Making what you do explicitly political

I’m grateful to a number of people (Dan Barrett, Richard Pope, Mevan Babakar & Sym Roe) who’ve helped to shape my thinking on this question over the past few months (although, don’t blame them for where it ended up) and especially thankful to Irina for giving me some space and free beer to talk about it at Citizen Beta. Video link at the end.

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A 2005 shot of Westminster from my archives.
  1. The post-Chilcott inquiry BBC has used balance in a way that has meant that settled issues, or ones with only fringe disagreement feel as though they are in play. See: climate change.
  2. The internet is designed around the social norms of the USA. This means that we get caught up in the continuing culture wars of porn/art pro-choice/anti-women free speech/censorship. This imports fights and political practices that are either irrelevant in the UK context (your right to free speech is not absolute, it is balanced), or things we haven’t developed immune responses to (Bannonite low-fact campaign styles). On a side note, this also is supported by Facebook’s approach of dealing with political transparency in advertising. The time periods you can review archives of ads match US election cadences. The conceptualisation of who might run an ad and what kind of organisation you are working for or against is based on the US notion of PACs, not the election laws of the UK.

What do we even do with that?

If we agree enough that every step (even a deliberate lack of movement) is political, then we can perhaps start to analyse the problems facing us in different ways.

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Public sector specialist. Anthropologist on the internet.

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