You Are Not Powerless

Just over a fortnight ago, I was cycling about in autumnal weather and pondering revolution – What Is To Be Done.

Russell Brand on Newsnight

We can all think. This is a good thing.

Since then, of course, nothing’s changed, but it’s interesting that the general issue of democracy, representation and the state of politics in the UK hasn’t just dropped off the agenda – much as many would like it to. As someone else said, the breadth and depth of the reaction by ‘the establishment’ against the Russell Brand-Jeremy Paxman interview and its follow-ons shows how rattled the establishment is by the prospect of being seriously challenged.

At the same time, it’s all too tempting to imagine we’re powerless; that for all the talk nothing will actually change. That thought, in turn, led me to writing an article about the political situation in the UK and what needs to be recognized if we’re to create the kind of change that might be beneficial.

Pleasingly, (especially for a first foray into writing for an outlet other than this blog for many a year) that’s now been published on openDemocracy.

This isn’t to boast! What I’m trying to say is that, as that article demonstrates and as many entries in Codgertation over the years show too, I think change starts with your own thoughts. You are free to think differently.

I surprised myself by writing that article. Writing it forced me to think things through, even if just to a limited extent. It’s quite challenging to go down that route, to question how you might naturally think and be open to answers you’d not normally entertain. But – in the UK at least, for now at least – we are free to think and we have remarkable access to information.

I suspect that whatever we want to change – from cycle lane provision to the distribution of wealth, the first step towards changing anything outside of ourselves is thinking differently inside of ourselves.