I have been pondering a series of blogs which will take in Public Enemy, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Poll Tax Riot and the rise of far-right populist nationalism and UKIP… but that will have to wait, because I just want to sound out an idea, at the moment not concrete but something occupying my mind…
People are angry or dismayed or both about the current political situation. They are rejecting the big three parties because the system’s broke. The Liberals, Tories and Labour are all singing from the same hymn sheet, in voices ranging from feeble to strident. The last things on politicians’ minds are humanity and the planet. They are presiding over ever-widening inequality but putting up smokescreens that cause division and fear. Surely the vast majority of us want the opposite? We want people to get on with each other, we want peace and happiness, and not instability and hatred.
I want to help bring about unity, to cut through the tribalism, the scapegoating. I want to get rid of poverty, I want people to have control and free use of essentials like drinking water, electricity, food, and public transport. I want a redistribution of wealth, I want banks, the police and civil servants to work with and for all of us, not government and corporations. I want real democracy, not just the representative democracy we have now. I want an end to weapons manufacturing, I want an end to nuclear and for us to get our power from the air and sun and community food production. All in all, I want a better world.
The kind of place I’m coming from is on the left of the green square of this political compass below. You can take a test to see where you stand.
Those are my basic goals. Some might say they’re pie in the sky (the classic line is ‘but human nature makes people greedy, get real!’ I may argue my case against the ‘human nature’ argument in a future blog). I’m not saying all these goals are possible, or can be achieved quickly – but I won’t give up on striving for a society based on mutual aid, with individuals and society on an equal footing.
Might seem a bit of a contradiction standing for Parliament, an institution I feel is weighted in the interests of the 1% super-rich, making many laws on their behalf. I have read Colin Ward’s classic text The Case Against Voting, I hear Russell Brand when he says “don’t vote”. I am really into the idea of building our own society from the grassroots, and also get conscious. But aside from Russell himself and perhaps a few others in comfortable enough circumstances to make the transition, it’s not happening. People are still being left destitute with nothing beyond charity to keep them from starvation, with no one looking out for them. This is intolerable and there are too few in Parliament opposing this systematic crushing of poor people.
My reasoning is, say if I and others stood for Parliament as independents (or maybe Bez’s Reality Party) all over the country we could help bring about direct democracy with MPs being more like delegates than party-political cogs in the machine? But I haven’t firmed up this yet… for instance, if a majority voted for something my conscience couldn’t accept, what would I do?
This idea of mine is in its infancy. I’m thinking we could have a carnivalesque campaign, give people a good time and turn the next year into one big street party of the non-political sort (will need to clarify my definitions of political and non-political in a future blog)…
The first stage would be to raise £500 to pay the deposit to the electoral commission.