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~5250 words of notes!

The Ruling Party

Moderator: Nicholas Whyte. Structure: Charlie to lay out hypothesis, then panel analyses it, then discussion of action

Talis Kimberley: Green Party politician - candidate, press officer, rabble-rouser

David Nickle: veterans of a thing?? Interesting emergent consensus out of city council as all gradually realise that the mayor they were working with was a dangerous crackhead. Something Beige???

Charles Stross: SF writer "I tell lies for money. To some extent this panel is my fault, because I wrote a blog post about a year ago suggesting that politics works in multi-party democracies... policies are driven from outside, by the necessity of coming into compliance with the international trade regime... increasingly savage competition for the centre ground, the result of which is convergence of policies. At the same time, to become a member of the front rack of any party aspiration to govern... only people whose face fits with the existing group will be selected to join them, leading to an increasingly homogeneous front rank of politicians, such that it's increasingly hard to distinguish between them from the outside"

Ruth Coleman Taylor: interested in SF & politics since small child, active LD, has been a council leader, worked for Paddy Ashdown (trained killer), served on advisory cttee to the EU, various other things.

Nigel Heffernan: here as a natural counterpoint to Charlie's cynicism, works in a banking tower with a particular interest at the intersection of economics & politics, both at the level of individuals (their careers) and the driving force between one-party politics.

Stross: broad thesis - 1630s-1?790s huge revolutionary change, beginning of end of monarchical system, beginning of rise of representative democracy, and birth of the modern economics & free trade board & representative democracies, decline of absolute monarchical power. Since then what happens in a democracy - how you run a country - spawned a split, Karl Marx splitting between left anarchists and left, and left continued fissioning, until left split between social democrats (mixed-market economy, strong competitive capitalist system supporting social security system) and Leninist vanguard party (the other side). Kept both SD & reactionary right wing in order until collapse of left wing - 1980s. Since then shift to right, rise of international free trade - good for commerce, drain towards investment capitalists towards countries with cheapest labour, de-skilling & fluidisation of labour as a []. Politicians in wealthy nations and hamstrung by latitude over their own national economy - without coming into conflict with international treaties & getting hammered by WTO. Much as in academic politics, the smaller the stakes the more vicious the feuding - parties increasingly trapped in parallel tramlines of execution, trying to differentiate from each other, coming to resemble each other. The Labour of today is nothing like Labour of 1948 (NHS, mass nationalisation) - on other side of fence, since 1960s, increasing migration from wealth-creation to wealth-aggregation among the ruling classes/very wealthy: rent-seeking! Wave of privatisation is selling off the family silver by selling it off to interests that will rent it back to us. Now in the longest recession since 1720s (South Sea Bubble) - much of recovery down to property bubble in London, inflated by sovereign wealth funds speculating by buying up entire roads of multi-million pound mansions - not a healthy economy or civilisation! Politicians who should be trying to direct economy are instead competing for public mindshare despite ever-decreasing gap between them, because straitjacketed by rules. Ruling Party not a conspiracy to run a one-party state with sockpuppets - simply natural evolutionary conclusion - weird failure mode drifted into - whereby insect stuck to sundew: the more it struggles, the more it gets stuck.

Ruth: I think this is a terribly seductive theory - one can find a lot to agree with in it. Take a step back, look at how political process works: a lot more cooperation than there is conflict in the way that we make decisions now. Less exciting than warfare/killing! People agreeing with each other is never going to be headline news - what you read about is politicos fighting tooth & nail, and sometimes you might think that they're creating arguments out of nothing (bearing in mind what Charles said). In Parliament main driver of political proposals to become legislation is the Parliamentary Cttee - cross-party cttee. Chair is often not a member of either of the govt parties, and what they are trying to do is gather information & get best possible analysis to put forward a law that will work - and mostly they do! Things in the past few years: gay marriage, shift nuclear-->green power generation, raising the tax threshold (was part of group that ?proposed this, got it started). As pensioner on a basic pension I no longer pay tax and never will! Important changes to people's everyday life via cooperation between people who all want to change the world - give them some credit for trying to make it happen?

David: think Charlie's theory works very well at macroeconomic & international level - at level of any large-scale economic policy. Not necessarily due to homogenisation of government so much as pressures beyond govt's control; experience on the ground is covering politics in Toronto during interesting shift: since late 19?90s move to amalgamate cities around Toronto by then-Conservative government, to get the little nut of progressive politicians in central Toronto diluted by Conservative politicians - media centred in Toronto... led to a city government hobbled by having too much responsibility & not enough agency; it became clear whoever was going to be Mayor had a very narrow scope of action that could be taken: not resources nor ability to legislate matters that might need control. Membership of council fluctuates in number (currently ~44), and is a very diverse bunch - don't think even if you melted them together in a pot you'd quite get beige... but lots of the things that HAPPEN are beige. Provincial & federal level in Canada, forces beyond government's control.

