A beginning
Post Date: November 15th, 2012

Thinking about what makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up (or the holy shiver as the Germans say), it has always been the sight of people getting up and changing their worlds and taking charge of their lives. Never mind whether it’s at a fairly personal and local level (getting the council to sort out a new playground for example), or at a much broader global perspective (making HIV medication affordable), I’m fascinated by the process and impact of this kind of social activism, and the way it links with more formal consultation processes. 


I’m planning to use this blog to write about campaigning and democracy; participation and power, linked to the work I’m doing.


Some of the areas I plan to think/ write about are:


- Why do some people have the empathy and energy to campaign/ work on behalf of people they have never met or have little obvious in common with? Is there anything that can be done at a policy level to increase the conditions that makes this kind of empathy possible?

- Where and how do cuts and deepening poverty increase people’s ability and desire to organise and get active, and is there a point at which people simply give up?

- Why is the narrative about poverty and scroungers so ingrained in Britain, yet we’ve apparently taken on board the idea that people in poverty in other countries are resourceful and enterprising (see Slumdog Millionaire/ Shantaram)?

- What conditions need to be in place to get campaigns heard and effective?

- Why is the gap between the rhetoric on participation and the reality still so great? 


I look forward to hearing views and challenges as I start to post.


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