The Power of the Herd is an interesting book by Linda Kohanov, which looks at how this kind of politics stems from how horses behave, rather than packs of animals with herd leaders. Horses tend to be social and just get along, and she writes that politicians (and big business) could learn a lot from how they behave. From dealing with conflict to the power of consensual leadership, rather than the ‘dominance theory’ that believes in the survival of the fittest. The book concludes with 12 powerful guiding principles.
Alternatives to conventional politics are sorely needed. Hardly anyone in England is impressed by most modern politics. But as they make most of the laws and we have to wait for 4 years to change to (likely a similar) government, what can we do? It’s worth getting involved in local politics, but for national politics, it’s obvious that something different is needed. All the three main parties have been in power over the last 20 years, with not great results. And most fringe parties are either bonkers or scary. What are the alternatives?
- The Green Party (run by co-leaders Siân Berry and Jonathan Bartley) is supported by many, but others are not happy they are ‘in the machine’ with Green New Deals ((wind turbines are not the answer to climate change) and Brexit (not exactly local democracy). England’s first Green MP Caroline Lucas has a history of campaigning for animal welfare and against fracking (she even got arrested!) Read Why We Get The Wrong Politicians.
- Renew is a new independent party, that recruits people from outside politics. So rather than political graduates who intern for MPs, these are people with real world experience, who can solve problems. The first candidate won almost 4% of the vote at a by-election, and there are elected councillors in Bedfordshire and Lancashire.
- Animal Welfare Party has a few councillors nationwide. It’s not had much success but worldwide (especially in The Netherlands and Australia), a few elected MPs have changed policy.
- The Peace Party again is more theory at present, but it has a lovely manifesto. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a few councillors getting elected for this party?
- The Alternative is more a new platform for politics, with elected leaders in Denmark. It’s similar to the Greens, but people form the manifesto, rather than the party.
- Something New is a fan of ‘open source’ government to end deals done in back rooms. It’s trying to drag politics from ‘neither left nor right) but ‘forward’. Policies focus on open democracy, climate change, democratic reform and civil liberty.
There’s an old joke about a driver lost in the countryside. She sees a local, and stops to ask directions to her destination. The local resident says ‘Hmm, well, if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here’. Something New
Trust Me, I’m Not a Politician asks what went wrong with our democracy and public life. Dorothy Byrne leaves no-one without her razor-sharp wit as she takes on the MPs to avoid rigorous journalistic scrutiny, and explores the pitfalls of impartiality,.
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd. Bertrand Russell
If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking. George S Patton
People would rather live in a community with unreasonable claims, than face loneliness with their truth. Bangambiki Habyarimana
Sheep only need a single flock. But people need two: one to belong to and make them feel comfortable. And another to blame all of society’s problems on. James Rozoff