Liberal Democracies – as the notorious war leader (and revisionist historian) Winston Churchill said, are the least bad way of running a country. Think Trump and recent referenda.
Remember the fuss about Councillor Ben Lloyd-Shogbesan and the ‘rotton borough’ by-election return of Councillor Alex Hollingsworth. This is the obvious side of the Democratic Deficit.
In Catalonia and Ireland their referenda (unlike Scotland) produced progressive results and show that when you have a decent debate people are more inclined to get involved.
The media, particularly anti-social ones, constantly mislead and render the electoral system almost redundant. Arguably the English ‘first past the post’ system is the worst of all. The first precondition for democracy is encouraging us to think for ourselves.
The radical American historian and activist, Howard Zinn said “History is important. If you don’t know history it’s as if you were born yesterday, anybody up there in position of power can tell you anything, and you have no way of checking up on it.”
Here is East Oxford insomnia and stress may currently be more obvious than austerity but extreme weather changes everything. Resisting Climate change is something we all need to address. Trump gives dinosaurs a bad name and one of his less obvious crimes is pretending to be the last Climate Change denier.
Organised by the ad hoc coalition of Oxford CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) and Stand Up to Racism, through the local trade union and labour movement to ‘De-nuclearise a loose cannon,’ over 300 friends and comrades, old and new, occupied Cornmarket for 2 hours to protest against Trump’s visit to Oxfordshire. Everyone spoke about the demonstration at Blenheim and suggested that the leader of the County Council was ‘playing with fire,’
Nigel Day spoke about the international politics of peace. Honorary Life President of Oxford TUC spoke about our Health Service and Climate chaos. Liz Peretz spoke for Labour Women and Caroline Raine for the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. David Williams spoke for Oxon Green Party and naturally chants arose putting Trump into perspective.
Last but definitely not least Pat Green spoke for the Windrush Generation. My American relations aren’t particularly political or typical tourists but they supported this semi-spontaneous outburst celebrating our cultural diversity.
Solidarity begins at home. This, and every year’s heroes, are the Windrush generation. We don’t have all the answers but will listen and work together to resist the storm they call progress.
For more information about Oxford Stand Up to Racism visit: http://www.oxfordstanduptoracism.org.uk/
For Oxford Campaign Against Nuclear Disarmament visit: https://www.oxfordcnd.org.uk/