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Monthly Archives: October 2013

In my opinion, which I don’t claim means much in a world of more than 7 billion other people, Russell brand could of almost done something brilliant. I hold the deeply offensive idea that not voting is not the necessarily the most irresponsible act of laziness and selfishness. I actually do vote but only strategically generally somewhere between Labour and Liberal Democrat depending on who is more effective, because dare I say another deeply offensive idea that frankly there doesn’t actually seem to be much difference between them, for purpose of avoiding a Conservative Government. Conservatives I believe are a little bit like Communist, bare with me, idealistically they could be brilliant but as Communism has shown us we clearly know that it doesn’t work in real life. But to return to the path I started down, I’ve got mental space for thinking about active alternatives to not voting, which Brand didn’t. Whether Brand is actually full of hot air or not I don’t know but that’s what he gave us. I’m not going to question his intelligence or call him stupid cause it’s not clever and it’s not nice, and I don’t know him…not that that should change whether I call him stupid or not. He said don’t vote, it’s full of corruption and they marginalise and ignore the poor, well yes I don’t dispute that in fact I passionately believe that, but that’s actually all he said…oh yes and the bit about a spontaneous revolution that he had no intention of leading or even suggesting any ideas to how it might or could possibly work. So a lot of nothing but almost a whole lot of something.

So way back when I was writing a dissertation about knitting and it’s ideologies, as you do…obviously, I came across Peter Kropotkin. I’m not going to claim I’ve read lots of his work, a lot of the little I did read I didn’t quite get. But what did get me was his idea of Mutual Aid, which he talked about in the context of evolutionary ideas. Mutual aid lead me to come across the idea that through voting and having centralised government we have socially abdicated our responsibility for others in our society who are in need of ‘aid’. Pause a minute to let that really, really sink in before you jump to our social/individual defence. Simply the homeless person sat on the high street, the struggling single parent down the road, the isolated elderly person round the corner, the severely learning disabled young person who lives next to your friend…the list could continue…are all the centralised powers problem. We voted and gave them the responsibility of sorting the problems out. So we have a whole host of Services to aid people. But I have this crazy idea that what if I didn’t vote but instead reclaimed my responsibility by personally deciding to make an active attitude change…it is my problem. Not just an intellectual reclaiming but a getting my ‘hands dirty’ kind of responsibility. What if the struggling isolated single parent had a network of friends and other people and other parents supporting them offering a listening ear when they are ready to crack, pick up the kids from school when everything clashes, some groceries when the’re ill, a friend to chill out and watch a film with, would they need so much help from an over stretched, over pressured, under funded social services? We have a host of Services that are all over stretched, underfunded, understaffed and something needs to change…

You see my point. 

And you don’t have to not vote to make this change, obviously! But what is keeping you accountable to your new reclaiming of responsibility? Maybe just maybe it’s the angry and disgusted ‘you must vote’ people who might be convinced you’re not a lesser quite so offensive excuse for a human when they see your action…