[Imc-uk-features] one more proposal and i shut up
yossarian at aktivix.org
Wed Apr 20 07:25:03 PDT 2005
Apologies for being such an email freak this week, I am just wound up
about a lot of stuff. I'll shut up soon. An idea regarding the
political parties stuff: I thought about it quite a bit the other
night, and I thought, "jeez I hate party political stuff and having all
this crap in the main wire", but at the same time it felt wrong to put
the Greens and LibDems and well-meaning Respect people who are against
the war in the "hidden" bin with the BNP and the chemtrails people and
Bobby Meade Deaf Messenger.
So what about a new site section: The Party Ghetto(tm) which would have
as its only feature the following text (or one like it), and a link from
the very bottom of the newswire? Then we untick the "UK" topic so it
disappears from the main wire - I don't know what would happen in the
case of other subtopics or geographical locations getting ticked though...
The Party Ghetto(tm)
Roughly 1.7% of British citizens are members of the three main political
parties, a total which is barely increased by the tiny numbers of people
belonging to smaller parties. They mostly focus on a very narrow
definition of political activity: what takes place in Parliament, in the
boardrooms of the major corporations, or in the corporate media is
"politics". The big ones use advertising strategies to define their
candidate as different from the others, much as a brand of laundry soap
or toothpaste is said to be better than its competitors. The small
ones, lacking access to the corporate media, are at a huge disadvantage
in this process, but have many of the same concerns - they need to
present an "electable image" so that they can speak for you in
Parliament and in the corporate media. In addition, they are sometimes
crippled by extreme authoritarianism.
In this tiny land of political parties, there is little room for people
to act together for a common purpose, speak their minds, and take direct
control of what happens to them in their everyday lives.
Indymedia UK is part of a vast global experiment, an attempt by the
world's social majorities to wrest control away from professional
politicians, corporate executives, and all the other (self-)important
people - to reclaim their lives and the communities which foster them.
We often make mistakes, and maybe sometimes we don't always know the
correct thing to do. In this matter of political parties, though, we
have been consistently puzzled.
Why is it then that when Indymedia UK admininstrators decide to keep
this site's content from being swamped by the views of these miniscule
groups of people, we are told that we are living in an "activist
ghetto"? At first sight, it is a mystery. Does it mean that the 60.9%
of people who didn't vote in the Manchester Central riding in the 2001
elections are with us in the "activist ghetto"? Perhaps not, but it is
interesting. The argument becomes a little clearer when we start to
consider the location of this "activist ghetto": it is outside what is
accepted as a normal relationship to political power.
If we refuse to join with the established media forces, and report on
"politics" as being what concerns the leaderships of the various
political parties (and their ad-executive advisers), then we are part of
an "activist ghetto". If we refuse to concede that "politics" is about
who can get an interview on the Today Programme, pacify the British
Confederation of Industry, privatize (or nationalize) an economic
sector, call up the Central Bank, or tell the police to attack, then we
are part of an "activist ghetto".
We invite you to raise your voices against the monolithic smallness of
the idea that these tiny groups, and their even tinier leaderships, are
the primary way in which you should express your political and community
aspirations. At the same time, we recognize that there are many good
people working within political parties, and that these organizations
are extremely powerful within our society due to their control over the
machinery of the state and the importance they are accorded by the
corporate press. So we offer you a brand-new party on Indymedia UK:
Ghetto Party! All of the party-political posts will be transferred to
this special section of the site, so you can get a sense of who's
posturing about what, and follow along if you are interested.
I was thinking of some disco graphics with heads of Blair and Kennedy
but maybe that is over the top...
More information about the IMC-UK-Features