Barely a week after the general election was called and already, weariness with Westminster politics is spreading rapidly. We’ve made a pledge to keep election coverage to a minimum – after all, we’re anarchists!
An increasing number of people see what goes on in Westminster as a hot air spewing sideshow that has little or no relevance to the often gritty reality of their lives. Already it’s looking like this campaign will be the dirtiest we’ve had to endure for a good many decades. The Westminster obsessed commentariat may revel in this – the rest of us want some answers and solutions to the damage ten years of austerity has wreaked upon an increasingly fractured society.
What we want to focus on is where people are making a difference in the here and now. There are many ways this can be done, ranging from the uncompromising militancy of cutting edge unions such as United Voices of the World all the way through to neighbourhood groups organising estate clean ups and running community vegetable gardens. We aim to put up a few posts during the election campaign looking at various aspects of grassroots action in more depth.
Our sister blog, Alternative Estuary, plays a part in this by promoting grassroots community initiatives, events and actions. We’re talking about school uniform banks, drop in advice and support centres, funding initiatives for community projects, neighbourhood clean ups, community vegetable gardens (including a bit of guerilla gardening!), resident run local parks…the list goes on.
We see each and everyone of these initiatives as being a point of light in what many feel to be an increasingly dysfunctional and dystopian world. As we map out these projects, we can see a lot of these points of light – enough to create a bit of a glow to be honest. The thing is, we’re still locating and mapping these initiatives so we know that this glow will get brighter.
This is one of the ways real change can start. When people at the neighbourhood level can see no chance of a solution to a problem coming from either their local authority or even the government, instead, they start to work together to sort out the problem themselves. In the process, they learn how to work together as a team and as and when they get a result, their confidence and ambition grows. It’s this we want to focus on, not the toxic shitshow that’s the Westminster political bubble.