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