Nile: around the Toronto issue - a city w/ a population of professionals & manufacturing workers, in production; in country, natural conservatism/rent-seeking because inheritance of land is main way to ["generate" wealth?]. Natural that inner-city (productive economic city) that has people + education + housing + transport agenda sees value of taxes in way landowners do not. Spreads out because new class of landowner - people who own trains, who you will end up paying for your health or illness profiting businesses; class of rentiers outside, in & further into cities - dominate post-war consensus (agreement in politics, rather than conflict) on How We Do Things. Accelerate domination by [dilution???]

Talis: doesn't disagree w/ Charles' proposition. Add - no matter who is elected, out of the two increasingly homogeneous flavours tried so far - there have to be alternatives! Two chief scourges brought to this point: tactical voting and block voting w/in a party. Where you don't have party-line bloc voting (non-party-political parish council) spiral in on a consensus irrespective of party allegiance - everybody's fears and suggestions heard & brought into mix. Broadly agree at end, all of you can feel like you contributed! Tactical voting: all equally responsible for having brought ourselves into this position - instead of voting positively for what we want, vote for the least-worst with the best-possible chance against the one we don't want & think everyone else will vote for...

[applause]

M: Belgian perspective - interesting features incl voting is compulsory: notion of sitting at home, not so much! Can turn up and cast a blank ballot, but must turn up to polling station or have a minor fine. Tying into T's point about voting system, in England the electoral system remains unreformed, unlike in NI - shifted to PR back in 1970s. This of course was because in NI unlike in Eng/Scot/Wales, elections had to be fair. [laughter + applause!]

Stross: Trying to work out how to respond... we do have a problem with the way that consensus politics combines with a party system to drive party machinery to seek election. What does a party succeed for, if not to try to set policy and become party of government? ... actually I'm rambling, I'm going to sit down and think for a few more minutes.

David: A lot of frustration that I think we have with idea of democracy, that there's something that actually allows us to be active agents of our community, that allows us to decide how community & economy & sense of justice & social justice can operate - the point about strategic voting... there was a scandal when the Global Mail was to weigh in on the provincial election, a conservative "lunatic" bragged about getting rid of 100 civil servant jobs to create at most 50000 jobs. Consensus of most journalists was one ought to vote not-for-that-party. Newspaper management, however, insisted - "we should like you, Global Mail readers, to elect a Conservative minority government" - that's how everybody thought about anything! Position yourself as though general and a pawn, deciding how government will go. Real way to build consensus - something like a ranked ballotting system (struggling its way into Canada at the moment) - traditionally ruling parties anti! Solution to almost existential question Charlie's posed is to get a sense of the way to get the will to do what we can, push into the areas we currently have no economic control over, rational public consensus if such a thing.

Nile: obvious analysis: what is consensus? Have blocks of people on v far right of population; and in sink estates, always gonna vote Labour; middle ground of suburbanites chased - with language of privet hedges, house prices up, THEIR children going to the right school - always going to win the election, and can treat core voters with contempt. Ontario - almost gerrymandered constituencies, go for core vote OR chase middle ground. Or view entire electorate with contempt, convince media owners to do what you want if you can convince them it's in their interests. Where is politics? Which members of barony can be supporting your bid for king...? one beige consensus (go for suburbanites), or the other beige consensus (what do we say to get media barons to support our campaign?) - so very little being said about politics/economics among nobility that might be going on behind the scenes. [applause]

