Flatpack Democracy 2.0

After a gestation period of five years and a great deal of help and input from independents all over the country Flatpack Democracy 2.0 is finally published. It should be available from a good local bookshop near you or you can buy it direct from our publisher eco-logic books at the special price of £7.99 which includes free postage and packing.

Advert over – I am proud to have been part of Frome Town Council, one of the most impactful groups to have been elected at this level.  I am also delighted that Flatpack Democracy (written in 2014) has played a role in encouraging and supporting other groups to find ways to achieve real change at a local level.  After not standing as a councillor this May, I finished Flatpack Democracy 2.0 which aims to further support those already elected as local councillors and encourage others down that route.  With Peter Andrews’ interviews of those already on the path adding considerably to its depth, we hope the story will take this idea further towards becoming a movement for real democratic change which, I would suggest, is needed!

Over the last five years, more and more often, I have found myself stating that we have never lived in a democracy and what pretends to be one is an obscene farce.  Now no one is pretending any more.  As individuals our powers to act are strictly limited mainly because we have given our powers away to so called representatives, the most influential of whom have all been sent on an extra holiday until 15 October.

Meanwhile, it becomes increasingly difficult for many people to find and retain housing, to find employment that is not short term and poorly paid, and to meet other basic needs.  As most of you reading this will know, my response to this been to initiate and support actions at the most local level.  I believe that by focussing on the things we can control and pushing those boundaries to the limits we can reclaim the decisions that affect our own lives.

This is even more important now, not only because our politics is so fundamentally broken and needs a total makeover, but also because the pressures we face are increasing so rapidly.  As we (almost certainly) crash out of Europe, we’ll find ourselves dealing with much more stress and uncertainly not to mention the lack of certain foods, medicines and other things we take for granted, A joined up, resilient community will have more chance of riding out the chaos and emerging less damaged and ready to move forward positively into the future.  Add to this the great unknown of the impact of climate change which could well make everything else that went before seem insignificant.

A town council focussed on regalia, twinning and bus shelters will be completely unfit to do much in the way of supporting its own community over the coming years.  If you haven’t already, I would urge you take over your own council and drag it into 21st century (and if you don’t have this level of council, there are ways to create one).  Only then can it begin to address the big issues we face now and into the future.  Flatpack Democracy 2.0 was written to help you on that journey. I hope you find it useful and relevant

About the author

Peter Macfadyen

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


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  • Hi Peter, what you are saying is so true. I joined the Green Party last year and attended my first S E Region AGM on to the community is used properly. Saturday. Inspirational! I have already challenged Medway Council about our library, which is only open 50% of the time. A huge waste of OUR money and a valuable resource. I think the creative people in our community would do great things with it. The library service is not that proactive from my perspective. when I was Chair of our local dyslexia Assoc, I laid on a day at one of the largest libraries for Dyslexia Awareness Week. When I went the previous day to drop off some books and resources, there was no mention that there would be a whole day of activities and opportuniy to ask the experts. The only people who turned up were from our own membership or other dyslexia associations. I was not very happy. They must have a huge mailing list in the council. I guess just apathy.
    I will be buying your book and will pass to my son. He’s a teacher of Computer Science and D&T in an outstanding school in SW London. However, he has a very keen interest in politics and he is not happy with the education system. It didn’t suit him as a pupil or my daughter. Both with learning difficulties. Despite that, and with encouragement from me, both he and my daughter, who is a Speech & Language Therapist, never gave up even when the going got really tough.
    Sadly, there are families who are not supportive with their ‘neuro diverse’ kids. They don;t understad them and can ultimately ignore them. I am mentoring a young woman of 29 who is also neuro diverse and treated as a ‘retard’ (her own words) by her affluent family. Her siblings went to university. She has 1 GCSE in French, Level 2 in Social care & a level 2 in animal husbandry. She has not had a proper paid job in her life. Just cash in hand and volunteering. A sad reflection on our society? She is a modern day Cinderella and I plan to be her Fairy Godmother to allow her to start living a more normal existence.

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