Following my mayoral campaign, I spent some time really thinking about where British Democracy is at. I had conversations with campaigners, reflected on my election, looked at who did and didn’t engage, read lots and I listened. I came to this conclusion, something I think I’ve known for a long time.
UK democracy is in crisis, trust in politicians and political institutions is at an all time low. Those who most need change, or who have the knowledge and lived experience to offer solutions, are usually those furthest away from power, the ones who are least engaged in democratic decision making.
Yet our society and our planet are crying out for change and demanding a better way. And there are people and projects all across the UK responding to this cry. From young people’s political education charities, women’s political leadership programmes, newly formed climate assemblies to national organisations seeking to change the voting system, change local decision making or reform parliament itself.
What has been lacking though, is significant collaboration between those organisations. There hasn’t been a way to draw people and projects together and to amplify those voices, to tell their stories and influence change.
I am therefore thrilled to be going to work for ‘Involve’ to coordinate and develop a new democracy network. An initiative which will bring together and support the many, many people and projects that are passionate about democracy and working to address issues of power, voice, influence and representation, whether in their communities or at a national level.
The hope is to strengthen the power and voice of those projects, to work towards an improved democracy in the UK and create a society where power is more equally shared.
As you can imagine, I’m already brimming with ideas but ultimately this will be driven by those who are on the ground. So, if you are involved with or know of any type of project that is seeking to do any of the above, please do drop me a message. Another democracy is possible!