwise.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BRIC

For a discussion of rogue states start with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_state,

and where wars are going on now https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_armed_conflicts

The detail that emerges from looking at any of this is massive. As in the rest of this ebook I am deliberately staying at a high level to see the overall pattern, what is happening systemically.

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Future - Political Challenges

The short version is that customer data was obtained from Facebook and then used in support of one sides election campaign without being acknowledged. In the simpler analogue world, all election advertising has to be imprinted with both the name of the printer and the party agent publisher. This was widely covered in the press, here is a list of the Financial Times articles on the subject.


Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Present - Current Politics

See the brightly optimistic website for the CRT here https://canalrivertrust.org.uk, here we are invited to volunteer (to do free work) and donate (to something we own).

Advisory groups exist for everyone except the people who live on their boats as we see here https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/about-us/how-we-are-run/national-advisory-groups

It is noticeable that if you are not an appointee (patronage) but want to do more than donkey work of a volunteer, you have to be interested enough to apply . That means you will be being interviewed and can be rejected. In other words there is a gatekeeper on the right of citizens to oversee one of their services which is not subject to even the normal democratic control of a vote. I think this is absurd.

Here are the petitions those living on boats have had to resort to here https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/boats-are-homes-prevent-the-eviction-of-boat-dwellers?source=facebook-share-button&time=1472021181

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Poor Governance - Canals & Rivers Trust

Those who want to achieve the western standard of living need resources that the west has previously monopolised

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

We need to be dealing with the fact that it is happening (some changes are already baked in) in the places most badly effected people with either suffer or move

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

There is danger in forecasting, Karl William Kapp said “Had there been a computer in 1872... it would probably have predicted that there would be so many horse-drawn vehicles that it would be impossible to clear up all the manure.” https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Karl_William_Kapp

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Political Challenges

The German Army's learning system was culturally embedded and thorough, within 1 day of the first use of thanks all units on the western front were aware of it.

See this discussion of it from Kings College Department of War Studies https://defenceindepth.co/2015/07/08/organizational-culture-and-learning-during-the-first-world-war

Vision - Good Characteristics - Learning System


I base this statement on a BBC interview with the academic who designed it for Labour (need to find the program)

Part 2 - Assess - Vision - Good Characteristics - Tests to be applied to policy

This is a dismal story because it just goes on and on. It was clear that the organisation was not representing leaseholders back in 2012 https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/?s=2012+editorial

In 2016 we get the scandal of ground rents doubling, which is explained here https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/nov/05/ground-rent-scandal-engulfing-new-home-buyers-leasehold

It takes until 2019 for a new chair to be appointed and action for the estimated 100,000 people effected is still in the future https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00025fh

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Present - Poor Governance

A term popularised by Lord Hailsham, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elective_dictatorship

This blog on the LSE site


Is an interesting analysis of why the position is now much worse, it also points out that because we have an unwritten constitution far reaching changes can be implemented on the back of ordinary legislation, in places with written constitutions change usually needs a special vote and a super majority (say 50% of the electorate or 2/3 of those voting).

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Present - Limited Participation and Disengagement

Part 3 - Consider - On Power - Difficulties of Ends and Means - Dangers and Difficulties


There are other ways control has been lost: there were two Leave Campaigns which hid total spending, there is a lot of money being put into online campaigns, designed to look like individuals raising concerns but actually being orchestrated anonymously or even generated by bots. The point of this is the we are now in a world of supercharged sharp practice, if not downright cheating. 

Rather than try and deal with the problem it seems that many on all sides are just wading in, anything goes, this is reality, politics is a rough trade, we have to live with it. This is playing fast and loose with the political system and undermines legitimacy. The 1832 reform act was passed in response to massively corrupt election practices, we do not yet seem to be able to grasp the scale of these new abuses, nor understand their corrosive effect.

