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Over the months ahead, we’ll be using this dedicated Transform Politics page to host a discussion about the impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown on how our politics works, locally, nationally and internationally, and formally and informally – a discussion focused on how the virus has called into question traditional political practices, relationships, systems and structures, and offered new solutions.
We want to hear your views on how ideas and strategies developed during the lockdown are likely to become embedded in our day-to-day politics after the virus has passed. We want to understand how notions of what ‘politics’ means in different settings and for different people, how it is patterned by age, social class, ethnicity, gender, disability and sexuality, and how it operates online and off-line, and in the neighbourhood, the community group, the council chamber, the national parliament, or the intra-national convention.
The question that we pose is simple, but the answers complex and multiple: how might the experience of Covid-19 and the associated lockdown drive change in the way that we ‘do’ politics in every setting. Critically, we want the discussion hosted here to explore how we might, as stakeholders in these multiple settings, enlist the support of peers and co-workers, organisational leaders and policymakers in driving and reshaping our politics.
To this end, please give us your feedback on the pieces that are posted, and contact us if you’d like to join the debate by offering a post yourself. We’re happy to re-post blogs first published elsewhere, provided that we have permission to do so. In particular, we’re keen to capture voices from a variety of sources in the UK, from the four nations of the UK, from the so-called Westminster village, and way, way beyond.
For those of you with a particular interest in education, community, or organisations, we’ve already launched similar pages at TransformEducation.org.uk, TransformCommunities.org.uk and TransformOrganisations.org.uk.
In the weeks ahead, watch out for the launch of a series of related pages exploring how the lessons of lockdown might inform and transform practice in other areas of public life, including the (mis-called) third sector, health and social care, and leisure.
There are few positives to draw from the kind of pandemic that we are currently experiencing but maybe, just maybe, harnessing the lessons from lockdown for the reshaping and making of our politics and our democracy is one such positive, and an opportunity that we have a responsibility to grasp.
We're thrilled to publish this Transform Politics launch blog from SNP Member of Parliament Owen Thompson who - in a piece adapted from a column published by Scottish online newspaper Midlothian View - reflects on the UK Parliament's brief and Covid-19 driven adoption of online voting, suggesting its early abandonment may be a retrograde step, as media pictures of members queueing to vote in barely spaced lines would seem to endorse.