Talis: I may be edging towards discussing action rather than analysis... quick note on voting system: we have FPTP, maybe, to thank for borough councils & town councils not being overtaken by UKIP in May [but it has downsides also]. Then again have PR in Europe and that enabled us to change the mix of things & get a new SW Green MEP. With 10% of the vote, 10% of the seats - in certain contexts that makes sense. We were given a botched referendum [something about it being on AV, not PR, which people didn't understand or want anyway]... take issue with one comment from across the table - sink estates don't always vote Labour, particularly young people (under 30) just don't vote any more. Been told for so long that their vote doesn't count, that they're powerless, that they believe it - it suits the people in power for us to believe that, but it's a LIE. We get tribalism - very hard to counter; one conversation at a time. Seen political tribalism dissolve in the eyes of someone just after the May election - chap in my village - saw him in village day after election, and apologises for not voting for Talis... "I voted that way because my dad did, and my grandfather too", and he stopped as though listening to himself, his shoulders going down, staring into distance, "d'you know, my dad's dead, my granddad's not been around for donkey's years, I can choose differently!" People have bloc-voting from the populus... we have a situation where people want to support a party for which they have 100% match on policies, but that doesn't work - those parties don't exist. We need an intelligent debate nationally & amongst ourselves (if the media won't facilitate it) - how much room do we want within a party we might otherwise support? Parties that say "if you support most of our policies but not all of them, we can still talk" - e.g. "I represent such and such a party, our policy is this, my personal view is that" - which one party does permit.

Ruth: has been hearing about economic determinism of vote since the 1950s when small, and does not believe it's true! Cannot predict from the house people live in or what car they drive (or whether they drive at all) how they'll vote. Lots of people who've never voted, and are open to discussion about things interesting to them - incl why we are in situation we are now. Lots of people started in one particular camp, learned more as got older, rejected what learned as a child - the vote is probably as fluid as it has ever been. People who go out and talk to voters will find this; people who think about it from behind closed doors won't. Another thought in your heads: why are we where we are, with a lot of decisions being made outwith our state? Over 80% of transactions now take place on the Internet, outside the fiscal/regulatory reach of *any* terrestrial government. This bites into functioning and resourcing of government in present [nation] states - where will resources & democratic decision-making come from in future? We are in situation where we want international decisions, we want to share them across the world - we realise we live in a global world - in which our small, tribal interests are becoming less and less important. And if you don't understand that, go out and talk to some voters.

Stross: never underestimate the parochial interests of voters - or the degree to which we've been chanelled into filter bubbles in our media coverage. I live in Edinburgh: corruption of information supplies has very potent effects on people's impressions of the political climate around them. Won't discuss independence referendum in detail (you'd all be bored!); will say that most daily newspapers are published in two daily editions (English & Scottish) with essentially identical content - but front page radically different depending on what people north of the border/south of the border considered interested in by editors. Sun Scottish vs Sun English w/ diametrically opposed headlines covering the same data & same study & same quotations, depending on how editors want to see voters in referendum interpret the thing. Print media has same chanelling as internet filtering bubbles -> people have really strange misconceptions about world they live in. If you get out and talk to voters they'll want to talk to you about immigration [referencing audience call out] - more example: talking to someone door-knocking for the Yes campaign, heard anecdote about another person doorstepped in independence referendum... should Scotland become an independent nation? Effects: Westminster discusses how to do devolution etc in next Parliamentary session, i.e. after May 2015. Fellow was going to vote no because he'd bought a package holiday in Spain in October and he didn't want to pay for a new passport!

?David: CS mentioning media gives me an excuse to use my favourite Alistair Campbell quote! Giving evidence about British Press & European Union, "several of our national daily titles ... are broadly anti-European. At various times readers of these papers may have read that the European superstate has banned, or is intending to ban, kilts, mushy peas, ... lollypop ladies, .. British-made lavatories, lorry drivers who wear glasses, and many more. In addition, if the Eurosceptic press is to believe, Britain will be forced to unite as a single country with France, ... Europe is insisting on one-size-fits-all condemns, ... Number 10 must fly the European flag, ..." I think we've spent long enough analysing, and it's time to talk about action. Nile?

Nile: I will start with a negative recommendation: I live in a N London constituency, with a fundamentalist Christian Conservative candidate and a pro-surveillance corrupt Labour candidate. Voted Green, spent money in reasonably winnable LD constituencies - the kind of money that hires a minibus for a day and can make a difference in a marginal - and I bitterly regret that I did that. DON'T play with your vote: and don't ever believe money is better than voting! Second point: communicate, communicate, communicate. Anyone over 50 delighted that their house is more expensive needs to ask why their children are living in subdivided flats in a house like they live in. Communicate: if you challenge one person over integration etc - one in six people are social nodes, but ONE person spoken to today might shift HUNDREDS of people, but you must move out of your bubble, or you're just one of the faceless blob of guaranteed votes.

