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  • Tom Burgess

Network News 22 July 22

Hi there, and welcome Network News, your regular update from Real Agenda Radio. I’m Tom Burgess, Thanks for joining us today. Now in today’s show you will hear updates from UK organisations seeking to bring positive change.

So here are this week’s headlines:

1. We hear some views on money from John Caudwell, the Phones 4U founder

2. Look ahead for a new podcast episode on taxing wealth featuring James Perry of the Patriotic Millionaires

3. Just a mention the compassion coalition that is currently being planned

4. How we can win as one a campaign from Compass

5. And there is a new guide about not being them and us from the group Larger Us

And also a facebook post about why is it energy profits are so high, the company bosses pay is so high millions are having difficulty paying their energy bills as well as being able to put food on the table

You can listen and subscribe free to Real Agenda Radio through Amazon, Apple, Google and Spotify and all good podcast providers. Here at Real Agenda Radio we want to see a more compassionate and just society as well as more courageous politicians prepared to do the right thing for the people, over party, it’s not happening, but it can, it is urgent, it’s up to us to make it happen. So Real Agenda Radio seeks to be a news and information media channel to help spread the word to encourage those who are campaigning and also convince the many that change is possible.

So lets find out more

Coming soon on Real Agenda Radio is an episode featuring the Patriotic Millionaires who want to see a tax on extreme wealth. I talk to James Perry, Co-Chair of COOK, the handmade frozen meal specialists, co-founder of BCorpUK and a board member of the Patriotic Millionaires UK talks about how there is a huge untapped resource that could be used to fund public services and unlike other tax proposals would cause no hardship. So watch out for that

On the theme of wealth I read in interview in the Times with John Caudwell who in 2006 saw £1.6billion drop into his current account as he sold his company Phones4U.

he says. “Wealth has given me yachts, cars, great meals and holidays, but nothing — nothing — touches me like kids fighting against the odds to have a decent life.”

Four years ago Caudwell increased his giveaway pledge to 70 per cent.

“I just wasn’t doing enough,” he shrugs. “I mean, what use is that money to me? If I give £100 million to my children, will it make them happy? No, it’ll just land them with problems.”

He also said:

“I try and get people to boycott Apple, Google and Amazon — what they do to avoid paying tax is awful. It’s dreadful and disgusting because they’re stopping sick children or people in desperate financial need from being looked after. What can we do? Corporation tax fixed at 15 per cent globally would be a start.”

During the pandemic Caudwell was stuck at his Monaco home for nine months. He could legitimately have paid tax locally at 0 per cent. “But I paid full UK tax. I know wealthy friends who think I’m the world’s biggest mug, but I see it differently. I look forward to a time when they are the ones who feel silly. Not paying tax is morally abhorrent.”

“Money used to be everything but it doesn’t make you happy. Happiness — love, family, doing good — is everything. Money isn’t.”

So there you go

Yes its not all about the money, but we all need enough to have the basics and the opportunity for a happy and fulfilled life

Compassion Coalition

There is on common thread that unites many campaigning groups that you hear about on Network News, and that is: Compassion, the sympathy and concern for the suffering and misfortune of others. There are moves afoot to create a Compassion Coalition to bring together individuals and campaigning groups to develop a strong unifying campaign to create a more compassionate and just society. The organisations that are being invited to join have a collective following of over two million, that’s a mighty ROAR. The group bhind this initiative is Compassion in Politics and they have asked Tom Burgess, that’s me to drive this initiative, so I better get on with it, more on this soon. Find out more and


Here’s a piece in the Guardian 6 August all about a new campaign from Compass that is hoping to raise £1m to bring more supporters of electoral reform to the Commons at the next general election. The group, called Win as One, will work with candidates from progressive parties who are well-placed to beat the Conservatives and are in support of proportional representation (PR).

The project’s aim is to urge candidates from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens in England and Wales to sign up to support PR – and to coordinate more closely.

With the Labour leadership sceptical about electoral reform, and having ruled out any agreement with the Lib Dems ahead of a general election, Win as One is described in a presentation seen by the Guardian as a “citizens’ pitch invasion, to change the government and the political system”.

Compass says. “Instead of waiting for party leaders, who may be too cautious to do what’s needed, we will build a national and local movement based on the strengths we already have: our activism, our voices, our votes,”

Win as One hopes to channel resources and activists to support reform-minded candidates from any progressive party; and, more controversially, to help broker agreements about which party is more likely to win and where – what was previously called a “progressive alliance”.

Candidates would be asked to sign up to a pledge supporting electoral reform. The campaign would then aim to help support a caucus of pro-PR MPs in the House of Commons who could work together to press for change.

The group aims to encourage dialogue between activists of the different progressive parties at local level which can be a challenging task where tribal loyalties run deep.

Find out more at

Larger US

A group called Larger Us has brought out a new guide for people who want to help bring about positive change in the world by bringing people together, not by dividing them.

