What I’m standing for in the #PandemicEra reworking of #EthicsEconomicsPolitics I try to communicate in three pairs:
1) “Kinder Politics” which opens the door to, amongst other things, “Deeper Accountability”. (“What would #KinderPolitics look like to you?” is a key door to door question for the next election campaign in which I’m involved.)
2) A change in custodianship responsibilities with “Land Value Tax” initially at 3% of Land Value to fund “Universal Basic Income” to free up people’s creativity to meet the needs of these times.
3) #GrassrootsManifestoes - as many citizens as possible putting forward for representation their main 4-10 policy suggestions. This bottom-up policy making meets with the conscience of their would-be representative and mediator, who needs to be free from the obligations of a political party. Powered by GrassrootsManifestoes (or other forms of interaction with constituents) Independent Candidates can now share a platform, standing for “Whip-Free Accountable Mavericks In Parliament”. My first two nominations for possible forerunners in getting into Parliament under the hashtag #WFAMIP are Martin Lewis (of moneysavingexpert.com) and Russell Brand (of https://m.youtube.com/user/russellbrand)
What I’m standing for in the #PandemicEra reworking of #EthicsEconomicsPolitics I try to communicate in three pairs:
In common with 1848, 1968, 1989 and 2011, 2020 is already being celebrated as a year of revolt. Nation states are not threatened by these revolts. Political systems will not be demolished. However, this new spirit of insurgency not only reflects the grievous social and economic toll of the pandemic, but also the forces that have driven upheaval since the 2008 financial crash: wage stagnation, unemployment, austerity, inter-generational inequality, social media and political polarisation.That's 6 forces listed; five of which I agree with; one I do not. Do you recognise all 6 descriptions as complete enough? Perhaps you think I'm splitting hairs in suggesting that commentators are failing to distinguish between a technology as a cause and the use of that technology as the true cause of the problem. So to me, "Social Media" is not a problem at all, but these three aspects of its use are a potential civilisation-breaking problem:
- lack of ethical standards or clarity
- lack of mindfulness in applying one's face to face ethical standards when on line
- lack of accountability (due to anonymity etc) on Social Media are generating problems.
Perhaps the primary vested interest of all magazines or TV News programmes is to show that they are the most legitimate source for considering the issues in whatever they deem the "proper way". Here are three examples of what "the proper way" to present news and the world around us may be:
- "Class War and the need for Dictatorship of the Proletariat"
- "The need to end Civilisation as we know it" - if we look at the historical example of Green Anarchist Magazine and Green Anarchist Statement of Intent, valuable touchstones in any Politics101 course*.
From a media agency that prides itself on it's impartiality, the BBC, via the journalist Amol Rajan, here's a direct attack on Twitter as unfit for purpose in these times:
"It is worth saying that this is a very difficult & toxic area where people on both sides receive the most horrendous amount of abuse and I'm afraid Twitter is just not the place to have these conversations; it has dissolved into a kind of Hobbesian war of all against all. Twitter is slow to remove abuse; there's huge scope for insult before you violate policies there, many users are anonymous and if there is a moral to this story it is that the more complex, sensitive and emotive the subject, the less useful, I think, Twitter is to discuss it" (BBC "News at One", 11th June 2020)Whilst I hope for, and ask you to discuss, Twitter to split its service into two tiers according to the verification of identity or the anonymous, enabling choice as to which one participates in and what can be expected in terms of #DeeperAccountability.
Without change in how Social Media is provvided to us, the responsibility of ours is to use it withina clear ethical framework. I offer below the 5 ethical questions I keep asking myself and then an outline of what "Right Effort" is:
I stepped into the discussion hoping to do so with more creativity than reactivity. However, I ended up tweeting more than I intended. At best, my aim was to go beyond #PolarisationInPolitics, acknowledge what sense I could see in President Trump's words, and adding what I thought might help round his proposals, encourage approaches that put everyone on the same side. Putting everyone on the same side takes more than the hashtag #AllLivesMatter as a response to #BlackLivesMatter.
The most visceral upset I experienced was in relation to this tweet:
[I find now that the tweet I was going to copy I can no longer see in my tweet-stream; presumably deleted by the author or by Twitter. It said it was from a woman writing of her being raped by a black man in Leeds on a given date and the lack of attention/support she received from others in contrast to the attention being put across much of the world on what happened to George Floyd.]
How long would you take to retweet these words, if you would, and with what comment appended? (May #SleepOnIt become a watch phrase for us before sending what we can reasonably expect to irritate others...) Around this time in the middle of the day, I lay down for about two hours without sleep in a darkened room processing the enormity of the stream of human suffering I was feeling in touch with via Twitter that morning.