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Past - Current Politics 

See also the Oxford Martin School and the websites of Max Roser https://ourworldindata.org and Hans Roslings organisation Gap Minder https://www.gapminder.org

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures - More of the same

There is always a tendency to overestimate how fast change will occur and extrapolate into the future in simplistic ways but many of those who see the singularity coming think it could be fast, they even date it about 2040s - this is because of the doubling effects of exponential change which reaches take off (the elbow on the curve) in the 2030's. For an interesting but US centric take on this see the last chapter of War; What is it good for, Ian Morris - the job is for the US, the current US "Globocop" to hang on in there until Pax Technologica replaces Pax Americana (2014 pre Trump) - Bibliography

If climate change hits a tipping point it could trigger big changes very quickly in the next 20-30 years, see James Lovelock, The Revenge of Gaia - Bibliography

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

The world is a big place and we keep finding more reserves of stuff, but it is, well…finite

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

The labour Representation Committee was formed in 1900; it became the labour part in 1906 after winning 29 seats using an electoral pact with the Liberals. The culture it represented is shown by the fact that it was a federation of affiliated bodies and did not have individual membership until 1918.

As to the culture at the time, obviously it was not rich in money but rich in ideas, vibrant, energetic, and self confident - which is not to deny the difficulties faced and the divisions over tactics, simply to acknowledge that there was a sense of idealism and vision and a that progress was possible.

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Present - Current politics - towards something better

Non of the arguments for Holistic Political Economy depends on the existence of free will.

The debate between determinists and those who argue for free will is ongoing and nuanced. One of the nuances comes from complexity - our actions are constrained but there are so many variables it just looks like we have free will but we just don't know enough. This can be used as a trump card by determinists. 

From my management experience the idea of room for manoeuvre was common, we might be highly boxed in but there are some things we can do. This does not rule out determinism but it helps the individual have a sense of purpose. Where I do see the real possibility of hope is in the notion of collective or species free will. Our knowledge base tells us there is a human made set of problems, if we collectively use what we know we can overcome them - it is entirely up to us. The universe doesn't care and the world will continue without us.

Part 2 Assess - Vision - How Different Will It Be?

From memory this is what I think Alvin Toffler called future shock but I’ll have to check this since its age since I looked at the book and though its on the shelf and I skimmed it at the time I haven't been back to it recently.

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - History Overview - The Recent Past

For Europe's population to recover it took between 150 and 250 years https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consequences_of_the_Black_Death.

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Political Challenges

Basic information on public bodies can be obtained from - the fact that this is available is a step forward



Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Present - Poor Governance

To avoid the Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” collectively we need to develop ways to deal with these political challenges, because "There is enormous inertia—a tyranny of the status quo—in private and especially governmental arrangements. Only a crisis—actual or perceived—produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable."

Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, 1982, Preface. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Milton_Friedman 

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Limited participation and disengagement - The consequences of disengagement

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Political Challenges

Limits to Growth was right. New research shows we're nearing collapse. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse

See also the 2017 report to the All Party Group on Climate change, Jackson and Webster: Limits Revisited, a Review of the Limits to Growth Debate - Bibliography

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures - A different future

Outsourced utility services just build in a 5% margin, many businesses in competitive areas struggle to achieve this, in 2018, overall executive pay up 11%, workers pay static compared to 2008

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Tests to be applied to policy

Which (roughly) states that processing power doubles every 18 months 


Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Political Challenges

There is a whole PhD Thesis here; there is a massive amount of shoplifting so people are generally dishonest but who left goods lying around. We own shares without the responsibility of ownership. We have easy credit and payday loans but have a minimum sanction of 1 month for minor problems (compared to a smaller penalty at work). 

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible futures - More of the same

In my lifetime; there were 4 billion people when I started work in 1974 and there will be 8 billion by the time I am 70 (2023), Projections for where it will top out are between 9 and 12 billion. The attitudes of generations of humans that it is our birthright to to take the earths bounty are stubbornly embedded but I fear that they will not scale at this level of population. As Diamond points out in Collapse "Remember that impact" [ours on the planet] "is the product of two factors: population, multiplied times impact per person" p524 - Bibliography

For basic population data see http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/#pastfuture

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Political Challenges

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible futures

Possible unfreezing in Lewin’s terms; Frontiers in Group Dynamics, 1947, reprint/pdf download from Human Relations. More to say about this in the discussion of change management. 

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

Just how fast and how radical the changes we may need to make is captured by this piece


Part 2 Assess - Examples of What Good Looks Like - Using Technology

See this article from Forbes Magazine https://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2013/04/25/the-disturbing-link-between-psychopathy-and-leadership/#5a8c0dcc4104 which is quoting an academic study published by National Centre for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20422644. The actual finding is that there is 1% occurrence of psychopathy in the general population but this rises to 3% amongst senior execs. It seems highly likely to me that this would also apply to people who reach the top in politics, possibly more so given what it takes to get there. 

