Today Weekdays 6-9am and Saturdays 7-9am

  • News Feeds
Page last updated at 06:44 GMT, Wednesday, 31 December 2008
2009: the manifestos

Read Jarvis Cocker's letter to prospective New Year thinkers

There is more to hope for in 2009 than loosing weight and saving money.

Jarvis Cocker, one of the Today programme's guest editors, has asked a number of people, including musicians Brian Eno and Bill Drummond, to put forward their manifesto for 2009, and they do not sound like the usual New Year promises.

In a hand-written letter, he asked people whose way of thinking he admired to voice their ideas for 2009.

He wanted them to take inspiration from the thought that the election of Barack Obama has brought hope to the world and that the financial crisis means there are "the opportunity for some exciting changes to be made".

Here are the resulting resolutions.

Brian Eno
Singing is one of the single most exciting human pleasures. It produces communities of people that trust each other and co-operate together in ways that people don't easily otherwise.

If I were running the education system, I would insist that singing occupied about an hour of every day.

People usually think of singing as harmonisation of pitch, but it's not just about that, it's about harmonisation of timing and tone as well. And actually, when you get those harmonised, it's really exiting. That's when you stop being me and start being us, and that's the thrill of singing.


Take part in a performance of The 17 using Bill Drummond's score

My resolution for 2009 is for as many people as possible to take part in a performance of The 17.

The 17 was an imaginary choir that for many years only existed inside my head. This imaginary choir made some of the most beautiful and terrifying music I have ever heard.

About four years ago I started trying to make The 17 a reality. I wrote scores for The 17 to perform based on what I could hear in my head.

At each performance given by The 17 there was never an audience. To hear The 17 you had to be in The 17. But every time The 17 performed it was made up of different people. And it didn't matter if these people had not sung since they mumbled along to at a school assembly.

Some of the scores for The 17 were a bit conceptual. They were as much about listening or thinking as actually making music come out of your mouth.

When I got asked to contribute something for this addition of the Today programme I responded by writing a short score. A score that could be performed by all the listeners to the programme as members of The 17. It does not require you to do anything but use your memory and your imagination, and, of course, put to one side your cynicism.


I strongly believe that music could save the world. I think we could really fight this current trend in despondency in our youth if we use inspiration-led music.

You can't just go up to a kid and hand him an oboe and a piece of paper with music written on it and say 'be interested in this' you have to inspire that person.

Beatboxing as an art form is uniquely democratic in that everybody has a voice so anybody can be part of it.


Dan Le Sac and Scrubious Pip
DAN LE SAC: It's a very difficult thing to think positively about politics because most people's view of politics is the tabloid newspapers': 'Oh that guy's a mess, that guy's scummy'.

SCRUBIOUS PIP: Our resolution would be to have a fairer media approach to politics and politicians.

DAN LE SAC: Encourage people to give them the chance to change, by giving them a fairer media that represents politicians in a warmer light or in a more honest light so we can actually make a choice and not just feel like we are voting for idiots.


Marina Hyde
I should begin this resolution by stating that it is only right that we arts and humanities graduates should be discouraged from suggesting any improvements to the banking system, given the bang up job the economists have done.

But, now that we the people are the owners of these venerable financial institutions, which of us does not feel drunk on our immense power and anxious to avail ourselves of the odd perk? Naturally, I do realise that the following New Year wish does go against every banking principle that has been stubbornly adhered to for centuries: but I ask for it in the spirit of that old adage - aim for the stars and you might just hit the moon. So here goes.

Would it be at all possible, and of course only during lunchtimes, and only if the cue for the cashiers is snaking way out into the high street, for the chap manning the bureau de change, to break off twiddling his thumbs waiting for that mythical person who wishes to change £17 pounds worth of Ukrainian Grivna, and allow his counter to be used for the paying in of cheques?

Having said this, I realise that we are only the owners, and we'd all be mortified to be any trouble, so if its more convenient for our employees to maintain the practice of ignoring their customers unless it is to impose criminally disproportionate penalties for the most minor of fiscal transgressions, then they must persist with this winning formula. And it should go without saying that they will be guaranteed a ludicrous bonus either way.

Martin Rees Martin Rees
Cosmologist, Astronomer Royal and President of the Royal Society

David Hockney David Hockney
One of the most influential British artists of the 21st century

Tony Adams Tony Adams
Football manager and former Arsenal and England defender

PD James PD James
Best-selling crime writer and Conservative peer

Robert Wyatt Robert Wyatt
Solo musician and Soft Machine founder member

Baroness Williams Shirley Williams
Senior Liberal Democrat politician

David Hockney Audio slideshow
The world through Hockney's eyes

William Petersen, Paul Guilfoyle, and Marg Helgenberger, investigate a bomb explosion in a scene from the first season of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." Crime friction
Sir Ian Blair's fears over the power of crime drama

The South Oxhey Community Choir perform at St Albanís Cathedral Britain's choirs
Listen to the amateur choirs singing in the UK

Mark Rylance as 'Rooster' Byron in Jerusalem Just the ticket
Are we in the midst of a golden age of British theatre?


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific