I loved recently reading a comment under an article which said:
a quote from a Rudyard Kipling poem “I keep six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew; their names are What and Why and When, and How and Where and Who”.
This sentence summarises for me how we should address public policy discussions and decisions.
The challenge for those of us who have been identified as old age pensioners by the state is to remain engaged. I treat my pension as me being paid by the state to retain an interest in my community. Over the years I have devoted years of my life to local government and retain a deep interest in this area.
This can be very annoying to current staff at local government as they often consider that questions about their actions are a waste of their time. Right now I am reserving my opinion on some of those who lead CCC at both political and bureaucratic levels. However, obtaining information is often quite difficult. I guess the word which comes to mind is “dismissive”. It’s often not the communications team it’s those with the information we are seeking.
In the Guardian last week one of the editors wrote that when he was training as a journalist he was told: “Find out things that people don’t know. Then tell them.” That summarises my approach to all things, especially public policy.
It’s important that issues are freely debated and people feel able to have an opinion without having other’s thoughts rammed down their throats. By all means, debate and disagree.
I met a guy I really like recently. We haven’t spoken for years. He told me something he was involved in and I said I totally disagreed with him. We discussed it for a while and addressed each other’s opinion on it, and then moved on to other topics. After a while we said farewell to each other and said how good it was to catch up again.
It was such a pleasant exchange of ideas. And the coffee was great.
It’s important to hold public ideas up to the sunlight. The first thing which seems to be raised by current politicians and bureaucrats when challenged is “you guys are out of date. You don’t understand current issues”. That is the biggest cop out. I’ve just read a book about the middle ages and at the end I had to admit issues haven’t changed a lot.
It’s so often about power and who holds it right now.
There’s a blog I read ever few days called The Other Side of History. From a recent article:
public outrage is a safety mechanism that ensures public servants do their jobs — and bad guys aren’t allowed to get away with it.
This week we don’t have a speaker but we will be at Smash Palace if you want to come down and have a chat. Bring your favourite theory and try it out.