The Awkward Squad

Barry Jones goes into battle
by
October 2021, no. 436
Buy this book

What Is to Be Done: Political engagement and saving the planet by Barry Jones

Scribe Publishing, $34.95 pb, 389 pp

The Awkward Squad

Barry Jones goes into battle
by
October 2021, no. 436

Barry Jones is a proud member of the Awkward Squad, one who follows his own convictions rather than the exigencies of day-to-day government. He confesses that in Parliament, ‘I was always aiming for objectives that were seen as beyond the reach of conventional politics’. The memo about ‘the art of the possible’ clearly never reached Jones’s desk. His time as a minister between 1983 and 1990 was a strain for both him and the then prime minister, Bob Hawke. Jones recounts with some glee that Hawke once referred to him as ‘Barry Fucking Jones’.

What Is to Be Done is a sequel of sorts to Jones’s Sleepers, Wake!: Technology and the future of work (1982) which deservedly won praise from around the world (as he tells us here in some detail). That work alerted readers to the looming post-industrial society (in 1982, sixteen and a half per cent of the workforce were employed in manufacturing; by 2020 that proportion had fallen to seven per cent). It was prescient about the myriad changes that information technology would bring about in society.

Paul Morgan reviews 'What Is to Be Done: Political engagement and saving the planet' by Barry Jones

What Is to Be Done: Political engagement and saving the planet

by Barry Jones

Scribe Publishing, $34.95 pb, 389 pp

Buy this book

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