Talis: Building on that - that's all good stuff: talk to people about politics. There's this British thing that we're not supposed to talk about politics - but TALK. There's this misconception that politics is just about what happens in Westminster, but it's everything. You've got a borough, town, district, county council or two, depending on where you live. Have you ever stood? Have your neighbours ever stood? Who are these people? You CAN stand and do things, we need to get stuck in! If it's not something you can do, support your friend, who might stand for office if they had more childcare or garden help or six people to help deliver the damn leaflets, that need designing & writing & printing & paying for! One thing she gets is "why don't your lot..." - answer usually visibility. Cloak of invisibility: they talk to the BBC, etc. If you think the BBC have put out something that isn't fair, that doesn't give coverage to your local whatever, if you think they're showing bias, tell them - and tell your neighbours/friends to tell them - that's what the internet's for! You can make a difference. Local BBC where I am put out a very biased report just before election - small campaign on FB telling them to be more inclusive in choices resulted in them including a party they'd previously ignored next time they had a segment. If we don't stand for office, who the hell will? The political classes - and look where that's got us! [applause]

Ruth: I utterly endorse that call to action! Because I think it's YOUR responsibility, as much as it is our responsibility, or anyone else's - if you want to change the world, get out there, get your hands dirty, start doing the work. The parties we've got have been constantly reinventing themselves to deal with different circumstances, eras, means of communication. Do your parties have closed or open selection meetings? Do they communicate meeting results to public or just to members? How do you become a member? USE your access to formulate the parties you want and the solutions you'd like to see. For evil to succeed, it only requires that good people do nothing - what I don't like in this conspiracy theory is that it encourages people to do nothing - it says the bad guys have already fixed [in sense of fixed game, price-fixing] everything/won. They haven't and they won't, provided we work together to change the world. [applause]

David: In my experience the things that give rise to lack of action that my other panellists have brought up - the notion that people are cynical and withdrawn - we elect governments that govern on behalf of people or small minorities of values. One of the things that's made for a divide in Toronto is that there are parts of the community that have lots of financial & aesthetic attention, and lots that don't. Toronto has a blessing & curse - was home of late James Jacob, who identified one downtown neighbourhood of Toronto - the Annex - as /the/ (ideal) place to make a community. And people who have spoken about Toronto have spoken about how to spread that ideal that most people in Toronto don't share - in addition to people having to individually stand up & take responsibility, need to have structures that encourage people to talk about how they want their communities to be - the ballot box isn't enough, it has to happen every day. When people come up with an idea of how their lives and communities should be, they should be able to see that happen within a few years - e.g. predictable infrastructure, community centres, and not doing the kinds of things James Jacobs loved in the Annex. We don't have a good idea of how diversity of government serves us and social organisation within constituencies - that's a step where everybody has to run for office, step up, push for that- but I'm hopeful that kind of a circumstance, where government is actually a transactional thing between people, can wear away at that kind of cynicism and apathy.

Stross: going to conditionally disagree with everything everyone has said so far. [applause] Not to say that it's wrong to get involved, to campaign, to try to have input - but to focus all efforts into one party is arguably unwise. We pay far too little attention to how cross-party consensus emerges from broader consensus from discussion outside parties. International discussions - world property treaties, etc. Lots of intellectual property copyright international - our legislation largely outcome of small group of diplomats heavily lobbied by media groups with interest in extending copyright and money to pay for lobbyists to travel world. Trying to influence local communities, local politics, trying to reach consensus - wide but shallow. Alternatively, narrow but deep: do not join a particular party, get involved on lobbying on a particular issue. Join or found a particular organisation - e.g. PEN, Amnesty, EFF. Focus on learning all you can on a particular issue, then talk to ALL the politicians in your area: some will already have positions or interests, but you may still have input into their thinking, if only to demonstrate to them that other people hold well-thought-out contrarian views. Other politicians have no opinions at all! eg MP who hadn't thought at all about the Digital Policy Act - voted in line with his political whip because had been told was good for copyright holders! When heard from local novelist and filmmaker it was toxic, he's become increasingly interested in issues surrounding field. There is more than one way to do it! [applause]

(4pm mark) Moderator: apologises for not much by way of questions, because six panellists and lots of discussion! Wants to start with Margaret Mead quote: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world - indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Think Charlie & everyone else is right - can have it both ways! Go further: in my day job, work mainly with international bodies + institutions, with people excluded from those circles for various reasons. OTOH what is in Brussels called "cometology" - dark art of how experts appointed - but from sane officials at least (in majority): openness. People sitting in cubicles, working in their own policy area, quite possibly only person in city working on policy issue - generally like having visits from engaged individuals or groups!