Sometimes I retweet without comment, and, unlike many other Tweeters I do this also for many tweets with which I profoundly disagree. Rather than have the “retweets are not endorsements” type of comment on my Twitter profile, at the time of writing, I use the very limited micro-blogging persona profile space for these words: Founder(2011)StLeonardsSharing Consortium.Parliamentary Candidate2019(565votes)working with #NVC leaders towards #LivingPlanetPolitics
By retweeting notable content, amongst other aspects of the Twittersphere I am currently noticing is, as I'm confident you'll be aware, the lull in “We're All In This Together” sentiments. In that vein there has sadly been no apparent take-up of the 3rd part of my General Election slogan/potted manifesto of “Pause5G, Citizens Assemblies Now, Move Forward More Together”.
How might it be possible to cut across the polarisation that it might be too easy to fall into in relation to the #rape tweet above? The best added comment I could manage at the time was something that has now been removed (or I've mislaid), but it said that both concerns pointed us to the need to question patriarchy.
This was the first time I can recollect having written a word that I had previously avoided like the Coronavirus/Plague. The word that took so long to alight on my page (or flash in pixels) was patriarchy. I wouldn't be using that word if I hadn't discovered its meaning within a framework of #NVC i.e. the body of understanding proliferating from the legacy of Marshall Rosenberg.
The richest exploration, for my money, of the paradigm shifts that the world need now was provided to the East Point Peace Academy YouTube Channel by Miki Kashtan. Miki Kashtan's previous blogging (from February 2013) around one of my poems I just hyperlinked so that I/we can return to extract more of its juice in showing the shortcoming of my compassion at the time I wrote that poem, and, sadly also in many subsequent times I have read words written by others not-trained as I have been privileged to be in the clarity of separation of observation/ judgement/ feelings/ needs/ values/ requests etc
So here's the UNMISSABLE (IMHO) Film of 2020, eclipsing the 007 movie, Spectre, that the #PandemicEra led to be postponed for launch currently to the 26th October 2020:
And here's just a paragraph from what I call “The Film of The Year so Far” (#PandemicEra #BuddhistEthics #SacredEconomics #LivingPlanetPolitics blog rating: 5 stars). This is the first section in Miki Kashtan's world-view that has got me, as I hope it will “get you”, looking more closely at what alliances might be formed in arriving at a shared understanding of, and addressing, patriarchy?
I put my hands in just about everything; I work from the smallest most-internal domain to global governance and it is always like a big choice what to focus on. I decided to focus on decision making because if we get decision-making right then we can go from there to making all the decisions that we need to make to create a collaborative nonviolent future. That's why I focused in this way and we'll see if that yields benefit. I look at the Coronavirus situation as something that is an opportunity in that exposes some things that were there for quite a while but were under the surface, and now suddenly there's crisis and there's the opportunity to see the cracks; so it's even more visible. We either have a nonviolent future or we have no future because the kind of present that we have -the way of living that is based on scarcity, separation and powerlessness- that comes from 7,000 years of patriarchy. The core essence of patriarchy is scarcity, separation and powerlessness. Patriarchy manifests in gender but isn't about gender; gender emerges from it. The two main things I see in patriarchy are control and either-or thinking. I'm going to try to show that in how we approach decision-making we can exit those and go to a nonviolent future of choice, togetherness and flow so that control is replaced by purpose and either-or thinking is replaced by integration.
A broken connection
A sense of misunderstanding
A wish to be seen as precious
A wish to have valued more palpably
And arrived at the solidarity
That is all that may save us.
We each hold part of the story
And many of us fire it from a self-erected moral high ground
Instead of meeting in wigwams on the plains
Where we might open to something more profound.
And hear the tale of a sense of betrayal
As well as that of attempting to govern
Then weave in my dream to go beyond the polarities
Of the northern expeditions
By the Number 10 key worker
Whose integrity is questioned
By his not staying southern.
In the end I was thanked for my initially "frustrating" intervention -a familiar pattern to this "agent provocateur" character I represent to many; as does Dominic Cummings.
For my money, Dominic Cummings provided the best drama of the week; I watched for over an hour, with what's called baited breath, (not to be mistaken for a Covid-19 symptom). I watched to see where he'd put a foot wrong in terms of PR, and from my perspective he did that when he used the hyperbole word "millions", leaking in that moment his frustrations; he could no longer be as measured as the rest of the testimony/performance.
Whilst typing this a ping on my phone brings headline news that Durham Police have said of so-called #BarnardCastleGate; it "might have been a minor breach of lockdown rules".
