This Thursday – 4th May, will once again see Local Elections for Councils up and down the Country.
Bearing in mind that these Parish, Town, Borough, District, County and Unitary Authorities provide decision making that ranges from the site of your next neighbourhood dog bin, to how people in local social care end up being helped, we should all be clear that every one of these seats that some of us will be voting for have real value in our world through the application of what those politicians do for the next four years, once elected.
The trouble is, that many people don’t.
In fact, a significant number of normal people really don’t understand that there are 4 or 5 different tiers of government, depending upon where we live. Furthermore, that each of these local authorities have responsibility for different things. And that we are all represented by different politicians at each of these levels, who then vote on our behalf when the relevant council meets and makes decisions about the public policies that they have specific responsibility for taking care of.
Culturally, whilst we have local news channels and local newspapers that have now pretty much all migrated from hard or paper copies to being online, the way that news works and is encouraged to work by the Establishment means that unless people are genuinely interested in which politician does what and where, it’s all to easy to fall into the trap of believing that pretty much every election is based around voting Labour, Liberal Democrat or Conservative.
By default, people really do believe that local and national politics are one and the very same thing.
When life was not falling apart for us in quite the same way as it is doing so for so many different people as it is today, there were very few people who really had any interest in what would happen if people stopped focusing on London politics and instead began to view the importance of local elections in at least the same, or perhaps a more important way.
That so many more are now, should be good reason for hope. But is not. Because in very simple terms, the people who are now viewing the political paradigm in the UK and the role it plays in what is going wrong and realising that things need to be done differently, are still falling into the trap of believing that a different name, a different face, different words and a different party will be the only difference that change will take.
What too many of us don’t see is that the ‘alternatives’ we have today from ‘outside’ of the Establishment, might sound different. But their approach, their motivation and the entitled expectation that a majority of people will vote for them just because they are the ones that sound different, is regrettably just the same as the Establishment stooges they want to replace.
Nobody in politics is doing anything different right now. The reason that people from within and from outside the Establishment are in politics are based on the very same outlook. Its principally the idea that ‘my way is the right way’, coupled with the foolish expectation that voters will automatically come to their banner, because everyone can now see that all the others are wrong.
They don’t and they won’t.
No matter how creative with changing the electoral system the smaller and less openly represented ‘outsider’ parties might want to be, so that election results correspond to and supply them with seats based upon current voting trends, there is a clear reason that it is only ever the blue, red and yellow deck chairs that get moved around the deck of this Titanic.
All politicians – whether elected or outside of power – are continuing to treat people and the diversity of different views and life experiences that exist with contempt, rather than with the respect and humility that each and every member of our society truly deserves from those who would be trusted to represent them.
When the results are in from the 2023 Local Elections, probably during the 24 hours we will identify as Friday, there could well have been a few independents elected here and there, or candidates representing parties such as Reform UK, The SDP or The ADF.
But where ‘outsiders’ have experienced success it will be limited and, will inevitably be a lot more to do with how the candidates have presented themselves at a local level, to local people.
After all, Local Elections are where getting elected is genuinely possible for any candidate, IF they apply themselves in a way that connects with enough people. Successful ‘outsiders’ must demonstrate that they have a cut-through in terms of credibility that steps well beyond the ‘safe bet’ tribalism of going Lib Dem, Tory or Labour, just leaving the ‘same-old, same-olds’ to spout the same old stories and come back in another four years, telling us that they are the right ones to put right then, what they should have already long-since achieved.
That focusing on our own ideas instead of working together in unity and coalescing around what we have in common is in effect going in different directions and pulls that commonality we share apart, shouldn’t be a point being missed by anyone who believes that we now must have massive change.
But that’s exactly what is happening.
People who already have platforms, or in turn have even bigger platforms outside of the Establishment, are ignoring those who don’t have the same, simply because they mistakenly believe that those they see as being down the pecking order should know their place and fall in behind.
It’s more of the same Top-Down thinking that is already at the root of all the thinking and behaviour that caused all of the problems we have and are experiencing right now.
Nothing will change and nothing will end up being in anyway different until everyone ‘outside’ of the Establishment and the Establishment political parties stop aspiring to be even higher up a tree from which they are already looking down on others, when the power for the change that’s coming must be harnessed and therefore born from the grassroots instead.
Please remember that all of the Elections that we have and experience right now are part of the Establishment timetable. So for as long as any thinking is aligned with the premise that democracy can only exist or work on terms that will always work better for them, the end results are almost certain to end up with us experiencing worse or at best more of the same.
The change that we all want and that we all need will not come from regurgitating or reforming any of the ideas and thinking that we accept as being normal now, or that we have considered to be normal in the past.
It’s time to have faith in and to trust other people – and especially the ones we don’t believe we agree with or have previously looked down upon – and begin the conversation where everyone’s experience has value and matters.
That’s where a real and successful democratic revolution will be born.