First let me assure everyone, particularly those who have expressed their reservation and doubts about the new political party idea, that this blog will continue to be what it has been - a place for us to meet, read, think about, and contribute to a discussion on the ongoing crisis in our economy and democracy. If this New Party Idea takes off it will have to have its own site leaving this one to continue doing what I hope it does well. I do not want people to think that the blog and its original purpose will be lost. It won’t be.
But just for the moment, right now at the very start, the blog needs to be the launch pad for this new idea. I hope you’ll bear with me.
1) The Name. I take the point about 99% being too associated with Occupy. What I do think is that the name has to be instantly recognizable in all European languages. It is no good having a name which is clever in English, for the British but a puzzle to everyone else. I wonder if Labelled’s suggestion of “The Democracy Party” is good.
Democracy translates into every one of our languages and we all know what we mean by it. Because we know what it means I do not think there would be contaminiation or confuision with the American “Democratic Party”.
We need a name which everyone can agree with, that doesn’t feel ‘old’ or worthy or dull and one which no one feels excluded from or feels is slyly asking them to sign up to various ideals they may not agree with entirely. Remember the idea is a broad church to fight a very specific fight.
If Democracy has problems in your country that I, as an English speaker, don’t know about please speak up. Or if people simply don’t like it speak up now.
The party, its name and any logos have to be registered with the Electoral Commission in each country it is set up in. Step one is to check to see if the Name we settle on is available in every country. We need to check this in as many countries as we can before we register in any. We don’t want o have name which is unavailable in most countries.
So we need someone who is willing to contact the Electoral Commission in their country to ask about the name we settle on. I am in contact with the Electoral Commission in the UK. I should hear from them today about the “Democracy Party” name.
Registering costs. Not a huge amount but there will be a cost.
I will pay for the registration in the UK. Those interested in each country will have to pay for theirs. BUT BEFORE we pay we simply need to know if our chosen name is available and if not chose another name that is.
We will NOT register at this point. We will do so if the next step happens first.
Getting the word out in every country?
So far readers from most of the EU countries and many non-eu countries have logged on and read the “Way Forward” article. BUT they have read it in English only. This isn’t good enough. This party MUST be international from the start. So it is an essential next step to translate the original article into every European Language and then post it where those who might be interested can find it.
I do not have the money to pay a proper rate for translation. All I can offer is a €50 ‘thank you’ to anyone who is prepared to translate the article. I konw it’s not much but it is all I have at the moment. If it is OK with those of you who generoulsy donated to the blog, I propose to use some of that money for this purpose. I hope that is OK with you.
It is then essential that people take on the job of writing a brief introduction to the idea, where it came from and that it is already happening in the UK and soon, we hope, other countries as well, and then post the translation. Make it clear they are reading the same thing as people all over Europe are reading.
There must be a way for people to respond and a contact for them in your country. IF there is a response – only you will be able to judge, you and they then take the plunge and register the name and party as above.
Once you decide to actually register the party you will need am minimum of two people who wish to be members. If you don’t have two people willing to become members you shouldn’t be registering. This may sound hierchical etc but it is the law. There need to be people who are legally responsible for ‘being’ the party. The duties are actually very minimal and simple.
A Web Site.
Fairly quickly you should set up a web site for the party so that people can find it, to read about it, and to converse with others about it. The web site can be very simple to start with.
I suggest using Google Blogger to start with because it is free. If you grow to the point where a Blogger site is not good enough…celebrate your problem with a nice cup of tea and perhaps a McVitties. That’s the problem we aspire to.
If you get to that point you should think about asking for small donations to cover the cost of a real web site and its hosting.
Active and open discussion
It must be continually made clear what the core focus of this party is and its international character. If we achieve any success there will be people who will want to use it for their own beliefs and they will be convinced their beliefs are so important that it justifies trying to subvert yours. Don’t let them.
The party must be focussed on those things we agree upon at the start and MUST remain a broad church. Do NOT let other beliefs even if you agree with them – Green/not Green, Libertarian/Left Wing, MMT/Gold Standard etc to try to insinuate themselves into the party as something you must believe if you want to be a member. Members must be allowed to hold, fervently hold, all sorts of beliefs which lie outside what this party is about. Remember we are coming together for a very specific cause and part of that cause is to rescue the very democracy which is what will safeguard our right and ability to have all those disagreements.
We do NOT all need to agree on all things. We need to agree on the core platform. If we achieve any decent part of that core platform we will have done a service to our families, to each other, and to our fellow Europeans. Then they, and we, can get back to disagreeing about all the other things we want to disagree about.
Common core agenda – different countries and cultures.
We come from from different countries with different languages and cultures. So how we achieve our common goals will necessarily be different in our different countries. There has to be flexibility in how we go about building our party and how it will relate to other issues particular to each country. We must avoid extremism and the sort of nationalism which is hate based. BUT I do not think that means we turn our back on the fact that we all have different cultures and national identites that many of us will feel a care and love for. I personally feel proud to be British. But that pride and care for my country and for those who live here alongside me is not based on feeling superior to others. I do not personally want a Europe of some homogenized, universal European-ness. I think we should come together as different peoples who have a care for each other’s welfare and want to see a democratic Europe made by people for people where all the peoples of Europe can take a pride in living in a place where ordinary people, their children and their hopes for a future in which they can live in dignity and peace is what matters above all else.