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Real Agenda Radio: Network News, 8 July 22

Here is the transcript from the 8 July edition of Network News, well, this is what I started with, it may have changed a bit as I recorded!

Fade in music

Hi there, and welcome Network News, from Real Agenda Radio. I’m Tom Burgess, Thanks for joining us today. Now in today’s show you will hear news and comment relating to organisations seeking to bring positive change and also featuring some fascinating people who will be interviewed for Real Agenda Radio in more depth. Here are the headlines:

1. What is The Britain Project, I find out from director Monica Harding

2. What is the Future for Britain, I report form a recent event held in London

3. A new group in UK, called Patriotic Millionaires want to tax Wealth not work

4. Bill to stop lying introduce to in Parliament

So, let’s find out more

The Britain Project describes itself a convening space for progressives - a non-partisan, political movement seeking to build a broad liberal and progressive coalition built on the politics of hope, decency, integrity, fairness and the common good. That’s sound worthwhile. The director is Monica Harding a management consultant and former parliamentary candidate, we will be talking to Monica in an upcoming episode on Real Agenda Radio. I did however have a brief catch up on video.

There are some familiar faces on the team, including: MP Angela Smith, former MPs David Gawke, Rory Stewart and Luciana Berger, Trevor Phillips broadcast and former president of National Union of Students, Peter Kellner, former president of polling company YouGov and Nicola Horlick, founder of Money & Co

Monica is very keen for those interested and involved to leave the tribes at the door and like me and so many others she is frustrated by the lack of vision and leadership amongst our parliamentarians and seeks to build a consensus with a real plan

Monica said: We are a movement operating outside the confines of the electoral cycle and political parties, we welcome progressives, from all tribes and none, who want to effect real change. We’re creating the space to build solutions to the challenges the UK faces, offering a different and more honest politics, and encouraging the bold ideas to secure prosperity for today and future generations.

She shared some stats:

· 2/3 of voters thinks Britain is going in wrong direction

· 62% believe Britain no longer leader on world stage

· 7 out of 10 believe that without urgent action the country faces a period of decline

· Need a plan

· 73% believe there is no plan

The Britain Project organised the recent conference in London on 30 June call The Future of Britain, along with My Life My Say and The Tony Blair Institute for Global change.

Which brings on to the next item: What is the future of Britain?

That’s good question. I was invited by the organisers to the Future of Britain Conference, I was very keen to find out whether there was a plan to have plan and how we could move this forward.

The event was very professionally staged and there were some very inspiring speakers that gave us a vision on what could be achieved if we set our minds to it. Though I think after all the enlightening talk on the day there was no call to action at the end, this is what happens next, This is where we go form here. It just fizzled out, everyone felt it was a interesting worthwhile event but is that it?

Well, I am keen to find out what next. We understand there will be more work on key policy streams to develop some bold, inspiring and practical policy solutions.

My take is that is an opportunity here to have a group that wants to work together for the good of the country not just the party. So imagine if there new group, maybe we will call it “Consensus” which individuals and MPs would sign up to as a commitment that they are prepared to work together for the good of the country over party. Surely our polarising party system, no longer reflects the interests of the voter

While we were reminded that this was not the start of a new party, this could certainly be the start of a new movement as the Britain Project hopes as do I !!

I remain optimistic that some positive good will come out this conference and also the work of the Britain Project

Patriotic Millionaires

And talking of bold radical approaches, the Patriotic Millionaire held their first public meeting at the Houses of Parliament 27th June Chaired by Prem Sikka, now Lord, a professor and fellow tax justice campaigner. This event it was well attended by a number of MPs including Richard. Burgon, Rebecca Long Bailey and Ester McVey. Three millionaires on the panel spoke about how they should pay more tax on their wealth so that low income earners did not suffer such hardship

I agree, my view is The key issue is that we all create the wealth but the system means it is only accumulated by the few. So it is morally right to tax wealth to ensure that a good portion of it goes back into the public domain for the benefit of all and to pay for the infrastructure, education, health and care services that enable people and business to thrive and create the wealth which our current system means is not shared equitably

Patriotic Millionaires UK is a network of British millionaires, from multiple industries and backgrounds from across the UK, keen to deliver a shared mission: to leverage the voice of wealth to build a more just, stable, and inclusive society; to push for fair taxation and accelerate the end of extreme wealth. It is sister to Patriotic Millionaires - a US organisation established in 2010 with the same mission. One of the board members is my friend and fellow author Chuck Collins who kindly gave a great reference to my book: From Here To Prosperity. Chuck’s story is fascinating as he inherited a huge sum from when he was young, a fortune created by grandfather’s meat packing business Oscar Mayer but Chuck put it all into foundations and spent his career campaigning to reducing inequality.

Compassion in Politics

There is a new parliamentary bill that would ban lying in Parliament.

The legislation, which Liz Saville Roberts A Plaid Cymru MP introduced to the Commons on 28th will make it an offence for politicians to wilfully lie to the public.

The law would be enforced through the same arbitration procedures already used to determine whether a business or corporation has intentionally mis-sold or misled, with repeat offences resulting in a fine or, ultimately, a 10 year ban from standing for election.

Ms Saville Roberts said. “Each day now brings with it more deception, dishonesty, and duplicity from the highest levels of government," "Lies have been told to win elections, spread hate, and evade scrutiny. “The consequence has been the withering away of public faith in democracy and the trashing of common values: according to a survey by the think-tank Compassion in Politics, the number one value that voters believe is absent in our politics is that of honesty."

The survey suggests that the public are indeed concerned about the lack of honesty in UK politics, with 53 percent citing dishonesty from politicians as a concern, and 63 percent wanting to see more honesty in politics. The same poll found that 73 percent of people support Liz Saville Roberts’ Bill, including 71 percent of Conservative voters and more than three-quarters of Labour supporters. You can find out more at

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 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

In our next bulletin, we will tell your more about

1. The Compassion Coalition

2. What’s up XR, I have lunch with co founder

3. Living Wage (awards)


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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