If you would like to become a member and have the opportunity to comment then please use the Member sign-up form on the home page or under the 'Member's menu tab.


Alternatively if you would prefer to just receive the newsletters then please use the newsletter sign-up box below.





Probably42 News - March 2021


Probably42 logo




Welcome to our March Newsletter!


Probably42 three years on


When we started Probably42 three years ago, we had a concept that there was an awful lot of Knowledge, Skills and Experience (KSE) amongst the population that was going to waste. We set out to see if it was possible to harness that KSE to generate pragmatic ideas to address some of the big issues of our time.


Three years on we’ve evolved from just a web site, to first running real world ‘Pie and Pint’ discussion meetings and now to running Zoom meetings with participants from different parts of the country. The meetings are enjoyed by all as sociable, well considered discussions, with plenty of humour.


In that time, we’ve generated enough ideas and outputs to fill a couple of books, all the time trying to generate ideas that would be acceptable to the majority of the population and looking to the long-term and how society will change over that time. We’ve distilled all this down to produce ‘Considered Proposals’ on a range of important subjects. We now have a Manifesto of Ideas to summarise 70 of the most transformative ideas and 25 Considered Proposals to underpin these and explain the thinking behind them. These contain some 400 ideas overall. Everyone’s KSE really did kick in.


Over the last month we’ve brought every one of these Considered Proposals up-to-date, which has been a marathon effort. We think we have a substantial body of work which could inform and be adopted by any political party, old or new. So this is a bit of a landmark in our history, which we are pausing to celebrate with you and with all our contributors.


We’ve had some small successes along the way with inputs to the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence and to MPs and Think Tanks. We’ve discovered lots about our system of Government, not least that there is no formal way of inputting well-considered ideas to Government, outside of their own consultations. In the coming months our focus will be on trying to change that and to get our ‘Manifesto for Society in an Artificial Intelligence Future’ noticed.


We would value your help in telling friends about Probably42 and in telling us about any other ways you could help. You don’t need to agree with every idea in the manifesto, just that overall it is a good basis for discussion of our future.





One of the ways we are hoping to make an impact is through ideas competitions. In the last month we’ve entered two competitions, one organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs and one by the Heywood Foundation. They have the value that, even if we don’t win, they will inform influential people judging the inputs of our presence and therefore hopefully have some impact.


Reform of the Civil Service


In our last discussion we tackled the subject of the Civil Service, something only a few of us had first- hand experience of. We therefore had to do quite a lot of research and you’ll hopefully find that informative, as we’ve included it in our output Civil Service Reform.


We tackled this subject to see if we believed reform of the Civil Service was needed. There was a lot of evidence, even from those in the know and within it, that it does require far-reaching reform and we ended up in agreement with this.


Three things that may interest you

As we often say, since first starting Probably42 we have been impressed by just how open the UK actually is in the availability of information on Parliament activity and outputs.


Here are three recent examples of information that might interest you:


Build Back Better: our plan for growth

A publication setting out the government’s plans to support economic growth through significant investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation.

National Infrastructure Strategy

The National Infrastructure Strategy sets out plans to transform UK infrastructure in order to level up the country, strengthen the Union and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.…

Specialist skills in the civil service’ A report from Public Accounts Committee on the recognition of skills shortage and the progress made by Government. Just reading the one page summary is illuminating.


Our March Discussion – Economic Recovery


Our discussion this month will be on the topic: Economic Recovery – The Budget, Taxation and Incentives. You can see our suggested Agenda at:


Topic for March 2021 - Economic Recovery


Do let us know if you would like to participate, or if you have any immediate thoughts on the topic, just reply to this email and we’ll input them into our discussions. Probably42 is all about making use of our joint Knowledge, Skills and Experience to come up with new ideas, so please don’t hold back.


Why not join a Group?


If you’d like to join one of the groups, just email in response to this newsletter and we’ll send you more details. We very much want a diversity of viewpoints, so you can be sure your views will be welcomed. Remember it’s about relaxed discussion and having an enjoyable time, with hopefully some useful ideas identified.



We always welcome any feedback, thoughts, ideas or questions about Probably42. Simply reply to this newsletter and you’ll receive a personal reply.

All the best





Return to the News page to see the latest and previous newsletters.