This year has made me want to do something political/positive

(8 Posts)
Questionsaboutthings Thu 24-Nov-16 05:02:01

With everything that's happened this year, obviously Brexit and Trump but also the murder of Jo Cox, terrorist attacks in France, situation with Russia, Isis, the refugee crisis etc...I'm just feeling incredibly sad, it seems there's been a huge shift and we are entering a new era. I don't know what the future holds obviously but I am hugely concerned for what's happening and the economic turmoil, the really nasty divisions that seem to be opening up. Climate change too. The part played by the media and the way in which we all seem to live in our own 'echo chambers' on social media etc not really engaging fully with people with different views.

My question is, what can I personally do? I try to stay informed about current events but don't always feel I really understand them. I always vote so I suppose I'm engaged in that sense but it just seems there is so much to be done. And I don't know what (small) part I can play in the 'post-2016 world'. I would like to do something, I would like to understand, I would like to help even if it's in a small way.

What can I get involved in? I'm left of centre but hate the general political narrative of left versus right, Labour versus Tory and all the tribalism and grudge holding. OTOH I know those differences are real and we can't resolve them by just sitting around singing kumbaya.

I'm not a fan of Corbyn and I'm seriously depressed about the state of the opposition in this country at the moment so in a way I don't feel there's an obvious space for me to be active in, but nor do I want to just complain on the sidelines.

Any thoughts? Thank you.

redexpat Thu 24-Nov-16 05:44:33

You could get involved in an organisation rather than a party. You could become one of those people who go to other countries to check the voting is fair and proper. The name escapes me!

Or you could get involved in an interest organisation.

redexpat Thu 24-Nov-16 05:44:49

The coop?

Questionsaboutthings Thu 24-Nov-16 07:09:39

Thanks, yes I think some kind of organisation, activivism, fundraising or practical help might be the way to go. Interesting thought about the voting thing, I'm probably better off with locally-based UK stuff though as I have quite a young child.

RoseDeGambrinus Thu 24-Nov-16 07:45:43

I think probably the best thing is to find one issue to focus on to start with, whether it's climate change or you think the government should be helping refugees more, disability cuts... Depending on where you live, there are local campaign groups and all help is welcome. Might be worth thinking as well if there are any specific skills you can offer. Good luck!

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 24-Nov-16 10:57:44

you could volunteer with refugees and advocate for them.

WrongTrouser Sun 27-Nov-16 11:07:01

OP I don't have any suggestions for what you can practically do, but I just wanted to pick up on some of the points you made, which resonate with me. I feel similarly that I would like to get more politically involved. I can't really get involved with a political party at the present time due to my DHs job (needs to be seen to be apolitical, and in small community). But even if I could I am really not sure whether there is any party I would comfortably fit with. I have always been a Labour supporter (apart from a couple of votes for the Greens). But I think the LP is in such a state that I really don't see it as offering any credible alternative to the status quo. I was shocked at some of LP HQs tactics before the second election of Corbyn, and don't really want to be a member of a party which seems so unsure that it believes in democracy when it's not going to get it's way. The Greens seem so out of touch with ordinary people (eg re immigration). Depressing.

Sometimes I think a split of the LP would be a good thing, as it seems to be trying to marry up two completely different political stances at the moment.

I think there are a lot of very confused people, politically, at the moment. I actually think anyone who is not confused has not really grasped what is going on.

I think one of the problems is that the people making the most noise are the ones with simplistic answers, closed minds and them-and-us attitudes. Whereas the quietly confused, desperately trying to work out what is happening and what needs to be changed are not heard from. Which is adding to the division and entrenchment of views and is not good.

My answer at the moment is to try to read as much as I can to try to understand what is happening and to talk to people, in rl and online. I think one nasty, and circular, side effect of the division is that people are less and less able to talk about politics, which makes it easier for more extreme and entrenched views to gain precedence.

Apologies for essay, it's been on my mindgrin

Questionsaboutthings Sun 27-Nov-16 12:06:51

Thank you WrongTrousers. A really thoughtful post and I think you're so right that the thoughtful, nuanced voices are not being heard loudly enough at the moment. I think there's always that tendency to make everything black and white and divisive, it just seems to have reached a really horrible peak this year and I fear what the future holds. The people shouting loudest on both sides of the political spectrum don't seem to have any real solutions to offer and I think everyone is so cynical about politics in general that 'maverick' hmm types like Trump and Farage seem like an attractive alternative for some people.

I agree with you about the LP, and I'm deeply worried that with the state they're in we won't see a progressive government again for a very long time. It's partly the popularity of the SNP - all those seats in Scotland lost and hard to see that reversing anytime soon. However I do think we have far too much of a binary approach in this country and it's all about political tribalism, the only optimistic thought I have is that maybe we could start to away from that and towards a system with more independents, more coalitions, healthier debate etc. But maybe I'm just being unrealistic.

I'm trying to do the same as you, just read and understand as much as I can, and try to have discussion and debate without going for the jugular with people. All the Tory bashing etc, I don't support them but I know many decent people do and also will have voted leave and this whole 'you are stupid/nasty' knee jerk reaction is only fuelling the problem.

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