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Pete Lawrence - 23 Jul 2016
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So how do we start imagining a new politics? Or are we happy with business as usual? We’re going to need to do it quickly if we want new politics..New ways of defining today’s choices are really important in re-framing the debates that are taking place no

Direct democracy, PR, a more just and equal society, working for the good of all, alternatives to Westminster? These should surely be the visions that ‘left' should be articulating right now. 

What seems clear to me is that there's less and less appetite for bland, centrist politics at the moment. But at a time when a movement from the left, whether Corbyn’s Labour or some other collective should be puling together these stands into a broad vision, UKIP's main donor is today advocating :

“Swiss-style model of direct democracy, which allows citizens to propose their own laws and veto the schemes of the politicians”

“We need to lower the barriers to entry for politics, and reach out to new audiences online, as Beppe Grillo’s revolutionary Five Star Movement has done in Italy.”” 

He’s clearly preparing the ground for a new right wing party, given his words in his Guardian piece today. 

Certain elements in the Labour party seem intent on sabotaging any attempt the party might make to be in a position to articulate a cohesive and alternative view, so tied up in internal squabbling are they.

The picture is changing fast and Thomas Kuhn’s notions of paradigm shifts and their effect on social change has been on my mind… modern human history has been marked by a series of forceful disruptions. Just look at the last month alone..

So how do we start imagining a new politics? Or are we happy with business as usual? We’re going to need to do it quickly if we want new politics. Whilst I can see more divisions than ever between the old ‘left’ and ‘right’ and things becoming more fraught on both those flanks, some more useful polarities to define political approaches are coming into sharper focus in what has become a post-truth world. Truth v spin, emotional v measured, elites v the rest, networks v hierarchies, mainstream media v social media…. New ways of defining today’s choices are really important in re-framing the debates that are taking place now.

 

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