How I can help with your looming Christmas present problem (and many others as well).

I’ve rather neglected this blog to write in other places. This has led to significant articles in STIR, Transition Free Press, Resurgence & Ecologist and (soon) Red Pepper. All fine and good except these are not seriously mainstream and probably share many readers. That’s why I was so excited to be rung by the Telegraph. I missed the first call but when they rang again I was poised to expound upon how Frome is indeed to making (Tory) Localism work and how we’ve supported subsidised charities into viable business….. Then Telegraph Man asked “So, have you ever read the Telegraph?” (I declined the 30% off offer that followed). My sadness was partly relieved by a helpful reference in Saturday’s Guardian ‘The Green party surge – and why it’s coming from Bristol and all points west’…. but I really want to talk to the Daily Mail!

I’ve have also been busy talking to people who – recognising the dysfunctionality of local government and the reality that change will only come from below – are starting to see themselves as potential councillors. I have two meetings in (fairly) nearby towns in the next week with groups of potential Flatpack Style revolutionaries. But I need more of a Guy Fawkes approach to make a significant difference….

I’m wondering how I can get onto the coattails of Russell Brand’s ‘Revolution’ or Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’ both of which share significant sections with Flatpack – without either of them having the practical grassroots experience of struggling towards local empowerment. Ken Loach spoke to a capacity audience in Frome on Friday and picked up Naomi’s theme – climate change does indeed change everything. We no longer have the luxury of infinite time to experiment with global economic systems and the one we are using leads to certain extinction…. I feel the same about our local democratic systems. What we have doesn’t work – especially at the local level and there is no longer time to piss about tweaking. And only mass engagement from below will change anything significant at the top.

Which is why you all need to give someone who might want to change things a copy of Flatpack for Christmas. Just in time for May elections.

About the author

Peter Macfadyen

Social activist, ex Mayor and Leader of Frome Town Council, author, public speaker, undertaker, grandfather.


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  • Thanks, Peter, you’re a part of the paradigm shift. It’s an exciting journey. I look forward to reading your book, cheers, rick

  • Thanks…… it really does feel like a major change sometimes, and at others fiddling while nothing burns! I’d love there to be a real grassroots uprising offering an alternative to the defunct party system through local councils next May!

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