Archive - May 2015

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Total power?
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It’s a beautiful day in Frome, Somerset today – the sun is shining.

Total power?

iff2

Politics is usually regarded as having winners and losers if we run it with the ‘first past the post system’. I maintain that has been a key reason why there is lack of engagement and a perfectly reasonable cynicism in the foundations of representation – the town and parish councils. Indeed, where party politics has invaded, the thinking that comes with it has been deeply corrosive.
I was therefore deeply moved when the good people of Frome showed their innate political intelligence by rejecting the parties they had supported a few Xs earlier (in national and district elections) and turned to the Independents for Frome in droves.
That pleasure was matched by news that other towns and villages had taken up Flatpack Democracy and used it exactly as I’d hoped – as a DIY guide to taking power in their own communities. This is well described in John Harris’s ‘How Flatpack Democracy beat the old parties in the People’s Republic of Frome’ article today.
The key point John mentions is that a majority of Independents (and in Frome’s case an entire council) can be good for democracy in a way that even a small majority for an ideology led party will not be, because they can represent a full range of views, and they can focus on the issues people at comunity level care about.
Where does this go next? I hope the massive mandate for ifF, and the majorities for other groups, will encourage a steady movement to grow. The egg of real powers leading to real change leading to greater desire to get involved could lead to a whole load of chickens.

It’s a beautiful day in Frome, Somerset today – the sun is shining.

“…..It’s a beautiful day in Frome, Somerset today – the sun is shining. But that’s not the real reason it is a beautiful day. Today the results of the town council elections were announced. There has been so much despondency and trepidation expressed in England since the general election result, a feeling among so many that mainstream politics fails to represent them or their concerns, a genuine fear we are becoming a less caring, less understanding, less tolerant Britain. But in Frome today we achieved something that might sound small but is a momentous resistance to this. Today we found out that, building on their success in the last local election when they took control of the town council, a group of dedicated local people interested in promoting a responsive and responsible culture in our town instead of party political agendas who gather together under the banner of Independents for Frome, won a landslide victory taking ever single town council seat in the election. EVERY. SINGLE. SEAT. No Labour, no Lib-Dems, no Tories, no racist UKIP – not a single seat for a national party. On the same day that our national political system offered so many so little Frome voted for ordinary people giving up their time to make a difference to run our town and not the political class. EVERY. SINGLE. SEAT.

Let it start here and spread everywhere.It’s a beautiful day in Frome, Somerset today – the sun is shining. But that’s not the real reason it is a beautiful day. Today the results of the town council elections were announced. There has been so much despondency and trepidation expressed in England since the general election result, a feeling among so many that mainstream politics fails to represent them or their concerns, a genuine fear we are becoming a less caring, less understanding, less tolerant Britain. But in Frome today we achieved something that might sound small but is a momentous resistance to this. Today we found out that, building on their success in the last local election when they took control of the town council, a group of dedicated local people interested in promoting a responsive and responsible culture in our town instead of party political agendas who gather together under the banner of Independents for Frome, won a landslide victory taking ever single town council seat in the election.

EVERY. SINGLE. SEAT. No Labour, no Lib-Dems, no Tories, no racist UKIP – not a single seat for a national party. On the same day that our national political system offered so many so little Frome voted for ordinary people giving up their time to make a difference to run our town and not the political class. EVERY. SINGLE. SEAT. Let it start here and spread everywhere….”

To be honest, I’ve been in a daze since the count on Saturday, partly finishing off being Mayor, partly thinking about what now!!!???  The words above are from a Facebook Post of Simon Morrisey of Foreground and I don’t even have time to ask if he minds – I trust he will take it as flattery – they are being well shared on Facebook!

Copyright © Peter Macfadyen 2019