Larger Us describes itself as a community of change-makers who share the aim of bridging divides rather than deepening them, who want to transform relationships rather than defeat enemies, and who recognise that achieving these things is about psychology as much as politics.

The new guide addresses five questions that can have a pivotal impact over whether we and the people we communicate with fragment into a them-and-us, or come together as a larger us.

1. How can we build belonging?

2. How can we bridge divides?

3. How can we appeal to love not fear, especially when we feel threatened? ‘

4. How can we help people navigate loss and trauma?

5. How can we tell stories that bring people together?

Check this out at, there is also a Larger Us podcast series, the episode issued on 27 June says more about the guide and how to build a larger us, featuring founder Alex Evans

In other news

Fred Harrison, the author and economist and the recognised accurate predictor of economic crashes has recorded a podcast on the corruption of economics for the Shepard Walwyn podcast series which you will hear shortly on Real Agenda Radio.. In this interview, he talks about The Corruption of Economics, a book Fred co-wrote with the late, great Professor Mason Gaffney (with an additional contribution from Dr. Kris Feder. Corruption was released in 1994 but as part of the focus on the classics in the Shepheard Walwyn library it is being re released as an eBook with a new introduction from Fred.

Something’s wrong

And I am grateful to my friend Susan Paxton who posted the following piece on facebook, which has been doing the rounds:

Well after the recent announcement from the Bank of England , there is something very very very wrong in the system...

So... let me get this straight:

* British Gas made a profit of £1.3bn between January & June

* BP announced profits of £6.95 billion between April and June alone

* Shell has profited by £9.4bn in a year

The MEN at the top:

* John Pettigrew, boss of National Grid received £6.5m bonus on top of his salary

* Chris O’Shea, chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica was paid almost £2m last year in salary and benefits

* Centrica's non-executive directors were paid almost £1m

* Scottish Power's CEO Keith Anderson is on £1.15m.

* E.On boss Michael Lewis is on £1m

* EDF's Simone Rossi is also on £1m

* And their top execs enjoyed a share of £4.65m

* Peter Simpson of Anglian Water earned a £1.3m pay package

* Welsh Water bosses awarded themselves bonuses of over £930,000

* Severn Trent bosses awarded themselves bonuses of £5.56m

* Thames Water's Sarah Bentley, received a £727,000 bonus on top of her £2m annual salary

Meanwhile there are...

* People who haven't had breakfast and/or lunch TODAY, because they can't afford it.

* People using FoodBanks because food is becoming more of a luxury than a necessity.

* Children celebrating a birthday without presents.

* Parents worrying about new school uniforms - and some schools enforcing rules which are not cost-effective.

* People who can't get to work because they can't afford to put petrol in their cars/pay for public transport anymore.

* People who are working so much they're making themselves ill, and they STILL CAN'T AFFORD to pay their bills.

* People who have been given fines by these same energy/water companies because they couldn't afford to pay their bills in the first place - increasing their debt.

* Hose pipe bans when gallons of water leak away everyday.

* Elderly people NOT DRINKING because they're worried about running out of water!!!

All this and energy prices are set to rise up to 75% in October...

THIS IS MADNESS!.. I'm all for supporting profits ..I'm not for supporting greed at the cost of lives of others..

Something needs to change..

Why are customers' money being used to make life more comfortable for those who are making life more intolerable for the rest of us?

I actually don't understand how the energy companies are allowed to get away with this and why the government aren't stopping them instead of handing out money.....

Thank you Susan, it is confusing, the good news is change is possible if we work together, then we will all be better off, not just the fortunate few


What do you think?

Contact us at or twitter: @realagendanet and via our website We would love to hear your views, if you would like a copy of my book From Here To Prosperity, a new political agenda for a sustainable economy and greater social justice go to

You can also follow me Tom burgess on Instagram tomburgess2709 where I post infor related to Real Agenda Radio and the campaiging work I am involved with

You can read a transcript of the show with links to the organsiaions we mentioned on our website

You can listen & subscribe free to Real Agenda Radio, on: Amazon, Apple Podcasts, Google, & Spotify & more where you will find a range of podcasts for positive change

Listen out for our next bulletin where we will be bring you even more news from those working hard to bring change to our outdated and unrepresentative political system that is failing to serve the country well. We hope you will want to get involved


We know that we can achieve change if we work together, so that’s what we are doing on Real Agenda Radio. The campaign groups and think tanks whose podcasts we distribute has a collective online following of over nearly 1 million. Our challenge to make sure they all listen to Real Agenda Radio. Recent shows include Its Bloody Complicated from Compass, podcasts from Shepheard Walwyn the publishers of the ethical economics series of books and Across the Benches from Compassion in Politics.

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One thing is certain, people want to see change to a more compassionate and just society as well as more courageous politicians prepared to do the right thing for the people, over party, it’s not happening, but it can, it is urgent, it’s up to us to make it happen.

Fade in music

That’s The Real Agenda, I’m Tom Burgess, thank you for listening and I look forward to talking to you again soon.

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