Here we go again. Can I sit this one out? Prob not.

Shit just gets realer and realer, doesn’t it?

Utter uncertainty about pretty much everything political (the environment stuff – especially carbon emissions and sea level rise – are locked in now).  Who will lead the Tories? Who will lead Labour?  Will they even exist a year from now?  Will we actually leave the EU? Under what conditions? Will Scotland flee?  Will the far-right get ever more emboldened?  Will life become ever more horrible for everyone who isn’t acceptable to the far right (anyone not white, not Christian, anyone leftie, anyone “different”).

In all this confusion, there is an even sadder certainty. And that is that the exhortations of the “left” will just get louder, and they will stage loads of rallies and marches and call it organising/movement-building.

I just got this from “Compass” [see this on the last event of theirs I went to]

Hi Marc,

This is a moment of great threat for our country and all of us living here. It is the job of progressives to come together and turn this threat into an opportunity; to figure out what we want our country to be and how we can get there. We can see more than ever that our political system is badly broken, and over the last few years the Compass network with others across the UK have been thinking long and hard about how we might fix it.

More than ever, now is the time we need to get together and start to do it. We need a new electoral system and we need to devolve power…

It continues in this vein for another seven long paragraphs.  So I wrote back this.

What will you do DIFFERENTLY than what you have done before?  What will the format of these meetings be? What will you do to minimise the danger of them being dominated by the loudest and most confident (middle-class, white, mostly male).  What skills will your facilitators have to deal with conflict?  How will you make sure these don’t just become pity parties and opportunities for miserable people to vent their anger/fear etc? (that is the beginning of politics, not its end, but so often in the past organisations like Compass have staged these emotathons (look it up on google if you like).

There’s you, there’s NEF and the “New Economy Organisers Network” and Global Justice Now all sending out these emails, but none of you ever explains how. you. will. organise. things. differently.

There will be no reply. If there is, it will be more defensive bollocks, lacking reflection, honesty or anything useful.  But can I afford to sit this out, as the country drifts towards… the 1930s?  Can I still pass the mirror test?  (I haven’t been able to for years, truth be told).

Update: And there WAS a reply –

Thanks for emailing Marc.
There is certainly enough aggression, anger and condescension in the world right now without you contributing to it in an email in this way.
All the best
—-
Jacqui Howard 
National Organiser
Compass
0774 6330 422 | 0207 4630 631

And my reply to that was

And there is certainly enough smug and inadequate “activism” without you adding to it.

I would have been impressed and surprised if you had made an effort to answer the question (because you can’t), instead of tone policing.

Thanks SO MUCH.

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