The COVID-19 crisis and the magnificent response of the public has proved yet again that local people know what is best for themselves. They also know the actions that need to be taken to make where they live a better, vibrant and more caring place. During this strange time it has been obvious in many, many areas that it is the local people who have taken the lead and organised themselves to support their towns, villages and communities.
Over the last few weeks I have started to write a short blog dozens of times. Usually there has been too much to say, often someone else says it just as well before I get there. Last month my focus was very much on the groups organising themselves to stand in May 2nd local elections as Independents.
That was swept to one side by the extraordinary activity of Extinction Rebellion (XR) focussed on London...
Flatpack Democracy has certainly introduced me to some unexpected, often slightly surreal, situations in the last few years – plethora of formal and informal meetings that are springing up all over the place – doing politics, while not calling it that. A great example of this was the first ‘Frome Beacon’ from this very Campfire Convention platform – 30 people in animated discussion last week on all things that matter, with real depth and conviction
Frome has real examples of the ideas George Monbiot and Shaun Chamberlin present in their new books – ‘Out of the Wreckage’ and ‘Surviving the Future’. What their books and talks tells me is that this is A MOMENT. The task of Flatpack 2 is to provide inspiration and instruction on moving from ideas to actions which can make a real difference quickly
My blog output is small not because I have nothing to say, but because new ideas pile in so fast I struggle with which to choose...Top of the pile this morning is my realisation that the lack of true democracy we face here in Frome is the norm. The conventional view is that ‘over half the world lives in a democracy of some kind’ The devil is in the detail of ‘some kind’. How many of us live with a system of government in which citizens have a meaningful say in how they are governed?
Just by standing as independents – elected or not – ‘ordinary’ people have changed the shape of local democracy, moving it towards real interaction between community and local government and reclaiming politics for the people. The recent local elections have furthered that movement...