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Present - Limited Participation and Disengagement - The structure of disengagement

Separation of power is not a panacea. There is a debate about the extent to which functional separation exists, for example the a minster can make law through an executive order, or intervene to keep a criminal locked up after a prison term has been served. When consensus fails those in power seek to maximise their own and reduce that of others, this can result in conflict between the different arms of government which can be exploited by the media.

Enemies of the People according to Daily Mail https://fullfact.org/law/daily-mail-headine-comparison-to-nazis/

A detailed US analysis https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/1408-calabresi-rise-and-fall-of-separation-of-powers

Part 2 Assess - Vision - Fleshing it out 

Jury service is onerous and caries a very high level of responsibility in public service. It can fall to anyone to fulfil this duty. The Jury collectively wields great power as well as having great responsibility. The judge (merely) interprets the law and the opposing teams of lawyers put the case for the prosecution and defence but it is the Jury that must come to a decision. If we can entrust people with this level of responsibility when it comes to crime and punishment then we can surely trust people to oversee the administration of their own public services.

Part 2 Assess - Vision - Fleshing it Out

Sortition is jargon for selection by lots, think of jury service, I discuss this further in Part 2 - Assess - Vision - Fleshing it out.

See also Reybrook: Against Elections, The Case for DemocracyBibliography 

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Present - Poor Governance - Summing up - political implications 

Here is an interesting sidelight which illustrates the difficulties of interpreting experience when there is rapid technical change as well as the problem of hindsight.

The British General, Sir Ian Hamilton, who led the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in the Gallipoli Campaign, was an observer of the Russo Japanese War 1904-5. There he witnessed Japanese Infantry charging entrenched troops with success "the successful Japanese infantry assaults convinced him that superior morale would allow an attacker to overcome prepared defensive positions" He was observing at the Battle of Shaho, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Hamilton_(British_Army_officer). This enthusiastic reaction is also quoted, in a critical way, by Paddy Griffith in Forward Into Battle, Random House, 2008, ISBN 978-0891414711 - which is about the evolution of tactics. However things are seldom as simple as they seem. Hamilton was not one of the western front generals and was well aware of the role of specific circumstances. In an earlier battle he saw poor Russian fire tactics (volleys which he compared unfavourably to the Boers marksmanship) stop a Japanese Advance. See Rawlinson: A Staff Officers Scrap-book During the Russo-Japanese War Vol 1, all of which is at https://archive.org/details/astaffofficerss00hamigoog/page/n144

To come back to the point (coping with unprecedented change) Hamilton was born in 1853. Along with the other first world war generals he was living through increasingly fast change over a short time. The continental armies had scale and conscription right from the start. The British had additional challenges, their army was a quarter of the size (France Standing Army and Reserves 5 million, GB 975,000, The BEF only 200k). The army including empire expanded to over 8 million it was like nothing Britain had ever had before. With such an expansion, because of it sheer size and aggregate level of training past experience was massively diluted and became difficult, if not impossible to apply. After the initial shocks adaption took place, one adoption was to rationalise the killing as attrition. All the Generals were products of their time, the had been Tod to win and expected people to be killed, they didn't have our hindsight.   

If we have to learn the hard way on climate change, as the military and political establishments did with the technology of Interstate Industrial Warfare, then there may indeed be grounds for pessimism.

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Past - History Overview - The Recent Past

Discretion is no less then empowerment, taking it away is a symptom of al least two things (1) not trusting the staff, no doubt the scroungers will pull the wool over their eyes (2) applying the rules and not caring about the spirit of the rules. When I was on the council in Peterborough 1977-83 if a case could be made local staff had discretion, this is totally gone. When staff doing the appraisals are no longer public servants but employees of, say G4S they may be in no position to even show sympathy, and over time as the TUPE's staff leave they will be replaced with harder nosed people who are just happy to have a job.

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Present - Poor Governance

Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s The Goal (ISBN 978-0-88427-178-9) was first published in 1984.

The Balance Scorecard dates back to the 80’s but first became widely known through a paper published in the Harvard Business Review in 1996. Kaplan, Robert S; Norton, D. P. (1996). The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action. Boston, MA.: Harvard Business School Press.

