About me

Welcome to my blog. Im always looking for new ways of bringing people together to build campaigns. Im always amazed by the energy and passion of the people I meet and the different skills they bring to making change happen - the ideas we try out, the campaigns we work on, the relationships we build together. I want to share those stories with you. I hope you enjoy them!

Contact me

You've got an idea or activity that you would like to develop, an issue that matters to you or would just like to find out more? Contact me now by email, twitter, or facebook.

a new framework for a new politics

With all the talk about the end of spin, consitutional change and restoring trust, maybe we could explore a framework of values which would enshrine a contract of trust between citizens and their representatives. Meg Russell, in her Fabian Society pamphlet "Must Politics Disappoint", proposes a charter, which all politicians would be required to sign up to:

"• Frankness about the purpose of politics: Admitting that politics is hard, that
tough choices have to be made, and that not everyone can win all the time.
Celebrating the centrality of debate, negotiation and compromise.

Carving out a distinct political sphere: Making clear that parties and politicians
are not products in a market, that politics is governed by different rules, and
that citizenship can fulfil human aspirations that consumerism cannot.

Offering political leadership: Acknowledging that, whilst politicians must of
course be responsive to voters, it is also their role to spell out the big choices
facing society.

Making values explicit: Explaining the vision that underlies policy and how this
underpins particular decisions. Resisting the ‘catch-all’ party by admitting that
action is guided by values, and spelling out what these values are.

Honesty about constraints, including the financial constraints within which
policy decisions are taken, and the responsibilities of others, including citizens,
to play a part in bringing about change.

Being prepared to show fallibility: Admitting mistakes, explaining changes of policy and stating when an answer is unknown or impossible to give.

Rejecting opposition for opposition’s sake: Being prepared to state when politicians from other parties are right. Not attacking opponents unless an alternative course of action is clear and achievable, and not getting trapped
by journalists into knee jerk opposition.

Responsible campaigning: Avoiding both exaggerated promises and corrosive attacks on the opposition.

• Defending political parties: Not forgetting how all current politicians arrived in
office, and being explicit about how parties’ continued health is essential to
the system.

Not exploiting lack of voter trust: Perhaps most important of all, not seeking short term gain from the current culture of disengagement. Respecting the integrity of opponents and resisting allegations of dishonesty or corruption except in the rare and isolated circumstances where these are justified. Instead promoting politicians – including those of opposing parties – as hardworking
individuals driven by a sense of duty and belief in building a better society.


Post a Comment