I am sometimes asked about the ‘Flatpack Movement’ and I struggle to explain the concept. The Flatpack tag comes – obviously – from Flatpack Democracy, the title of the book I wrote which set out to show how the independents took power in Frome and to provide some simple steps for others to do the same at a local level. It’s the story of what we did in Frome, and now, making a list of the further 10 or so groups who have done the same, has given some clarity to my thinking.
As well as the 10 groups I know where independents hold power, there are another five who hold some seats, and a further 35 places that we know of where a group is clearly working in that direction. To a lesser or greater extent these have used the ideas expressed in Flatpack Democracy in some way. There is an actual ‘Flatpack Party’ in Belgium alongside two other groups there well engaged with the principles and interestingly it was a Belgian who talked about ‘Flatpackery’ – a comment on many things as well as his fine grasp of English! There are another 3000 ish copies of the book out there doing who knows what. As well as the groups mentioned earlier there are another seven I know of who are, in effect, local parties. However, the one thing they all have in common is their rejection of Party Politics. If that alone were enough to define them as a Movement, then perhaps they are.