At the Cliff Edge – Part Three

Over Edge Part Three – the New Model (Economic) Army Addendum – 16th January 2019 Following the devastating defeat for the ‘May Brexit Plan’, the rejection of the futile scheme now means we have gone over the cliff. As the political consequences tumble from the Westminster table to the floor of the House, we will be left with a representative process itself unable to function, I suspect. It is this calamity that is undemocratic, not the cries from the right of the Tory Party that the previous questioning and seeking clarity has been claimed, in their eyes. From the wasted, vast public expenditure spent in pursuit of narrow, partisan political ideological aims, to the new understanding by the majority of the population around the consequences and the complexity of misunderstood and ineffective negotiation on our behalf – now is the time to abandon the sly scheming of the Bullingdon Club as national policy and to reaffirm our collaborative, humanitarian commitment to the European project. Or, at the very least to hold a new referendum to re-assert the will of the people, now a referendum of informed choice, to decide our fate collectively. Without either, I would argue, there is no hope of a new socio-economic plan, as detailed below, in our increasingly isolated, beleaguered island. ‘…we argue that the UK must now embrace change on a sufficient scale to achieve ‘escape velocity’ from an economy that delivers neither prosperity nor justice, to one that achieves both. We face a decade…

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Antiuniversity Now 2018

‘Antiuniversity Now is a collaborative experiment to reimagine the 1968 Antiuniversity of London, in an ongoing programme of free and inclusive self-organised radical learning events. Antiuniversity Now challenges academic and class hierarchy through an open invitation to teach and learn any subject, in any form, anywhere’.   Now in its fourth year you can, between June 9th and June 15th 2018, join in a wide range of radical, activist educational opportunities, for free. We are glad to see the autodidact is not dead, and to discover proof that collective and supportive peer education is still abroad. (We know it’s not..Ed). We offer some of our favourite sessions for your delight below, but do discover more on the AN web pages here…www.antiuniversity.org DIY Radio: How to make radio shows and broadcast them for nothing Courtesy of 199 Radio, this event…’will focus on learning how to use some of these tools to create our own radio programmes (Audacity, Mixx, Radio Studio and others), and how to broadcast them on the internet using Facebook. At the same time we’ll be talking about our experience of independent broadcasting, the future of radio and other subjects dear to our hearts’. More detail and registration here. Peer to Peer Web Workshop:  A practical workshop for anyone interested in the p2p distributed web! The agorama server co-operative offer a one day practical workshop that provide the tools and instructions for creating your own self-hosted website and contributing to a decentralized p2p internet. The instructors will briefly explain…

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The Moral Matrix and 2017

Jonathan Haidt in this 2008 talk explores the constraints and tensions in the moral psychology of left and right. He uses the context of the American political system and discusses primary moral principles, which for us in the UK, can be seen as a proxy equating to Labour and Conservative ideologies. Given the tensions within the Labour Party at present, given the divisions created by the referendum on Europe last year, there is a merit in revisiting these earlier Haidt arguments, touching as he does on freedom, rights, power and dissent. You can see the full TED talk from Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business, below… Source: In the talk, leavened with an easy humour, it is easy to see identifiable Labour Party sterotypes, as well as those of the Tory persuasion. The left enjoy open-ness, change and commitment to the future well-being of others. Those of the right, in this model, cleave more strongly to notions of order, and acceptance of the suffering of some, to achieve their world vision. Haidt’s arguments about the five principal moral values that determine our political allegiance do bear subtler fruit after reflection. However, there is a more complex truth illustrated at play within and relevant to the UK Left, I would argue. There are certainly those of the left who are adherents of open-ness, change and collaborative development. The countervailing position, arguably, is reflected in the matter of the Labour…

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Après moi, le déluge

Louis XV of France, in predicting the French Revolution after his demise, cannot have had David Cameron in mind. However, the last week of June 2o16 saw a number of unedifying political manifestations of the turmoil and collapse driven by the ‘Brexiteers’. The titular phrase of this article is derived, according to which source you read, from après nous, le déluge arguably by Madame de Pompadour. The use of the plural is even more apposite as the recent scene in the Commons unfolded, where Cameron berates Jeremy Corbyn for not ‘leaving’ his post as leader, whilst the Tory Party under the tottering leadership of Cameron careers into crisis, effectively leaderless and arguably adrift in an ocean of conflicting ideologies. The Conservative Party is now a bastion of Free marketeers, decrying the ready movement of labour. It has a one nation rhetoric, betrayed by dishonesty and spin, arguably intent on driving ‘foreigners’ from our shores. This latter philosophy creates popular incantations summoning ‘the other’, which will have terrrible consequences for some communities. Its leadership promoting this dissent and schism in civil society, seemingly regardless of the consequences to an economy now in freefall. This week we hear that the principles of austerity, cuts and deprivation, designed to reach a fiscal target which deems our nation to be a sort of grocery shop where costs must be cut at any price – now this too is swept away. The writer Kazuo Ishiguro, writing in the Financial Times this week is angry… Angry…

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Twittering to election victory!

Embed from Getty Images   We have a bye-election pending in our constituency for the election of a new County Councillor. Of course we all want our party candidate to win a stunning victory, reflecting new leadership, new members and a revitalised political agenda. Fighting elections is nothing new, but we offer here the first of a series of occasional technical ‘get elected’ reports. This first item is a very generous document from the Twitter Government and Elections team. This is The Twitter Government and Elections Handbook (pdf- 137pp). It is written exclusively for an American audience of course, but the techniques, suggestions and flexibility prompted by formal research from the Twitter team hold good for any electoral candidate in a western, democratic and technically enabled community. The report has sections on Twitter basics, list building, tweet rules, use of images, calls to action and importantly for political candidates, claims to authenticity. There are similar interesting and detailed sections on integrating a Twitter campaign into events, as well as useful list of Twitter resources at the end of the report for both the Twitter novice and seasoned new media professional. The core content is derived from the rich Twitter experience of Barack Obama’s November 2012 campaign. But whether you have aspirations to be President of the USA, or more local and equally important aspirations to represent us in a democratic civic society, this could be the engaging read of the festive holidays in 2015/2016. ‘The best way to earn a…

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Capital and social good at scale

A colleague recently sent us a link to the short film below, about the entrepreneur Manoj Bhargarva, with much thanks to Joby for an interesting and inspiring example of the deployment of social good. Manoj Bhargarva has used traditional manufacturing skills and work flows, coupled to a very good first principle idea, to scale up production to generate cash. This money is then used, as can be seen in the film, to undertake significant projects that create socially useful outcomes. Our conversation that flowed from this was about capturing the energy of volunteers and the social economy to generate social good, in an old-fashioned activist way, but which is coupled to community benefit where cash is a tangential outcome only. Interestingly, you can see in the 80,000 Hours movement, how the next generation of UK political and business elites are becoming motivated by notions of ‘earning to give’. Generate cash and then give it to good causes, as in the Bhargava model. What if there was a new model of activism for social good, where the thing you scale is the activism itself? We have enjoyed seeing the growing support of the social economy from MP’s such as Chi Onwurah and Tristam Hunt. So we know there is a groundswell of activisim that might support a revolution in political party delivery based on the common good. Tristram Hunt MP made a speech in Walthamstow in November 2014 that nicely encapsulates a range of divisive issues, created by privilege, unequal access…

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