Talis: awful lot of people have been campaigning on a lot of very big issues for a very long time - Greenpeace, Amnesty, etc - whatever your thing is (or several, depending on personal resources!). If you find, on whatever issue, that you engage with your politicians on every level, that they take your views on board, that it changes and informs what they do - great. But if you find that whatever you do, however much you campaign, it doesn't change their minds because the status quo suits them - it's time to stop campaigning and change the politicians for better politicians. [applause]

Ruth: limit to how far you can get with single-issue campaigning: that is, actually getting a change in law or praxis. You don't just have to get one party signed up to it, you have to get ALL signed up, because you don't know who's going to get in or how far it gets up their list. Not like being totally disengaged - like having rubber gloves on, rather than getting hands dirty. If you want to effect change, you have to be in a position to DO it - one of the changes from being concerned citizen to councillor was being in touch with people in power, leaders who could change local circumstances from national stage. Having information and being in power to do something about it! Lobby from the outside, or get stuff done: your choice. [applause]

David: known lots of lobby groups, some of them do pretty well at it - e.g. more bike lanes in downtown core, better environmental policy... little things like that, that's great. Seems silly to say it like that, but better environmental policy IS a little thing - when govt says yes, they'll do the least they can to get that going. The real problem is that you've got to convince a pile of councillors if you want to get something real done to spend & raise taxes. That's a narrative that constrains so many governments - not just Toronto scared of more than a percentage or two on property price bill. One thing I'd say about this kind of advocacy - don't do it by yourself. In Toronto the Toronto Cyclists' Union formed - collective dues, had people in each ward in the city doing politicking, almost shadow advocacy government - they're getting things done. That level is a LOT of work for some fairly minor gain - the problem, if you've got strong ideas about how to change, is getting elected puts you in danger of being homogenised. Seen many progressive politicians who've had a few budget briefings, realised they can't do the things they want to do, and been brought into the homogeneity. If you want to get elected mayor.. you can't get done what you want, there's inertia to large government organisations that's hard to overcome. It's hard, depends on what you want to do - if you really want to change things, ranked ballot system that gets consensus of where people really are is probably the only way.

Nile: 3 dangers with single-issue campaigning: irrelevance, internal toxicity, appropriation
1. Picture a Vicar, haranguing the property developer in a bulldozer, over his failure to donate to the organ fund, while the whole edifice of his church is demolished around him. He gets his donation -hurrah!- and walks away, brushing the brick dust and the rubble off his cassock, wondering why it doesn't feel as if he 'won'...
2. Stonewall movement... people with an agenda you won't like will attach themselves...
3. appropriation - Cycling campaigners - they're Not Like Us, they're all Liberals, they're all vegetarians, they vote for gay marriage, if you support THAT you'll end up like these 'progressives', you'll stop being a god-fearing suburban middle-class 'Us' and send our children to the Wrong Sort Of School.. Can transcend that - Green no longer an Issues Movement, they're a Party. And the nasty end - some politician says "we'll do your cycling thing, if you vote for strip-mining down the road and surveillance etc".
Get a movement that communicates what you want to politicians, but that makes clear you're not being tacked onto another agenda! [applause]

Stross: one final thought from my corner - important to remember that for all the issues with the ruling party theory, homogenisation of politics, it's important we understand WHY we need to maintain flexibility in politics. Issue between 1630s-late 18th century, beginning of demise of monarchical system - democracy brought one huge innovation to politics, which is why it has flourished. Monarchy or tyranny or dictatorship has profound failure mode - no mechanism for handling peaceful transition of power from one ruler to the next. Massive advantage of democracy - you can /vote them out/. The mandate of the people - if another party with different policies is available, you vote in the new govt, old people accept it is time to leave - scheduled peaceful transition, they won't get hung from lampposts, they get chance to regroup & lick wounds & have another go in a few years' time. This is why it's so important to have multiple political parties with visible differences between them - once we reach indistinguishable parties, the end-state of Animal Farm, with pigs indistinguishable from farmers, we are living in a social pressure cooker, where someone has soldered shut the emergency pressure valve. [applause]

M: taking a few comments from audience.

1. Green Party Sweden actually did (audient now takes against Conservative party in Sweden, having been involved) - before actually deciding party program, went out to public, asked the *public* for suggestions/discussion/engagement with writing policy. Not only apparatchiks, but actual public, regardless of orientation. Has led to Greens having 15% & second-biggest party in recent European elections. Secondly, I have engaged in politics; most effective thing ever done: get together on a slew of closely-related issues, and build up an organisation that was multi-party organisation with people from different parties - identified problems, identified solutions, went back to respective parties and made revolution: saved MANY lives, this was in healthcare. [applause]

2. Q: Charlie, at beginning, said that "forces had effect of moving things together". [Someone Linksy?] said effective way to do something about same is to pick an opponent, personalise it, and polarise it. If you were going to pick just one thing to change, what would you pick to change?

