“The choice is between a one-nation Labour Party that knows we rebuild Britain by standing up for the many and a Conservative-led government that only stands up for the few.”
This is a generic Ed Miliband quote. It doesn’t matter when or where he said it – it could have been last year or maybe it will be in six months time. It is not true, there is another choice – the “meh” choice. The Westminster bubble struggles to understand those who do not vote or join political parties. This ever increasing number of souls gets plonked into a political apathy box. The reality is more people are more politically active. What professional politicians don’t understand is that the apathy is towards them, the inhabitants of an out-of-date system.
Angela Eagle MP wants a People’s Politics Enquiry. Christopher Clarke wants a National Conversation to “engage people with politics once again”. Both these attempts will #fail because the top-down approach is irrelevant. Angela and Christopher are dictating the terms of what politics is and telling others that they should join them. Instead politicos should go to where politics is. Watch, learn, participate, and then help to enable.
Politics is doing something that improves your environment. Voting for or joining a political party is no longer the best way to do this. The democratisation of information and data means people have access to the same quality of information as experts. The decreasing cost of technology means more of us can process this information. The one area where professional politicians and civil servants have an advantage is time; they get paid to investigate civic maters while the rest of us earn our living. The rest of us have an advantage in that we are more numerous. Modern government is about shepherding those who can improve the landscape. The Economist recently highlighted how American cities giving residents the resources to find solutions:
“(Publishing raw data) has been particularly successful in Chicago, where computer nerds have used open data to create many entirely new services. Applications are now available that show which streets have been cleared after a snowfall, what time a bus or train will arrive and how requests to fix potholes are progressing.”
Those people who created these Apps were being political. There is no need for an enquiry or conversation. They just used the tools available to improve life.
It’s only normal that as society changes so do political structures. Please don’t confuse the death of the 20th Century political party model with the death of politics. Go with the flow.