Monday, May 30, 2011

Devil's Kitchen speaks

"The idea that the government - and local authorities - must come grovelling to beg us for their funds each and every year is enough to make the entire exercise worthwhile ... ". So says Devil's Kitchen, who today gives his endorsement to Referism.

DK was once one of Britain's premier independent bloggers, hugely enthusiastic about the medium which he – like many of us – took to for its revolutionary potential, only then to become disillusioned. But his instincts were not wrong. He was simply premature in his expectations, in what was still an immature medium that had yet to find its voice.

From the publication of their six points in 1838, it took the Chartists ten years to mount a demonstration on a scale that really scared government. Even then, they were not immediately successful, but they did change British politics forever. And their demands – all but one – were eventually met.  We need to have the same patience and persistence - and the belief that we can force through change.

With the MSM going into self-destruct mode, however, the truly independent blogosphere is almost in the position of the grown-ups taking over from the children, as it now confronts the issue of promoting that revolution. But, just as the MSM goes AWOL, the tide is turning in our favour. Never more in recent times has the public sentiment more favoured revolution.

What the blogosphere cannot do, as yet, is put people on the streets. We are not in the same dire situation as the peoples of Greece and Spain, although we share the same direction of travel. But what we can do – and have the power to do – is to set an agenda, lodging an idea and getting people talking about it. From a position where this was once the monopoly of the MSM, we are able to challenge it, and set our own agenda. And that is where real power lies.

More by luck than judgement, we may have more time than the unfortunate PIIGS, but our problem is the same – a government which is not under control, where the traditional democratic processes no longer provide an adequate – or any – check on its behaviour or performance. But, as DK so ably demonstrates, in Referism are the seeds of a mechanism which could bring our government into line.

In attempting to do so, our main enemy is us, ourselves – our lack of confidence in our ability to effect change. But, as I never get tired of saying, there are more of us then there are of them. All we need to prevail are a belief in our own power and a realistic objective to embrace. In Referism, we have an objective. With DK's piece today, we took a significant step towards believing it can happen.

The power of the idea is unstoppable.