democracy reflections – it’s about Doing it Ourselves

oxguin, a DIY tech activist on what recent history can teach us about what democracy isn’t – and what it is

Thatcher not the answer badge

Questioning representative democracy

Unlike many of my peers, born in the early 1970s, I remember Callaghan being voted out of office. And I remember Thatcher coming in. Oh, I remember her, and the Miner’s strike, the Falkland’s ‘conflict’, the women on Greenham Common, and the Poll Tax. And I remember Major, champion of Citizen’s Charters, and the grey suited opponent of traffic cones. And all the time, we as a nation becoming more divided, more unequal.

And then there was Blair. Surely after 13 years of Tory rule, things could only get better? But they didn’t. Wars intensified, surveillance at home increased, and we were all made to feel more dependent on the state than ever before. Brown, when elected, did the same, just more so.

And the division and the inequality within our communities continued to grow.

And now we have the coalition government. The most duplicitous government in over a generation.

This is not democracy. Democracy is not about me and you kowtowing to those with privilege. It’s not about us electing the great and the good. It’s not about about doffing our caps to people in power.

It’s about us, the real people (not the politicians, not the bankers, not the filthy rich) coming together and working things out for ourselves. We don’t need our ‘betters’ to help us do this. We can do it by ourselves.

And that’s what Democracy Outside is – it’s you and me saying “this is how our society and our communities should work – let’s make that happen. You with me?”

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