Go Bottom Up

The extent to which the use of social media by campaigns follows the command and control model, or a more bottom-up, decentralized approach. (Source – the LSE blog)

To selectively adopt digital tools that fit with the traditional top-down model; in other cases, the dynamics created by linking to other grassroots organizations can have transformative effects.

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LTNs: low traffic neighbourhoods

LTNs are residential roads where (lockable) bollards, plant containers and point closures (modal points) reduce through traffic but maintain vehicular access to all addresses. Making streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists and reducing air and noise pollution. Changes to our streets that were slipped in during the Covid-19 pandemic and not to everyone’s taste.

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Diversity of Cultural Expressions

The UNESCO Diversity of Cultural Expressions was agreed in 2005 and adopted in 2007

The right wing counter with Patriotism and don’t believe Theresa May 2012 : “If you’re a citizen of the world you’re a citizen of nowhere”

To combat this

  • Be a cosmopolitan citizen of the world – International, Progressive, Digital, WordPressed, Global
  • Combat nationalist exceptionalism and learn about why: The Peace of Westphalia, a treaty that launched the notion of inviolate State borders in 1648 – undermined by the bipolarity of the Cold War and the longevity of NATO

Care Leavers

Bridging the Power Gap

An odd choice for me to focus on you might say, but if you want to do something really practical to bridge the ever-widening socio-economic power gap, then spare a thought for all those young people making the transition from deep institutionalisation to a poverty-stricken independence. You could do worse than get involved with this particular cohort of young people, all at the threshold of becoming a responsible adult in a hostile environment.

Continue reading Care Leavers

Mental Health

The lockdown started with fears of dystopia and social breakdown, but appears to be ending with people more closely bonded and appreciative of nature than before. 

The question is: How long can we get that mood to last, once capitalism revs up again?

Pay more attention to each other – there is more to life than money.

Provide a “gentle space” that will help socially isolated residents to reintegrate Cook for one another and leave food on the steps

Reconnect with friends

Get the beachfront as close to bustling as it is possible to get in an era of physical distancing:  long queues for fish and chips and ice-cream, family picnics, play football, fly kites.

See https://unitedgmh.org

The Democratic Deficit

Get interested in direct and representative democracy: the new focus is about making my vote count

But how to expose the power gap in society?

“The big divide was never between leave and remain, nor black and white, nor men and women, nor north and south. It’s between those with power and those without.” Nadir Afzal, ex regional chief prosecutor. 

The state is under attack in favour of investment in bubble zones that have the potential to return on your investment, ie the green zones. The red and orange zones are being stepped over and causing the breakup of the statutory whole.

Extinction Rebellion’s new party: Beyond Politics: “The current political system is corrupt and failing. They want to hand power to ordinary people through citizens’ assemblies, and plan to field candidates across the country for future local, regional and national elections” – starting with a north London activist, Valerie Brown, who is to stand for mayor of London at next year’s election.

But see opendemocracy.net: “Objectivity is commendable but blind neutrality is absurd. The persistent push to enforce ‘neutrality’ stifles rebels from speaking openly about a political party. The result is that the people most passionate about addressing this crisis are kept out of the conversation.”

Transcending the tribalism of Party politics is laudable but XR should be driven by the absolute need to avert catastrophe. We should take actions that will further that end and that end only