Monthly Archives: April 2013

Let’s make sure that the people take charge on Thursday

I love politics – me.
Our democracy means that any and all of us can change the world, can have our own influence upon the big decisions that affect our lives.
Politics is far too interesting and important to be left to politicians.
However, if we want to hold the people we elect to account it’s important that we use our votes this Thursday. Use them well – in Northumberland and Durham, in the Mayoral election in North Tyneside and wherever elections are taking place in the parishes and towns of the two unitary counties. Continue reading

Failing Democracy – Failing Social Work

Demanding Democracy believes that the creation of effective policy must depend on the extent to which people of good will working directly in a particular field are involved and engaged in particular policy development.
That doesn’t of course mean that the ‘professionals‘ or the ‘experts by experience’ should always have their viewpoints upheld .Nevertheless, surely people at the front line of services with qualifications, commitment and experience should at least be listened to and their points openly addressed ? Continue reading

‘A very political social worker’

‘As a social worker I was always acutely aware not only that many of the problems we see are founded in bigger social issues but that these would be better addressed if the people experiencing them and those trying to help them actually used the political power they – and we have ‘ – from ‘A very political social worker’ in Becoming a social worker’ ed Prof V. Cree (Routledge 2013)

Adonis Report

Adonis Report on North East – letter to Journal
The prescriptions of Lord Adonis and for goodness sake Lord Heseltine sound valid because they are so familiar.
That funny old idea of an elected regional assembly would have also had a clear focus on strategic investment, transport priorities, higher standards of education and training. It also would have been directly elected and therefore directly accountable for its leadership.
The Adonis report is right but Continue reading

The route through the hills

Demanding Democracy is like the route through the hills. 

Hard climbing, too many wrong trails and a thousand obstacles in the way.

However there are some useful maps if you can read them properly and the odd helpful guide to be listened to carefully.

Above all success breeds confidence so even small steps in the right direction are well worth taking.

Sometimes small steps turn out to be the best. Continue reading

Demanding Democracy cuts both ways.

Our democracy is a poor weedy thing cut off from the rich public participation that should feed it by dissent free party politics, a trivialising media and a centralising London -based state. All breeding the cynicism and apathy which allows elites to do what they like to us.
However, democracy makes its own demands on us. It isn’t something that can be done from an armchair, Continue reading