“Our Common Good” by John Nickson – book review

Lord Hylton

(published Biteback 2017. Hardback)

ISBN 978-1-84954-803-8     411 pages

The first 11 chapters in part 1 discuss the problems facing British society – for example concentrations of wealth and inequality; the dysfunctional housing situation, with homelessness and destitution; the reduced role of the state; youth alienation; and dissatisfaction among those barely managing.

The second part concentrates on the role of philanthropy by giving and volunteering, in cooperation with local and central government. It provides detailed case-studies of the regeneration of local communities, who in turn can provide care, as they regain self-confidence and improve the local environment.  It challenges us to emulate well-tested best practice.

Nr Nickson sounds a clarion call for generous giving by all age groups, as well as cooperative approaches to problem-solving. The methods he describes have already reduced crime and raised local morale.

14 comments for ““Our Common Good” by John Nickson – book review

  1. 30/03/2017 at 1:45 am

    This is in hidden Fact a grievously serious Matter, noble lord; and my submission is lengthy, so I propose to send it in two parts.
    Part One:
    .i haven’t read the book yet,
    and probably it is too expensive for me who manages on a permanently lowest-bracket income;
    and any accessible library copies will have already been earmarked and snapped-up by “insider” multiple-human-incomes-established middle-class hierarchy ‘stalwarts’.

    Nevertheless your introductory brief review reveals a few “chinks” –
    into which “light” may perhaps be shined;
    and allow me to take just one, between the stipulatively ‘populistic’ title “Our Common Good”, and your reading of Part1 as containing
    “concentrations of wealth and of inequality”;
    “the dysfunctional housing situation with homelessness and destitution”;
    “the reduced role of the state”;
    “youth alienation”; and
    “dissatisfaction among those barely managing”.
    {each of these is something of a misleading euphemism – but I have a very personally-damaging UK-governmental “rort”, “malfeasance”, “civil-service-corruption” among the records I keep, which will take quite a few words even ‘though its import is “clarionly-clear” – governmental gross-overexpensiveness,
    gross unfitnesses-for-purpose; and gross neglect of the whole-life needs of the great majority of People}.

    And these “whitened sepulchres” are in further toxic-contrast with the author’s “clarion call for ‘generous giving’ by all age-groups as well as ‘cooperative’ approaches to problem-solving”.
    {Lifesupportive and Civilisational-Human-Development Needs
    should always be primarily and majorly ruled and budgeted by Government,
    and never, ever, left to “Charity” to provide.
    My instance should follow very shortly as Part Two –
    of how “the reduced role of state”
    is a cowardly rhetorical cover-up for
    “the State’s ‘Weapons-of-Mass-Destruction’ namely
    (i) Gross Over-Costliness to Taxpayer Funds;
    (ii) Utterly Blind Under-Fitnesses-for-Purpose; and
    (iii) Gross-Neglect of People’s Essential Holistic-Living and Health-Building Needs.

    And how one of these was “dumped” upon myself and my (similarly 90-years-old) voluntary caree mid-2013 – and is still un-redressed and “crippling” upon us each, and both.

    • 30/03/2017 at 12:48 pm

      Part Two :-
      Just one “little” instance
      [because we are only two low-income and disabled old-folk
      out of millions of such disadvantaged people;

      and this “governmental rorting event” at-core only oocupied at the most 50 hours of governmental “work-time” (yet costing our Taxes £3500 just for the Sitter’s “planned” 49 hours (actual “sitting-time total was less than 20 hours) ] –

      and thus it was “dumped” upon us :-

      [but was asked of us, ‘no-alternative’, by an inter-authority meeting in PCC Windsor House, that we undertake a 24/7 whole-of-life-needs relationship and ‘duty’ of care, safety, life-needs-management, and companionship].