For light relief I tweeted that the following film was not made during lockdown; just to get that straight.
Much of the time it is hard to set aside the narrow-mindedness of our biases and preconceptions, particularly in relation to Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. What's the best we can do? To stay in touch with what values are driving us? Fairness? Accountability?
Maria alighted on publishing the Nolan Principles of Public Life in her Centre For Peaceful Solutions blog post. Comments on her blog and the Pandemic Era 2066.uk blog here below please.
Letter to my (former) biographer; sacked without furlough from that position on https://www.youtube.com/user/Toothpaste007 after the start of the #PandemicEra in 2020:
13th May 2020
What’s optimal for our developing our political perspective is talking in your kitchen IMHO so how about a conversation sometime to unfold what the different political approaches are, rather than just Facebook?
I’ll put forward that a major shortcoming of the Tories is they believe in what the Local Treasure of St Leonards & food bank co-ordinator,Natalie Williams, has written about in her book “The Myth Of The Undeserving Poor - A Christian Response to poverty in Britain today”
The mirror shortcoming of Labour I provisionally label “The Myth of The Evil Tory; our compassion doesn’t extend to hearing any one of them; we have our ‘enemy image’ to maintain”
There is a secondary problem in trying to change the government by backing the left. NB - an outdated paradigm the left-right one needing to be superseded by the interconnectedness perspective that I believe is the only way to turn around ecological doomsdays on the horizon.
The “baggage” that comes with the left these days doesn’t cut it on the estates; the example I give being this tweet from @LonsdaleKeith replying to @Keir_Starmer: "Thank goodness you lot didn't win in December. We'd have no PPE, no Nightingale hospitals but, diversity managers on every ward."
I really don’t want you (& all those you symbolise to me) to put great effort into Tory-hating and achieve so little in electoral terms all over again!
There is a way that saves more lives by practising what is so poorly labelled #NVC - nonviolent communication. With roots including the Indian Cultural Inheritance exemplified by Gandhi of ahimsa (non-harm) and the masterly recognition and development of the emotional intelligence of “needs consciousness”, please don’t mistake nonviolence for “being nice”. (On request I’ll send you the link to 180(?) ways to protest nonviolently). So, now we’ve established that nonviolent communication (often called “compassionate communication” or similar) is not the “nice”, in the pejorative sense of that word, thing you imagine it to be, please invest an hour at least in finding what has been one of the two most valuable discoveries of my life. As I continue to attempt to channel Marshall Rosenberg (who founded cnvc.org) I gain in confidence to truly hold anyone (& especially myself on the political stage) to account. What opens up, especially once others come on board, is the transformative possibilities of creating solutions where there were apparently incompatible agendas:
P.S. I’m working on bringing into being a book called “The Myth of The Evil Tory”.Chapter 1 has this provisional title!: How the BBC ran with the Hastings Labour Candidate’s misrepresentation of what the Conservative Candidate had said on disability and the minimum wage.
I wish we each acknowledged the privilege conferred on us when anyone wants to communicate with us. Isn't it wonderful to have the amazing capacity, via the internet, to hear so many expressions of others' needs/values? Many expressions of need might be tragic in the sense that they are unlikely to be met on account of how they are received; perhaps nowhere experienced more than by what pleas we hear conveyed by twitter and met by something other than love and kindness.
When presented with a wish for co-operation in problem-solving the challenge of how to close the schools whilst ensuring childcare provision for key workers, Nick Ferrari declined the implicit invitation that could have saved many lives. So too did Keir Starmer on Twitter apparently do little to help illuminate and support the (politically-risky but life-saving?) options around reuse of personal protection equipment (PPE). Appending the link to this Guardian article, the 11th April 9.04am tweet from Keir Starmer began "It is quite frankly insulting to imply frontline staff are wasting PPE". Having expressed what might be called "Righteous Indignation", the rest of the tweet could be seen as a call for empathetic understanding and taking of responsibility, or it could, for example, be taken as accusatory and blaming, untrusting and unconstructive power play:
"There are horrific stories of NHS staff and care workers not having the equipment they need to keep them safe. The Government must act to ensure supplies are delivered.." Responses to this tweet typified for me "adversarial/polarising politics". I caught myself smiling less than kindly at the first response I saw, with it's (back-handed compliment(?) to the new Labour Party leader): "At last you've found your backbone". From the government, @Helen_Whately replied: "repeating a false accusation doesn’t help anybody and it’s surely not your style. If you want nhs and care staff to have the PPE they need - as I do - surely you’d back people using the right PPE for the tasks they are doing." You might see that as a reasonable response, and so, if I share my judgment of Ms Whately's tweet as "Adversarial Score -High", what do you make of my judgment?. Of course there were twitter responses to Keir Starmer that were perhaps even less about building a shared understanding and joint plan of action; from @LonsdaleKeith replying to @Keir_Starmer: "Thank goodness you lot didn't win in December. We'd have no PPE, no Nightingale hospitals but, diversity managers on every ward." Would you agree with my judgment that @LonsdaleKeith's tweet here was "Adversarial Score -High"?