Charlie: first inclination was decarbonisation of global economy, but that's a bit too obvious... there is a bee in my bonnet, may make myself very unpopular by espousing cause... seems one of toxic problems with global free market: free movement of trade and capital, but not of LABOUR (unless investors' visa, in which case you will get a govt-provided personal concierge and red carpet) - money can go where it likes, labour is pinned where [money] likes; labour can only demand as much money [in wages etc] as local market will support, hence rapid export of labouring jobs to cheapest labour pool. No way to run a global consumer economy! In long run, either say goodbye to cheap imported shinies, or accept global free movement of labour! This is deeply inimical to rent-seeking behaviour of large capital[ist] organisations that make investments, and to interests of large media conglomerates: steady anti-immigration drumbeat. Immigration policies seen appropriate only to the National Front in the 1970s now mainstream of the increasingly right-wing UK politics. Long-term struggle - cannot be won in a generation - but vital to future of globalised planet.

Ruth: Picking up on point of democratic system offers peaceful transition from one government to another, I think it's also worth pointing out that it offers a chance to parties to regenerate, to renew policies, membership, energy - it can be very exhausting to fight elections, and to run an administration. I'm very interested in how to regenerate policies of parties, and it seems to me the big change that would make a lot of difference would be for parties to make their policies in an open manner, and their selections likewise, involving you-the-public in what they are doing - do you accept the challenge?

David: Charlie's idea as a matter of course, an end-goal - in terms of govts, there might be a way to get there. Two-fold approach: ranked ballotting system help us understand what our collective will is; along with that, need to find a way to create a proper representation by population. Right now in Canada the various ridings are divided in such a way that all areas have a disproportionate amount of control over decision-making - places where people are actually living & working are a minority, underserviced & underfunded & undertaxed, comparatively (???). Collectively, as a group, as we look at our self-interest, enable us to form tax and economic policies that benefit people who are engaged in that - not a thing currently have in Canada.

Nile: soundbite to give to a politician, or any voter in the room: "housing!" If you have a younger person who will never own a house, or is paying 60% of their income on somewhere to live - "Housing!" [more example]

Talis: first thing I thought of: remove the party whip! Then no no no - educate our young people, proper module on social responsibility etc! no no no - minimum turnout for elections! - no no no, last point, be pithy - how about we all wake up tomorrow, so does everyone else, deciding that we deserve a better politics, that it's possible, and that we're going to do our part to bring it about!

Quick corrections and bits I remember

Date: 2014-08-19 07:53 am (UTC)
hairyears: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hairyears
here as a natural counterpoint to
Charlie's cynicism,


I spent money in reasonably winnable
LD constituencies - the kind of money that hires a minibus for a day and can can make a difference in a marginal - and I bitterly regret that I did that.

DON'T play with your vote: and don'te ver believe money is better than voting!


Picture a Vicar, haranguing the property developer in a bulldozer, over his failure to donate to the organ fund, while the whole edifice of his church is demolished around him. He gets his donation -hurrah!- and walks away, brushing the brick dust and the rubble off his cassock, wondering why it doesn't feel as if he 'won'...

Cycling campaigners - they're Not Like Us, they're all Liberals, they're all vegetarians, they vote for gay marriage, if you supprt THAT you'll end up like these 'progressives', you'll stop being a god-fearing suburban middle-class 'Us' and send our children to the Wrong Sort Of School.

imp eerial Rome

Date: 2014-08-19 01:40 pm (UTC)
hairyears: (Lined Tiger Moth (orange))
From: [personal profile] hairyears
Demoncracy.

The word is a story, all on its own; it almost writes a story, just sitting there.

Also: did Henry VIII progress from monarchy to demonkracy?

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-21 06:33 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] swaldman
Thank you for doing this - I really wanted to attend this panel but was somewhere on the M40...

(no subject)

Date: 2014-09-01 01:07 am (UTC)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
From: [personal profile] davidgillon
The only panel that had me truly seething, but that was probably inevitable given the dismissal of single issue campaigning by several of the participants, and that I'm heavily involved in single issue campaigning on disability issues. Not sure the advice to pick a party and engage works when all three major parties are articulating variations on 'Scrounging crips!'

Still angry a fortnight later!

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