Part 2 - Assess - Vision - Good Characteristics - Measurement

522 tax inspectors look ng at people with over £10m wealth, over 4045 staff to check benefit fraud

For the numbers see https://fullfact.org/economy/benefit-fraud-tax-inspectors-numbers/

Part 2 Assess - Vision - How Different Will It Be?

Perhaps that is why those who believe in it and see it as hopeful come from the world of tech

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible futures - Using the projection of trends

The charter says that purpose of the BBC is to educate, inform and entertain.

I'm sure it does not say challenge or set the agenda but that seems to have set in since Robin Day removed the deference and everyone since has tried to emulate him. I remember the 50th anniversary of the Today programme (we recently had the 60th). In what I found to be a cozy, self congratulatory chat broadcast as part of the celebrations there was a retrospective on the BBC where John Humphries interviewed Ken Baker. At one point Humphries asserted, with no disagreement from Ken Baker, that the BBC's job was to set the agenda and hold politicians to account. It annoyed me at the time, my perception is that is far worse now.

It may be entertaining to set up conflict or interview aggressively insisting on simple answers to complex or hypothetical questions but it is also an arrogant insult to the intelligence of the audience. I for one would rather let the interviewee put their views and I can make my own mind up - its not "putting the questions everyone wants to ask" it is intellectually lazy and indicates a patrician condescension. This trend came to a bit of a head when Nigel Lawson was trotted out to deny the reality of man made climate change in the interests of balance - hiving off verification to a separate thread (as in More or Less) does not have the audience reach, balance and crital engagement needs to be done item by item.

The BBC needs to be careful since it is always under attack from those who would see it destroyed and it runs the risk of alienating its natural allies.

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Present - Current Politics

These are the four horsemen of the apocalypse that I remember from my Methodist upbringing. Migration will occur if the choice is to suffer and die by staying put. Much of history is the story of population movement such as at end of the Roman Empire and the settlement in North and South America in the 19th century

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Future

Exactly how this forgetting process took place is related towards the end of a history of The Book which was serialised as a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and is how I found out about it https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b3mdc8, the reading is no longer available so here are the full details;

  • The Book, A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time, Keith Huston, W.W.Norton & Company, 2016, ISBN 978-0393244793

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - History Overview - The Recent Past

See works by Ray Kurstweil or Ramez Naam. The point at which machine intelligence becomes self aware leading either to a human machine symbiosis (a new species) or the point at which humans are superseded in evolutionary terms by machines (a new species)

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Political Challenges

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

See works by Ray Kurstweil or Ramez Naam. The singularity is the point at which machine intelligence becomes self aware leading either to a human machine symbiosis (a new species) or the point at which humans are supersede ...

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Political Challenges

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

There may be a touch of theory x and theory y in this, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_X_and_Theory_Y

I have more to say about management style as a contingent choice in Part 3 Consider - On Change - The Nature of Managed Change

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

The phrase can be abbreviated to TINA. It is attributed to Margaret Thatcher. It is now a general shorthand for the way in which neoliberal economic policy has been positioned as the only sensible way to to do things. It would also capture the sense of triumphalism that came with the end of the Cold War which led Francis Fukuyama to claim that it marked "the end of history". We now know this was a case of hubris. There is another explanation which was provided by Alex Carey, in Taking the Risk out of Democracy, 1995 “the twentieth century has been characterised by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy”. It is very useful if that which is in your interests has "no alternative". As a piece of framing this was masterful.

See also the discussion of What is Power - Where does it come from - Ideas and Beliefs in Part 3 Consider

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Present - Current Politics - Parties, lobbyists and. think tanks

The normal way is passing knowledge (and wisdom) to future generations. What chance do we have?

My grandfather was born before the car exited. When he was a child he saw troops leaving who were still dressed in red. When he died Concorde was flying, he'd look at the con trails and say "they can't be doing any good".

I write this ebook on a computer bigger than one which took up 1000 square feet of special air conditioned office space that was used to plan for Perkins Engines in 1975. The first programs I wrote had to run in a 32k partition. This ebook will be published on my web site on the internet that only came into widespread use in the 1990's when I was a 40 something Project Manager 

We can look at photographs of people who fought at Waterloo which took place in 1815 CE where muskets were used and cavalry charges took place, before the first reform act of 1832 CE, and when the world population was about 1 billion (its now 7.5billion). They went to the new photographers as old men with their original uniforms in the 2nd Empire 1852-70 CE

The Limits to Growth was published in the 1970's, as was The Silent Spring.

