Loudshirts Blog

What’s Been Happening To Make You Think

Despite the stresses and constraints of coronavirus,  April has been a busy month for Makes You Think.  Before a quick round-up, and more than ever, a huge and heartfelt Thank You to all our key workers.


The first two episodes of the new all-things-union podcast were published and have had a reasonable landing.  Thanks to our special guests John Wood and Vic Barlow, opening up about digital transformation and the membership journey respectively.

Next up is Andrew Pakes on the virtue and necessity of a Prospect’s root-and-branch rebranding exercise (and there will be a companion blog on why these things matter on this very website) and what the response was to his call-to-arms to counter Covid.  That will “drop” as they say on Monday 4th May.

And I’m pleased to announce that the episode-after-next will feature the TUC’s Clare Coatman talking about Youth engagement.

Still to come in the series is Becki Winson from the New Economics Foundation, Vic Talyor of the FDA,  and General Secretaries Paul Day (Pharmacists), Sarah Wolley (Bakers, Food and Allied Workers) and Tim Rose (Nationwide Group).  More details on dates and content nearer the time. Thank you to everyone for taking part.

Please let us know about things we should cover, people we should chat to.  All ideas welcome:  uniondues@makes-you-think.com,  and you can follow the podcast on twitter too.

Podcasting Views And Prospects

The space and prospects for podcasting at a time of such unprecedented uncertainty has generated a fair amount of debate. 

I was happy to contribute to Minter Dial’s thoughtful and timely piece on this.  I guess you can look at this in one of two ways:  People are in lockdown and searching for distraction and diversion.  A quality podcast would fit that bill very well.  But on the other hand, if you’re plugged into zoom calls or otherwise stuck in front of a screen for most of the day,  not to mention home educating – then you might just want to switch off for a bit.

For sure, I miss my audience who would listen on their commute to and from work – that’s going to be a challenge for the podcasting sector as a whole.

Most podcasters are not PAYE employees, so a shout out to Bectu for persistence and determination  in working to fill the (understandable ) gaps in the government support programmes for the self-employed and freelancers.

Without meaning to tease,  look out for some exciting news about Makes You Think and Anna Burton’s highly regarded  Neontetra company in the next few weeks.

The Good Society

Away from podcasting,  the debate on what post-Covid society looks like has provided a hopeful view of a potential new normal.  The synergies between the campaign for a Social Rights Bill, championed by the Labour Campaign for Human Rights*,  and many (make that most) of the ideas being promoted by the excellent “It’s Bloody Complicated” podcast series from Compass.  My post on Social Rights in Post-Covid Britain was picked up by both, but you can read it here.

Stay well, stay safe and (if you can) stay at home!

Photocredit: Sign on the London Underground by Ben Garratt/Unsplash.

*Full disclosure: I sit on the LCHR board

Leave a Reply