A Series of Strategic Responses to the Tory Majority, no.6

10 May

Even if you’re not a member of a political party, even if you’re an anarchist, there’s a number of things worth considering for action that can come from the nature of your representatives.  I don’t mean this in terms of some abstract, purely theoretical nature, nor am I necessarily demanding serious research. I’ll use where I live as an example of what I mean.  My constituency MP is one of the tiny band of LibDem MPs left.  His name’s Mark Williams.  I remember virtually nothing about him, except he wasn’t altogether comfortable with the bedroom tax. Boom! That’s a conversation worth having.  What action / perspective is he now going to take on the bedroom tax in opposition?  If he chooses to champion abandonment, will the LibDem parliamentary campaign threaten to derail popular oppositional movements?  Particularly, how will that play out in Ceredigion? I’d suggest, on the basis of the tiny amount I know without undue stretching, that left, national and bedroom tax activists working together could create a fever around the issue in Ceredigion if they organised hard to present their case publicly in the next few days.  And Mark Williams and the LibDems in Ceredigion would be following behind, if it was done fast. This is something I would love to see happen.  If you’ve contacts and links you think would be useful in fleshing out that idea, let me know. Whoever and whatever your local representatives at whatever level are, how can you use their present and past allegiances, habits etc, in order to manoeuvre them into being a thorn in the governments’ flesh.  Not only in parliamentary terms, but in terms of being drawn to sympathise – even if only over a single issue – a popular and self-confident network of oppositional groups. In the North there seems a real need for questioning over whether particular Labour MPs should now be content with an also-ran economic and political status for that area, even within England.

If you live there, please, check out things like the Campaign for the North and the Free North Campaign – and get involved. Are there also single issue things that clearly intersect with the need for a higher status for the region? Suggest a common cause to the relevant organisations in those areas.  Be pushy and let them know this is going to be a vibrant and positive thing – a deepening of democracy.

Do you want a regional parliament?  If you do, start doing the in-depth research and publishing your results.

If you’re an architect or critic or historian, then ask what the right location would be.  Write about your proposed location(s), in whatever form you like.  Publish as fast as possible.

Incidentally, are you a teacher or lecturer planning a politics, geography or sociology lesson?  Consider a class discussion on the right site / design(s) for a Parliament of the North.  Get your students talking about the transport links through the area, the networks of power, the questions of identity, urban planning and its role in everyday life.  Explain to them that in Scotland, the referendum vote was for those aged 16 and over. Even twelve year-olds now may be eligible to vote come the next election, if this aspect of Scottish politics comes into play again within the next five years.

On which note – somebody, somewhere, preferably a teenager who is sick of working without the protection of the minimum wage – needs to kick off campaigns on voting and wages for that age group.  If you are that person, history is probably on your side right now. More tomorrow.  Good night.


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