I was invited by The Alternative UK to provide my own take on an ideal manifesto for these elections. This was framed to improve on those put forward by the political parties. I’ve said I can’t do this.
I’ve had enough of playing along with the farce of our election system, and the fictional wish-lists that political parties produce are the sharp edge of the nonsense so many of us play into every few years. Apparently the Tories broke 20 promises in the last 2 years (admittedly the Mirror may not be a totally reliable source….. but ‘lots’ will do) and no party is able to keep their promises; any coalition will have to compromise and not do what they said; new policy is added because things change; and pre election lies just seem to be the norm…. so we end up arguing about speculative desires.
What I can do is say how I want those in power to behave together and in relation to the public. This is one of the ways our Campfire Conversation in Frome turned last week where Pete Lawrence joined us to light the fire…… then Pat and Indra of Alternative UK (along with a clutch of Frome’s artists) deepened our look at reimagining politics. A chance to ‘catapult our bubbles into the dewy dawn’ as Liv Talk so perfectly described it in her summing up poem.
That conversation tied in well with another I had this morning with Patrick Chalmers who is working on ‘Way Deeper Democracy’ (described in his Fraudcast News blog). He talks of the authenticity we seek, for him well set out by Thích Nhất Hạnh, in which speaking peacefully and listening deeply are at the core. Could this be further from the confrontational tirades we are treated to in almost every aspect of election media coverage?
That’s why my ‘manifesto’ would look more like the Danish Alternativet’s six core values (Courage, Generosity, Transparency, Humility, Humour, Empathy). How not what.
To bring this back to Frome, after our Annual Town Council meeting last week a visitor whjo works with councils said ‘I’ve been attending these meetings for 30 years and this is the first one I have ever been to where no one wore a tie’. That’s my kind of manifesto.