      To improve my lifeplace-abilities and thereby my caring abilities, I sought “further education” which not being available in Plymouth led me to the nearest available 7-weeks course in Totnes. PCC began to send different carers every day, three times a day, to “support” my 24/7 caree; they could never relate to Adela, nor could they comprehend any of the modern holistic-health-building advances I was endeavouring to utilise and to obtain support for. [What a waste of both our carer-caree otherwise successful time and joint effort; what literal “disdrujption”, and at what hidden exorbitant costs to the Taxpayer ?];
      and PCC arranged for a minimum-wage Sitter to be with Adela 9a.m. to maximum 4p.m. every Thursday whilst I had to paid my own way and costs to the Feldenkrais re-education course in Totnes for which I needed to be up at 7am and to return just after midday).

      For that maximum 7 hours of minimum-waged Sitting, PCC invoiced Westminster government £500.00: and did so in the name of “Respite for the Carer” [myself, having to pay all of my essential carer-caree relationship, and British-citizen’s support-for-the-common-good efforts, out of my own pocket; and I don’t begrudge the nice young Sitter the two or three cups of tea s/he enjoyed, at Adela’s expense, either]. But £3.500 for less than 49 hours of mere Sitting ?
      And yet similarly “dog-in-manger” not even the local NGOs and Other “charities” (such as the Church of England) have been willing and able to launch a new Association dedicated to utilising such Taxpayer funds “direct” through local small not-for-profit self-and-mutual Holistic Health Building cooperative groups.
      And that is just the tiny “tip” of just one of the huge fleet of Not-Fit-For-Purpose Governmental “Icebergs” literally “black-hole-destroying” Taxpayers-and-Helpless-Disadvantaged-Persons’ hard-earned monies and life-enablements –
      “Icebergs” that constitute –
      not “Our Common Good” –
      but “Our Monarchicly-Democratic Governments’ Greedy and Aggressive Wastefulne

  2. LordBlagger
    30/03/2017 at 12:57 pm

    for example concentrations of wealth and inequality

    Caused by the welfare state.

    The state took the working poor’s surplus money and redistribtuted along socialist lines.

    End result the working poor have no wealth because you took it.

    Then the amount owed is hidden.


    To hide the amount owed, puts people at risk of loss and actual loss. The state has cut between 40% and 20% off pensions. More if you are a woman.

    10 trillion pounds hidden off the books, because its owed to the plebs.

    Now if Mr Median had just retired and he had invested his NI, he would be sitting on 900K in a fund.

    State pension is only worth 108K, and that’s going to be cut even more.

    But you read the book and find out its a complete fantasy.

    The idea of some Utopia where the what if no pensions were owed we could do X Y or Z.

    The reality is a nightmare.

    Not that the Lords have done anything about it because most of them are responsible for the mess.

    • 10/04/2017 at 12:44 am

      Kindly allow some “hidden-factors” to join our deliberations:-

      (1) Vis a vis the ‘dominant’ Workplace of 40 hours per week,
      as it were “versus” the “cinderella’d” Lifeplace of 128 hpw :
      (a) The Workplace is wholly-owned by The Employer,
      who also ‘dictates’ the skill a worker must have in order to be employed *.

      [* Sub-conclusional “Myth” #1 ** : The citizen/”private-person”/worker does not “choose” his/her skill – the employer has already set what the worker must come from the Lifeplace ready-competent in. ]

      (b) This (should) already be leading our now-increasingly-mindful-minds and watchful-senses
      into “seeing” –
      ( including that (i) since in the Workplace the worker does not spend his/her own money (ii) the Workplace is full of the most competent & work-friendly people, and (iii) the Workplace is (thereby) held “safe” for its workers ) –
      seeing that the Workplace is by far the more “safe and charitable place” in some contrast with the Lifeplace where not only is no ‘skill’ required but neither is focused and legal Safety, and where the poorer a person is, the less affordable are the “life-enablements” that are essential to an
      “holisticly-healthy-and-longest-term-self-and-civilisation-sustain-worthy-ing” human-lifespan.

