Friday, 21 August 2015

The East Devon Alliance... and beyond politics

The Transition Town movement is not a political party - nor does it espouse to be either of the left or of the right:
Futures Forum: Transition towns and getting 'political'

The same could be said of the East Devon Alliance - which has similar organisations in neighbouring counties doing similar things:
Futures Forum: Flatpack Democracy: 'Vote for Chaos'
About us - Independents for Frome
Think BIG for town council elections… @ Buck the Trend

A recent piece in the Guardian looking at the realignment of the left featured an interview with the chair of the EDA. 

And yet the focus of this section was not so much 'let's beat the Tories' as much as presenting a disparate band of locals demanding greater transparency and accountability in local government, drawing support from all parts of the political spectrum:


13 AUGUST 2015

” … Another conversation that influenced me was with Paul Arnott, one of the founders of the East Devon Alliance. The EDA was formed only two years ago to take on the Conservative-dominated council, but it already has 10 councillors and the independent candidate it backed in the general election came second to Tory Hugo Swire, polling an astonishing 13,000 votes, well ahead of Ukip, Labour and the Lib Dems.

“I just wanted to take young Russell Brand and flush his head down the khazi,” Arnott told me. “It was so frustrating because we were doing precisely what he was advocating, though we were rather more middle-aged and unattractive. We really wanted to provide an alternative, but because unlike him we’re grown-ups, we knew the only way to do it is to put yourself up at local elections – do the hard yards first, Russell.”

I warmed to this notion of a disparate band of locals demanding greater transparency and accountability in local government, drawing support from all parts of the political spectrum and taking on the might of the Conservative political machine.

“People from different backgrounds could come together because they shared a similar radicalism as far as reforming governance was concerned,” said Arnott. “It’s made some quite rightwing people think very hard about the social economy.

This sounded like fluid, grassroots modern politics, not the class-based trench warfare of old. I mooted a national Citizens’ party to Arnott, the EDA writ large. “If you are prepared to launch the Citizens’ party,” he said, “the East Devon Alliance would be interested in opening talks with you.”

East Devon Alliance hits the headlines | East Devon Watch
Could you build a new party of the left? I spent a month trying and here's what happened … | Politics | The Guardian

This is about 'bottom-up' politics - and it has clearly caught the attention of the national media;
Futures Forum: "Democracy in East Devon is every bit as bad as it is in places like Tower Hamlets."

It has certainly caught the attention of the local media:
Futures Forum: "This column is not anti-Tory (I have some very good true-Blue friends). But it is anti-arrogance – and I believe that’s one of the major reasons why so many people are disillusioned with the current set-up."

Perhaps the future of politics is not party politics, but the voice of the 'independent':
Futures Forum: The rise and rise of independent candidates

Meanwhile, the issues cut across traditional party political lines:
Futures Forum: Ralph Nader: UNSTOPPABLE
Futures Forum: Karl Hess: Neighbourhood Power: The New Localism
Futures Forum: Slavoj Žižek: on there being "no metaphysical 'beyond' to put our waste" ..... on "the crisis of late capitalism" ..... and on "the comforting mythology of the recycling industry."

... whether over climate change:
Futures Forum: Climate change: "Conservatives don’t hate climate science. They hate the left’s climate solutions"
Futures Forum: Climate change: appealing to values and identity >>> From 'worthy but dull' to re-framing the debate >>> It's about: pollution >>> inter-generational debt >>> conserving the local landscape

... or housing:
Futures Forum: Building on the green belt: the case for
Futures Forum: UKIP and the greenbelt

... or the sharing economy:
Futures Forum: The triumph of the commons
Futures Forum: The 'sharing economy', 'resilience' and 'nudging': Evgeny Morozov on "The rise of data and the death of politics"
Futures Forum: The sharing economy >>> “This on-demand, or so-called gig, economy is creating exciting economies and unleashing innovation. But it is also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.

See also:
Futures Forum: VOTE!
Futures Forum: DON'T VOTE!
Futures Forum: VOTE/DON'T VOTE: politicians and psychopaths...
Futures Forum: WARNING: Don't register to vote in East Devon!

If you care about politics, don't vote | openDemocracy
People who don't vote are doomed to be disillusioned - Telegraph

And with a final reference to the Guardian piece:
“Time for a political uprising?” asks Claire Wright | East Devon Watch
Comment: Is it time for a political uprising? | Exeter Express and Echo

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