That we judge the actions of others is in our nature, what we do with those judgments a crucial choice. I asked my political secretary, as I ask you, to watch this film of an NHS worker clearly upset, and list the unmet needs that are being expressed:
"In no order. It’s amazing what a short speech can offer in terms of needs: Appreciation; Fairness; Compassion; Caring; Community; Consideration; Inclusion; Mattering; Respect; Safety; Shared reality; Support; To be known; To be understood; Ease; Order; Peace; Nourishment."I am heartened by what I perceived the impact to be of this NHS worker expressing their needs without targeting an individual, seeking to prick the collective conscience into meeting her unmet needs. What response might meet the requested caring and sharing? Perhaps the doorstep sharing (alongside decontamination kit) of whatever surplus food one has? That behaviour I have heard of in New Zealand in the midst of this broadcast promoting befriending etc
Meanwhile, sharing another YouTube film from an NHS worker, the commentary I offer is of my sadness at the expression of needs/values in ways that are unlikely to get them met:
Rather than caring for the quality of connection and the realistic ways in which behaviour is changed, the above film marks for me an impoverished culture of "shaming". Many of us grew up with "shaming" used as a technique to seek compliance with the behaviour sought from us by other family members -and may experience this still? Whilst conscience is a key energy to action, shaming is to me energy put into what Marshall Rosenberg seemed keen to call the "Domination Culture". I ask Maria Arpa of the Centre for Peaceful Solutions, who brought Marshall Rosenberg to an international conference to work between concentration camp victims in the former Yugoslavia and their captors, to share her understanding of what "Domination Culture" looks like, pre-"Pandemic Era" and in the midst of the Coronavirus "management"?
Drawing out descriptions from others of the seismic shifts we have experienced in just weeks, I now share the description of a zoom conference with strangers I attended last night:
"The Coronavirus has fundamentally reshaped our world, in ways that are still unclear. Along with immense suffering and fear, there are many silver linings: a shared awareness of our vulnerability, a shift toward collective solidarity, and a shift in our economic priorities. However, dark clouds also loom on the horizon: Fascist leaders are using this emergency moment to tighten their grip, while the apparatus of a totalitarian state is becoming normalised."
What paradigm shift are you feeding in the Pandemic Era? What Ethics? What Economics? What Politics? Together we might (in a series of co-written blog posts and replies) develop #PandemicEraEthics* [link] and from there draw out #PandemicEraEconomics and "PandemicEraPolitics"? If we take the first letter of each of these three branches of this new discipline - E for Ethics, E for Economics and P for Politics - amidst the #PPE crisis - we can be developing an antidote #EEP? Will the development of #KinderPolitics and #PandemicEra #EthicsEconomicsPolitics attract anything like the £21million to date that Captain Tom's walking for the NHS has attracted? https://PayPal.me/RefugeTreeWoods
*34 Questions drawn out (from @OpenDemocracy) about Pandemic Era Ethics
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Sally Ann Hart (Hastings & Rye MP) Easter Day & Easter Monday PPE (Personal Protection Equipment -not Philosophy Politics and Economics -which was what Boris Johnson & I understood by PPE at Oxford!)
As your running colleague in the last general election, standing up for common sense when you were being misheard and misrepresented*, you are the most influential person to whom I can send this tweet:
Out of the 750,000 #NHSVolunteerResponders in this #Coronavirusuk situation, do we yet have an #ArmyOfPPECleaners-for if #Nurses & #Doctors #refusetreatment on account of #PPE #Shortage it’s surely at least 60% (guestimate) on account of non #reusing?
Please act on it with all the responsibility you can muster and hold,
With the kindness you kindly acknowledged at the electoral count,
I remember well – and thank you for contacting me.
I am aware that much PPE can be reused including eye protection, scrubs and N95 respirators. Healthcare professionals are taught how to clean these properly using well established hygienic measures.
I am also aware that we are going to needs countless supplies of PPE and if we can successfully decontaminate PPE for healthcare workers on the frontline, it might help with ongoing supply issues, should this become a burning problem.
I will pass on your suggestions to the Health and Social Care department.
I hope you had a happy Easter despite the circumstances we all find ourselves in.