Is an Economics of love and kindness even possible? It may seem so beyond our current context that it may seem like a dream too far. However, economics comes from the Greek word Oikos, which literally means household. Whoever heard of a household that was really flourishing that wasn’t built on love and kindness? It is true that the simple model of a household is a bit defunct when comparing it to complex economic systems, but the foundational ethical principles need not differ.
Our recent “Love Economics” event in Morecambe Bay was kicked off by the excellent Prof Imogen Tyler, head of the Sociology Department at Lancaster University, who sets out the case for the utter failure of the economics of austerity. Her devastating diagnosis of the current trickle-down economic model to (ever) deliver real human flourishing and environmental sustainability is not easy listening. Her insights and wisdom based on sound data and research set the foundations for our conversation in the current reality and pain which our economic models are causing every day. You will find in parts 2, 3 and 4 loads of reasons for hope. However, our hope must not be based in denial of what we are experiencing now, otherwise, we will go on to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
As part of the ‘love and kindness’ series on the Black Swan Podcast, I interviewed the brilliant and award winning Spoken Word Poet, Matt Sowerby. Matt is 18 and lives in Morecambe Bay. I find his words to be beautiful, challenging and moving. Here are the links on iTunes and Spotify if you want to hear him perform and listen to us discussing a variety of things from education, to climate change strikes and politics. Hope you enjoy! You can also find his poem ‘breadlines’, which didn’t make it onto the podcast on YouTube with his other work.
Tweet The BBC ran a news piece today about the massive rise in use of antidepressants in England and Wales over the last 10 years. And depending on which study you believe between 1 in 11 and 1 in 6 people in England are now on an antidepressant (though we must remember, that antidepressants can [Continue Reading …]
Tweet Here is a copy of the speech I recently gave at Morecambe Food Bank when Heidi Allen MP and Frank Field MP came to be with us and to listen to the community here in Morecambe Bay about our experiences of poverty. There were some incredibly moving testimonies from community commissioners of the poverty [Continue Reading …]
Tweet One of the best things I have been involved in over the last few years, is the Poverty Truth Commission and it has helped me to learn just how utterly complex and wicked poverty is as an issue. I’m currently reading an absolutely brilliant book by the theologian Samuel Wells, called ‘The Nazareth Manifesto’. [Continue Reading …]
Tweet Every year I get to give a guest lecture at UCLAN medical school on health and society. Here is my lecture from this year – always a moving feast and next year it will be different. It’s about an hour long, so makes good as a podcast, if you’re interested! Mainly aimed at doctors [Continue Reading …]
Tweet If you haven’t yet had the chance to read the Kings Fund’s vision for population health (and it’s the kind of thing that interests you) then I would heartily recommend that you do so. (https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/vision-population-health). It is a real ‘Tour de Force’ and deserves some significant consideration. I like it because it doesn’t hold [Continue Reading …]
Tweet There is growing rhetoric in the media and within the NHS that the public needs to make better choices and take more responsibility for their own health. Who wouldn’t agree with that? Surely, we are the ones who ultimately choose what goes into our bodies – we choose our sugar intake and decide how [Continue Reading …]
Tweet Last week, I had the privilege of listening to Prof Sandro Galea, from Boston State University talking on the subject: “What do guns, obesity and opiates have in common?!” It was an amazing walk through the world of epidemiology – and the answer? Well – all three things are hugely important problems, they are [Continue Reading …]
Tweet In my previous blog in this series, I wrote about the ‘Pentagon Model’ which we have developed in Morecambe Bay to help us think about how we manage Population Health. The Pentagon approach actually forms one of four parts of some over-lapping circles, based on 4-Ps (Population Health Approach, Partnerships, Places, People Movement), which [Continue Reading …]