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Here are a few more keywords for RDN themes:

the media
the BBC
Tom Stoppard
middle class
precautionary priniciple

RDN Home / About RDN / My background

RDN's Background

I am a pretty ordinary 61 (2007) year-old Englishman of my generation and background. I was brought up in the 50s and 60s liking my public school, and the suburban version of the national life (see "Britain's identity", here). I was and remain proud of the British tradition, and more particularly the English one. I believed I owed a debt to the generation which fought a war for freedom, whose sacrifice and values were worth bearing in mind.

I was thrilled by the American blues, and by soul music, and preferred the Rolling Stones to the Beatles. I may, in the early 60s, have been the first person to wear a poncho in Surbiton, where we were living (in the road in which the young Isaiah Berlin, the most important Enlightenment thinker of our time, found himself on arrival here in the 20s).

Between ages 17 and 25, I "dropped out", working in shops and then adopting a more or less working class way of life as ferry boat, van and security driver.

Well into my 30s, I have worked as a peasant and a rural labourer, and fixed bikes in London's inner city. I have lived in rural Suffolk (my 20s) and Hereford (my late 40s), and in London (as a child, in my late teens, my 20s, 30s and 50s).

I have been "idle rich" and dirt poor - and most things in between. I have only had a "middle class" job or employment for four years (The Independent, 1986-90) and arguably for a further two (enjoying a Sunday Times contract (1990-2). Otherwise, I have had low wages or have freelanced. For seven years I have run www.livingissues.com). I now do very occasional consultancy for industry - the majority of which results in writing in which I always mention any sponsorship.

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