I was going to do a really ‘fascinating’ blog linking a discussion we had last night about democracy (it was an event to discuss Paul Ginsborg’s book with Richard Reeves and Catherine Fieschi on the panel) and link it to the themes I covered in my speech on Monday.
However I have had meetings all day and it’s the Summer Reception now so you’ll have to wait another day for pearls of wisdom!
But I would like to share a small achievement – I was one of a number on a panel at a great conference – 2gether08 – organised by the RSA’s good friend, Steve Moore. It was held in a converted school in an achingly trendy area of Shoreditch. So intimidated was I by being in the midst of people right at the cutting edge that I was reminded of an Alexei Sayle sketch from the late 1970s. In it, Alexei imagines writing a modern folk song dedicated to the liberal middle classes in the trendiest area of the day: Hampstead. I can’t remember the whole song, just one verse:
In Hampstead Town where I was born
The streets are paved with lentils
The cars are all Swedish and theatres experimental
In a desperate attempt to ingratiate myself with the audience, I tried an update:
In Shoreditch Town where I was born
We eat organic humous and pitta
We are all innovation consultants and we live our lives on Twitter
Oh, how they laughed ….
We shouldn’t underestimate how far our societies have pulled apart. Yet there is hope for renewal, says Anthony Painter. The question is not whether we come together – but how.