How bad does it have to get before we take notice, before knowing is overwhelmed by understanding? Will it come to us at the last minute like Bob Hoskins at the very end of The Long Good Friday?

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Past - History Overview - The Recent Past

David Hinchcliffe MP for Wakefefield 1987-2005 writes: "...I was reminded of being on a train travelling south with Chris Leslie, then MP for Shipley, not long after his election to the Commons in 1997. During a conversation with another northern Labour MP, Alice Mahon, and myself, we were both astonished when he informed us that he had always wanted to have a career in politics but had been genuinely unsure as to which major party to join..."


Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Present - Current Politics

To those who worry about the control of factors that shape culture being the target of politics I would make the following observations; vested commercial interests do this all the time, it is called advertising, interests vested in the manipulation of opinion for political purposes do this through use of  social media. In a decentralised, citizen controlled, democracy people would have more control over their own lives and it is this change in culture that we should strive to bring about – this is a far cry from attack on freedom, nor an attempt to manipulate people.

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - A vision for realists - the challenge for action

The Nuffield Trust's stated aim is to improve the quality of health care in the UK by providing evidence-based research and policy analysis and informing and generating debate.

OECD Skills Studies, Building Skills for All: A Review of England, Policy Insights from the Survey of Adult Skills, Małgorzata Kuczera, Simon Field and Hendrickje Catriona Windisch. https://ec.europa.eu/epale/sites/epale/files/building-skills-for-all-review-of-england.pdf

Part 2 - Assess - Timeline - Present - Poor Governance

Hubris syndrome: An acquired personality disorder? A study of US Presidents and UK Prime Ministers over the last 100 years, David Owen Jonathan Davidson, Brain, Volume 132, Issue 5, 1 May 2009, Pages 1396–1406. Published: 12 February 2009. Which can be found here https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/132/5/1396/354862

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Present - Limited Participation and Disengagement - The structure of disengagement

Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1792

Comments addressed M. De La Fayette as an introduction to Rights of Man, Part second, Combining Principle and Practice

Part 2 Assess - Vision - Vision for Realists

See recent research by Professor Virginie Pérotin of Leeds University; https://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/3823/the_benefits_of_worker_co-operatives

Part 2 - Assess - Vision - Fleshing it out

This is well described, and its consequences spelled out in The Spirit Level, Why Equality Is Better for Everyone, Kate Pickett & Richard Wilkinson, Penguin 2010, ISBN 978-0241954294 - Bibliography

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Current - Limited Participation and Disengagement


Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now, Allan Lane, 2018, ISBN 978-0241004319 - Bibliography

For a lot of the same material presented in a completely different style which somehow when reading made me feel as if I was being berated. As a result if you can only go for one book, go for the Rosling. 

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - History Overview - The Recent Past

See Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now - Bibliography

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

Quoted in Sean Purdy, Conjouring History: The many Interpretations of the Salem Witchcraft Trials, in the Reiver Academic Journal, 2007

Which can be found here https://www2.rivier.edu/journal/RCOAJ-Spring-2007/J90-Purdy-Salem-Trials.pdf

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Past - Using the present to explain the past - using psychology - lack of proof

Kate Roworth, Doughnut Economics, RH Business Books, 2017 - Bibliography

Part 2 Assess - Vision - A vision for realists

Hans Rosling, Factfulness, Sceptre, 2018, ISBN; 978-1-473-637467 - Bibliography

This is a genial and engaging tour, which if you compare to Pinker, Enlightenment uses a lot of similar data but in a completely different style, Rosling feels like a companion, Pinker berates. 

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - History Overview - The Recent Past

See Rosling, Factfulness - Bibliography

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Future - Possible Futures

Part 3 Consider - On Change - What Stops Change - Signals, distortion and feedback

See Rosling, Factfulness - Bibliography

Chapter 3 The Straight Line Instinct, p75-77. I was also frightened by the doubling numbers of Ebola in 2014, thankfully he was in a position to do something about it. By the way Pandemic is a great co-operative board game.

Part 2 Assess - Timeline - Current - Political Challenges