Seriously, where can we talk about politics?

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Tim Lund
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Joined: 13 Mar 2008 18:10
Location: Silverdale

Seriously, where can we talk about politics?

Post by Tim Lund » 26 May 2019 17:59

I know I'm maybe asking the impossible here, but I was struck recently to hear, literally by word of mouth, from one of the traders about 100s of school kids from St. Barts Primary protesting in Sydenham Road, as reported in the News Shopper here:

Youth Strike 4 Climate: St Bartholomew's School in Sydenham marches down Sydenham High Street

I think this is great, and is an astonishing contrast with any on line discussion of politics I'm aware of, apart from one or two WhatsApp groups I'm in. The comments in the News Shopper piece show the problem, there being just two, with the second commenting on "the poison of 'Socialist Worker's Party' placards well in evidence", when, on the evidence of the NS photos, where was no SWP involvement, and I don't believe for one minute that the teachers would have allowed that. So just another on line discussion poisoned by a troll.

Here on STF we maybe have a way of dealing with trolls, but the discussion in the Town Pub is pretty feeble, so much so that no one there seems to have noticed there'd been such a unprecedented political action in Sydenham. I can't see any comment on either, but I'm not a fan of the mods team there, and I think the feeling is mutual :)

Twitter just a little bit better - search for Climate Change SE26, and there is one thread, started by Kirkdale Bookshop, now with 26 likes - was 25 when I found it ... 0216485888

and shortly to have another comment, from me, linking back here.

Having made a bit of effort in recent months, representing a non party aligned anti-Brexit groups, to speak to schools about the need for students to get on the electoral roll (it can be done from age 16) and getting the message that this was too political, I am impressed that the message on climate change can reach parts messages on Brexit can't. Of course climate change is more important in the grand scheme of things, but meeting the challenge of climate change is going to involve politics, and I would say demonstrating about it in Sydenham Road is politics. Good. We need schools and teachers to take politics seriously, and engage with their students, and vice versa. Schools also teach about racism, although, on the evidence of this that I read recently, and thoroughly recommend

Natives by Akala review – the hip-hop artist on race and class in the ruins of empire

they don't always get it right. There are also local Facebook groups, including one on which I'm an admin,

but set up for those like me who oppose Brexit. There are some good discussions in there, and links to interesting articles, but it's not set up to engage with people who support Brexit, or even just neutral, baffled, or bored of Brexit. There are also much bigger local Facebook groups which also steer clear of Brexit ... because it's politics. I totally sympathise with the Admins on these, but if we ignore politics, it will come back to bite us. How, for example, can a staggeringly unrepresentative sample of maybe 100,000 people be about to chose the next leader of our government?

So, if we are starting to talk about politics in our schools, and in Sydenham Road, can we make another attempt to have a wider, grown up conversation about politics in general?

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Location: Lawrie Park

Re: Seriously, where can we talk about politics?

Post by stuart » 31 May 2019 15:18

I see the problem Tim that there is only one topic in town - Brexit. Worse still its rare to see a real discussion on Brexit. It doesn't take long to degenerate into throwing bricks over a wall. Its killed real poilitical discussion - here, on the BBC or anywhere.

If anything is more important to th UK than Brexit - then it has to be Climate Change. But that's not going to happen by October 31st. It's next year's problem - or the year after. It lacks urgency and doesn't revolve around primadonnas.

It's depressing that the reaction to all this is to do something spectacular - like closing Heathrow. It doesn't change the Climate Change arguement and is more likely to polarise feelings than to get the subject to the bar of the house.

After all so many people thought it was shocking and unacceptable that 'legitimate' protest should disrupt diesel motors from their pre-ordained right of crossing Waterloo Bridge. Hmmm maybe sheep on London Bridge may be a way ... do you know any 'freemen' who aint deniers?


Tim Lund
Posts: 6687
Joined: 13 Mar 2008 18:10
Location: Silverdale

Re: Seriously, where can we talk about politics?

Post by Tim Lund » 31 May 2019 19:24

I don't think I know any 'freemen', although funnily enough, I was googling the Freemen of Oxford today, and then getting into an ill tempered exchange with my Dad's local councillor. I'd been out with a group of volunteers picking litter in a large open space which formally is the responsibility of said Freemen, and I'd asked why there wasn't a Friends of group to look after it. Well, that might be possible, but it would have to be done with the Freemen, who from their website appear to be mainly interested in chummy dinners along with their fellow Freemen from Coventry and Gloucester. And, this Labour councillor told me, these Freemen have been responsible for this area since the Domesday Book, so of course they have to be involved.

OK - that was a bit random. I see some familiar faces have just appeared in the Pub, so I will join you all briefly there. Could this be the start of a better discussion of politics? Could it one day be brought out of the Pub?

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Location: London

Re: Seriously, where can we talk about politics?

Post by mosy » 1 Jun 2019 15:28

There are lots of political items that could be discussed to the nth degree but what's the point when the country has been and still is in ongoing stasis? Let's see, leadership contests (Tories, Lib Dems and maybe Labour), summer recess of parliament and EU, then conference season).

What to say? I think this... Please reply in October.

My point is that there's no point if pontificating makes less difference than ever it did.

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