I am very proud to say that as a school boy I managed a 4% mark in a multiple choice Economics exam. Zero would have been perfect. I knew that by randomly ticking a box I would score 33.3%, so 4% really showed my understanding of the subject. I have often wondered which 4 questions I accidentally got 'right'. My Economics master disagreed. He told me to read the newspapers and follow the news so that I could gain a proper understanding of the world and the way it works. He did not realise that my 4% showed that even then I had been doing just that for many years. What I had learned I did not like.
I now believe that the 4% 'error' probably showed that 'real' economics was just beginning to learn the realities of the world as I intuitively saw them. At the time, I was stunned and deeply hurt to learn that the basis of the working world in to which I was being launched was fundamentally skewed against the laws of physics and to my mind morality. I got good marks in Physics.
As I listened more to radio 4 and began to follow the somewhat more sensationalist TV news programs, it became all too clear that if I was to get on in the world I had to act against it. This put me in a difficult position. I wanted stuff, safety, a good life, to see the world and do interesting things, but I knew that the way most people did these things destroyed their very reasons for wanting them. I had to find another way.
My education had provided me with insufficient qualifications to make it in to further education, let along the higher type, so I needed a job. I had made a list, but only of things I didn't like. The first job on the list was installing telephones, so I joined Post Office Telecoms. This was simply because the job was known and available to me. Like most other people, I knew the ‘Devil I knew’ better than anything I hadn’t ever thought about, so I did what I knew.
I was good at it, but wanted to follow my Father in to the BBC. When I was old enough I did. It was there I saw a few more of the errors of my ways. I felt more and more uncomfortable with the status quo at the BBC. There was a total lack of foresight or awareness of the world outside TV Centre. I found valuable television programs in junk piles ready to go to landfill. I pulled them out ( Doctor Who mostly ) and sent them to the BFI for archiving. Today these very programs are on sale in shops. I saw that coming but was almost sacked for trying to do something about it. I left the BBC, but it took me ten years to pluck up the courage.
Many years later, I found the Green Party. A great place to vote, less great at getting things done. The problem with political parties is, other groups don’t want to do have anything to do with them. So if a party is small to start with it isn’t going to grow very fast. My thoughts turned then to just how long we have before we run out of time to wait fr things to get better. Frankly we ran out of time many years ago.
21 hours of work a week would give me back time in the week to do things I actually enjoy, one thing I like is Radio 4. Saturday’s interview with the New Economics Forum, nef – lower case because small is beautiful, gave me the chance to do just that – use my working time to do what I really like and have time left to do even more of it.
And so – I now aim myself at the opportunity of a Media Officer post at nef. Hence this small addition to my infrequent blog.