Creating the conversation


If we imagine politics as building a house. conversations2006We (public) are allowed to pick the wallpaper and decide what colour the paint work will be, if that. The master plan of the house we are excluded from; the purpose it will be put to, the land it will take up, whose labour will build it, who will finance it, who will profit from it. That’s nothing to do with us. Who will suffer from bad planning a few years down the line and paying for it will have a lot to do with us.

The conversation the public usually have is about the mess we are left with. The question is how do we get involved in the conversation, from the beginning. The answer is. We need to create it. We need to be part of asking the right kind of questions and involved in formulating the answers.

The institutions where this was a natural occurrence have been supplanted by television and consumption. Our relationships have been commodified, particularly in our young who search for meaning in life and only find shopping. The lack of sensible conversation and the [disappearing] spaces that might encourage it should be a major concern to grass roots organisation and public accountability. As the places for conversation instead of being encouraged are being disregarded as surplus to requirements, a dangerous trend in an age of disconnection, isolation and the reliance of technological fixes.