      ** Our “modern” corruption of the term “myth” actually reveals that
      to a serious extent our “modern-mind” is already incapable of distinguishing some truth from some ‘fiction’.
      Check a twelvefold clarification of “myth” from Robert Graves’s “The Greek Myths” volume 1, within the first few pages
      e.g. True myth must be distinguished from “embroidered history” –

      – this should be leading our minds into seeing AND scrutinising
      every murmur, scratch or squiggle coming from every official source and through every public media,
      as well as should be “girding-up-our-loins” in defence against unofficial sources and “grapevine” media.
      Lord Blagger consistently exposes Governance failure and unfitness-for-purpose, including key financial ‘bungles’.
      But the remaining 64 million odd of us “democratic-citizens” remain
      “nowhere-to-be-found” –
      – ? “blind” ? “trusting” ? “plain-complacent” ?
      – like”well-behaved” “little children”
      who must be “seen but not heard” – ?

      Since there remain “hidden” many more facts and factors,
      and one can only show a “glimpse” of such possible “malfeasance”, “public-exploitation”, “ignorance”, and “deliberate disinformation”,
      could you kindly allow this sub-reply to be extended into a similar one to maude elwes’s (also quite leaderful) comment, below …

  3. maude elwes
    06/04/2017 at 7:55 pm

    We, the public, have been and are being robbed. Governments take our taxes, the same taxes originally described as an unbreakable contract between the citizen and the government of the day, to protect us with a ‘National Insurance’ not an ‘International Insurance’ to protect us from total destitution as a result of ill health or loss of income. Successive governments have used our money activities not in the best interests of the funders. Us.


    It’s our money. Not funds produced out of thin air by government officials to decide what and how they will use it for their own whims. Wars being one of them.

    The Welfare state went on to provide protection of the citizen from homelessness, lack of education, and an income should they fall on difficult times.


    Note the political manipulators that followed, Wilson and Heath, were both ‘Grammar School’ boys. Wonder if their successes were the reason to get rid of that education opportunity for the poor.

    Deals that are the fix to rid the Public of their NHS


  4. 24/04/2017 at 6:41 am

    “Robbed” is a huge part of the constitutional-malfeasances
    that we are ‘victims’ of rather than ‘subjects’ – (maude).

    Equally huge and maybe equally detectable is the “passive-aggression” of the Constitution,
    and thereunder of
    the Establishment;

    the Judiciary;

    the various Legislatures;

    the more proliferous
    and hugely-overpaid

    the Medical&Hospitals Sector
    [because they conflationally undermined the NHS-Inception in1948, and again hi-jacked the spirit of the UN Declaration for Primary Health Care by sweeping it all underf the long-pre-existing and dominant Primary Medical Care, and are still “stonewallingly” instrumental in denying us an
    Holistic-Health-Building Service
    absolutely separately from the NHS, doctors, nurses, and chemists.

    [which is practically non-existent having been insidiously hi-jacked
    as the “front-word” for, and “icing-on-top-of-the-cake” of, the Compulsory-Workplaces’ Job/Careers Foundational Training, Drilling, Schooling and never-ending further narrowing-down
    and ‘professionally-focusing’ “blinkers”.

    Religions and Cultural-Societies
    {which have become competitively-profit-seeking “businesses”
    rather than the Lifeplace Educators and Facilitators they should be.

    The failed and failing Constitutional, Legislative, and Lifesupports Debacles and Skulking -Situations abound..
    There is only one Positively-Peaceful and Sustain-worthy Solution :-

    Priority # A.1 :- Daily and hourly increase your own sustain-worthiness; and
    Priority # A.2 :- Weekly meet to make your civilisation sustain-worthier.

    Priority # B.1:- Start reducing your Lifeplace expenditure to
    “One-Human-Living” [per week = (say) £200] ;
    your credit remainder you deposi in your part, and ASAP “co-part”,
    of the
    New Sustainworthy-and-Sustainworthying Society and Local Neighbourhood Branch thereof

    [to which you will sooner rather than later ‘fully belong’,
    but currently which

    can only “notionally”, and “personally-privately”, support and belong-in. ].

