Guidelines for Self-organising Local Groups (SLGs)
As ICUK’s initiative gathers pace, it is anticipated that associates will start to form SLGs within several UK constituencies, aiming through their work “to repossess our parliamentary system and begin to promote an inclusive political-economy through genuine systemic change.”
Self-organisation means that each SLG will decide for itself how best to function locally as part of ICUK’s countrywide initiative. But, in keeping with the ICUK Declaration of Purpose, it is assumed each SLG will aim to promote “the art of thinking independently together” by working with others and beginning to play an active part within their neighbourhood community.
This will involve listening to voter’s needs and hopes, and establishing collaborative contact with a potential Independent MP who fully understands voters’ aspirations, and who is willing to present him/herself as an Independent candidate in representing their interests, in so doing to adopt a code of ethical conduct.
This will also involve awakening sufficient public awareness of the ICUK initiative within the constituency so that, in future elections, the candidate MP has a good chance of being elected as a strong, well-known civil-society activist.
To get a self-organising local group started in your constituency:
- All you need is one person willing to print out and deliver mini-leaflets with email contact data to all letterboxes in nearby streets. A Democracy That Belongs To Us All! might be an appropriate title for such a leaflet (see ICUK Flyer below).
- For the next step, when two or more people express interest, you’ll need to set up a house meeting.
- Initial discussion will concern how fully participants endorse the ICUK Declaration of Purpose and their willingness to honour the spirit of its Tips for Successful Deliberation (see below) during SLG meetings. The aim is to seek consensus. But decisions cannot be regarded as agreed until doubting or dissenting opinions are addressed and resolved. This process is designed to discourage those who want to implant their own pet projects.
- For any SLG, 12 will normally be a convenient upper size limit. Beyond that it may prove practical for the principal SLG to divide into two separate but communicating Groups.
- Members of the ICUK Declaration Outreach Team, functioning as links, can be available for consultation and advice. SLG proposals for ICUK-wide discussion will be welcome (see Contact page).
- In all of this, it’s important to remember that an overarching aim is to build a living organisation that remains sensitive to what it wants to become. The overall objective of these Guidelines is to create base-line participative democracy through ongoing citizen involvement. A personal reward is that we benefit too, because of the increasing self-confidence that derives from being involved in political activism and from working creatively with like-minded people.
A Democracy That Belongs to Us All
Independent MPs could shift the balance of power in Westminster
A new political initiative by Independent Constitutionalists UK to develop integrity into the life of the UK via Parliament by:
- Self-organising groups of volunteers in each constituency
- Recruiting strong candidates to stand as Independent (Constitutionalist) MPs, who
- Accept a code of ethical principles, and
- Work to create a people’s political-economy and a new codified constitution, thus
- Offering voters a new and unifying narrative for change, free from Party confrontation
ICUK Tips for Successful Deliberation
Over time, Constitutionalists have learned that conciliatory dialogue is, among other things, aided by:
- Remembering that nothing is impossible if we don’t mind who gets the credit
- Understanding that servant-leadership is about enabling, not controlling others
- Sustaining high tolerance for ambiguity, respecting contributions made at meetings and not interrupting those speaking
- Welcoming newcomers at their point of entry
- Holding strong convictions tentatively and keeping all boundaries permeable
- Seeking to listen and learn rather than being right
- Ensuring all comments are related to the task
- Remembering that reality lies in the second glance, after dealing with prejudice in the first
- Acknowledging that thinking is difficult and that people move at different speeds
- Remembering that fragility is a mark of value: that which is not fragile may be pretentious
- Throwing out dogma, while preserving any wisdom or poetry that inspired it
- Checking one’s own tribalism and egotism by remembering that we share our fragile planet with others
- Being aware that dialogue’s ultimate goal is resolution and reconciliation
- Knowing that Democracy is the art of thinking independently together
Image Credit: Unsplash user Dylan Gillis