Today, the Primeminister, Theresa May, said that if Brexit doesn’t happen….and let’s face it, no one really knows what’s going to happen anymore…people will lose faith in our democracy….
Are you losing faith in our democracy? I hope so! It’s high time we woke up to the fact that we don’t actually live in a participatory democracy, and the views of the UK are not fairly represented in the first-past-the-post 2 party system. Our political system is broken – both in the UK and in the EU. It is simply unable to help us create what we now need in society. It is built on multiplied sovereignty, simply the child of empire, and needs to be completely reimagined for a future that is more socially just and environmentally sustainable.
I’ve recently finished reading the excellent book, “New Power”, by Timms and Heimans – a master class in the paradigms of power we seeing in play around the globe at this time in history. It is a really important book to engage with, well written, easy to read and full of great stories and powerful analogies.
It got me thinking again about ‘the northern power house’ and how much of this is still predicated on ‘old power’ models. But the North has a long history in New Power and Social Movements, which have radically changed the political landscape of the UK. I love the fact that over 1/3 of the people of Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield signed a petition, to their own personal cost, to see the beginning of the end of the slave trade. The Peterloo massacre is another example of people movements ahead of their time. Had social media been around in those days, the #enoughisenough, or #blacklivesmatter would have been lighting up the Twittersphere.
It is new power, not old power that will really ring the changes needed across the North, and leaders need to partner with the emerging social movements to bring the real shifts that are needed in these wonderful parts of England. We must see a fair distribution of resource, radical moves for social justice, the breaking of long held inequalities in health and social care, transport, education, policing and economic opportunity. The Northern Powerhouse could be shaped by New Power not Old Power, and those in Old Power positions must make space for what is emerging and be willing to partner with it for a truly creative co-disruption, so that something truly transformational might occur. So here’s to some #northernpower to #changethefuture because #togetherwecan
Here is a song I have written. It asks some questions about why on earth we are living in some of the ways we are – many people are calling for a new politics – a politics based on love and kindness – this song is part of my contribution to this hope:
Another world, a better world, a more beautiful, caring, compassionate, equitable is possible.