  5. Senex
    24/04/2017 at 1:10 pm

    You said:

    “…as well as cooperative approaches to problem-solving. The methods he describes have already reduced crime and raised local morale…”

    Just how does one problem solve? Creative thinking is a process that invariably disagrees with an established view. If one wants promotion then thinking outside of the box makes you a trouble maker not the sort of person that the door to opportunity should open to. Indeed the door closes firmly shut to those who cross the line and our prisons are filled with such people many receiving life sentences.

    One can say that with few exceptions all the members of the house have entered because they are conformists. On arrival their collective conscience is freed to make them anything but conformist. The house can experience a rise in morale by delisting members.

    In committee the leaders of the Cross Benches, Labour and Liberal Democrats were asked by the chair how this was to be achieved. Responses were poor at best. Everybody was a conformist and nobody wanted to appear awkward. Nobody was willing to throw a curve ball.

    A date ordinal list of appointed members is created; the number of hereditary peers is fixed so no list processing is needed or required.

    The upper list size is set to 599 with the lower limit set to 449.

    The list is decremented in two’s by removing members from both ends of the list until the number 449 is reached. Prime Ministers’ inflate the list in order to obtain their majority. The list grows until it reaches 600 or more. At the beginning of the next Parliament the delisted peers lose their Writ of Summons but retain their patents.

    The house can thus experience a fall in life sentences, improved morale, governance and a funded increase to the daily allowance.

    • maude elwes
      25/04/2017 at 3:01 pm

      Time to de-party all Lords. Select those who brilliantly conform and more who do not. That way enough trouble will be created whilst stability continues.

      However, most of all, dead beat politicians, who cannot move on or accept public preferences, must be ousted for the welfare of the State.

    • maude elwes
      25/04/2017 at 3:02 pm

      Time to de-party all Lords. Select those who brilliantly conform and more who do not. That way enough trouble will be created whilst stability continues.

      However, most of all, dead beat politicians, who cannot move on or accept public preferences, must be ousted for the welfare of the State.

  6. maude elwes
    11/05/2017 at 12:50 pm

    I do wonder how the various political parties come up with their vague and misleading bullet points in the hope the British public believe every word they say. Example, ‘If elected, we will re-nationalise the Railways as well as the Utilities.’ Wonderful, I would back that in an instant. However, unless we are totally and resolutely free of being part of the EU there is no way that can be possible. And the party offering these wonderful promises are all in the remain camp, refusing to accept the referendum outcome? The French and German own a good part of our utilities, and we are forbidden by EU doctrine to fully nationalise any of it. Whether that be transport by Railway or anything else. Therefore, they, in that particular party, would have to be profoundly supportive of Leave to be in any position to make good on their promise.

    They go on to promise our NHS will be rise from the dead, but, many parts of that organisation are also privately owned, brought in by Blair and his despised New Labour crowd. Therefore, that too is owned elsewhere. In part by US, German, Swiss and French concerns. Anyone with a wit knows the entire population of the UK want the NHS back in its proper place, run by the tax payers, through direct coffers, so no worries there then. That makes this line great for winning votes, if you believe lying is a good way to start. The Public know when they are given this kind of spin and it causes them to pull away, fast. Why would it not? Reeks of cheap car salespeople!

    Those who hide in our Members seats whilst going for the vote by obfuscation on the doorstep, not revealing to the electorate, that really, they like the EU. You see, it is undemocratic and will eventually do away with their need to canvass, as that causes them to look and feel foolish. Democracy is the one vehicle that deprives dictatorship of tyrannical power. In other words, our saviour.

    Politicians must stop this chicanery before a light is blown out in the lamp, both for them as well as us.

    It is repulsive the way some parties put forward ideas they know will be welcome generally, but, at the same time, hide the fact that if, as they say they want, we stay in or close to the EU, their promises are impossible to fulfil. For that Union we belong to, establishes laws against our well being as well as being able to thwart the political decisions promised at a General Election.

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