1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How to become more active in politics?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Cromulent, May 7, 2019.

  1. Cromulent

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 1, 2007

    Posts: 3,464

    Location: England

    First of all, I can't leave the house much so this post is asking about things I can do from my home.

    I want to get involved in politics more. I've recently joined the Lib Dems and have also joined their disability association. I want to help out, but I don't want to be one of those annoying people who stick their nose into other peoples business. I'd instead offer to help and see what people need. I've already been asked to do some leaflet drops and such like, but since I struggle to leave the house, this isn't an option. I can build websites and other computer programming things, but I'm not sure that particular skill set is required as they already have a website.

    I've thought about doing some writing, but since I have never really studied politics academically, I'm a bit worried that what I write might be rubbish. It is the disability side of things that I am keen on helping with as I have a personal passion for that subject.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Thecaferacer

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 3, 2019

    Posts: 490

    You'll be limited as you can't get out. Volunteers are usually used by the local party group for unpaid work such as mail shots, door stepping, cold calling etc.

    Out of interest what do you hope to achieve? I have friends who both got into local politics on both the conservative and labour side (one was offered to be parachuted into a safe seat if he moved area, which he declined) and it was pretty insidious if the stories I was told are even half true.
     
  3. Cern

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 3, 2008

    Posts: 3,169

    Location: London

    Perhaps start with a blog where you can get your thoughts down about things that interest you. This would be a good way to test your writing skills and see if there's a wider interest in what you want to do. You don't have to enable comments on your blog to start with if you're unsure of the reaction, ease yourself into it. How much you link up with what the Lib Dems are doing with disability issues is up to you. If it goes well you can begin to build a bit of a community out of it, which is how a lot of online grassroots campaigns get going.

    If you can build websites you can certainly get a blog up and running easily enough. Or you could build a website with articles you've written. You would need to put in a bit of promotion work to get visitors, but if you've built websites you'll know some methods.

    You could also make a Facebook group and try to get like-minded people to join in to discuss things. But Facebook has its own rather obvious issues, so its up to you whether you want to take those issues on. A blog or website would give you better control over the content (and comments) and might work out better if you're trying to find your voice. It's much easier to edit or remove articles on your own blog / site if you aren't happy with them, less so once you've published somewhere like Facebook et al.

    Ultimately it'll be your passion for the subject and knowledge that will make a success of it, writing / communication skills can be honed as you go along but there's no substitute for passion and insight.
     
  4. Cromulent

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 1, 2007

    Posts: 3,464

    Location: England

    I really want to help the disabled association. I'm not quite sure how best to do that but I could do the tech side of things for them for free if they required that. I could build promotional websites or perhaps plan out a social media campaign or something. I'm thinking off the top of my head here but those are the things that immediately spring to mind.
     
  5. Cromulent

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 1, 2007

    Posts: 3,464

    Location: England

    Some very good points there. Since I've never studied politics from an academic perspective I've always been a bit wary of doing any political writing in case I come up with something horrendously stupid. I've already got a blog I could use. I've been using it to post technology articles but I could quite as easily add in some political stuff as well.
     
  6. Cern

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 3, 2008

    Posts: 3,169

    Location: London

    Sounds like a good plan, as long as you think visitors to your existing tech blog could cope with that. You'll know your audience and how much separation you might need to keep between political stuff and what you already write.

    I wouldn't worry too much about not having an academic background in politics, this doesn't seem to stop most political commentators out there ;) Just make sure you thoroughly research anything you write, so there's no obvious tripping up points, and provide sources where appropriate and you should be fine.

    Key thing you'll need to ask yourself is "am I adding a fresh or interesting perspective on the subject that people will want to come and read, or would my efforts be better spent supporting an organisation who are already doing much of what I want to do?". Only you can know this.
     
  7. jsmoke

    Soldato

    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 7,063

    YouTube vlogs/debate/interviews?
     
  8. BowdonUK

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 2,149

    When I was involved in politics they were always asking for people to do online activism. Getting on the social media, taking part in conversations, getting feedback, advertising events etc. There is lots to do even at home these days.
     
  9. Freakbro

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 29, 2010

    Posts: 14,709

    Location: Lincs

    How much do the Russians pay for that?

    ;) :p
     
  10. Nasher

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 22, 2006

    Posts: 12,211

    Unless you have lots of money or one of the Eton boys (normally both) you won't get anywhere. They have pretty much stitched it up so "common folk" can't get in to power.
     
  11. SPG

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 28, 2010

    Posts: 5,290

    THIS IN A NUTSHELL

    The only way this will change is down the barrel of a gun with a workers revolt.

    Labour is infested by failed uni students who did politics at wolverhamption uni.

    Tory's are run by the old boy network.

    Lib dem - uni students who passed politics from de monfort

    None reprsent the majority of the population at all.

    To arms brothers to arms.
     
  12. BowdonUK

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 2,149

    I can understand the pessimism in politicis. But the ordinary people can win. It's just a long slog.

    The problem with our electoral system (or maybe a plus depending on the view point) is it makes progress very difficult. So expectations have to be very low. We used to aim for local elections. First time we aimed for 1% or 2%, next election would be 5%, next 10%, and after that the candidate is challenging for the seat. But as you can see it takes many elections and years to build up steam, which a lot of people get bored with.

    The way to get someone elected in a certain area is to target that area with activists all the time. Very few minor parties do this, only the Greens and maybe the Lib Dems come to mind.

    If you're a person that is suspected to want to change the system then expect some disrupting tactics to suddenly appear before an election.
     
  13. SPG

    Soldato

    Joined: Jul 28, 2010

    Posts: 5,290

    The Greens in this country will never win, simple reason of cars. They have a chris packam attitude when it comes from getting from A to B.....
     
  14. Cern

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 3, 2008

    Posts: 3,169

    Location: London

    What attitude would that be then? Chris Packham drives and has owned a lot of cars.
     
  15. Thecaferacer

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 3, 2019

    Posts: 490

    I think what your looking at is general activism rather that becoming involved in the actual politics itself. Most counsellors or candidates will avoid endorsing any blogs or publications they don't have full control over for risk of putting their name to something damaging.

    Just be aware that this kind of thing attracts every idiot or loon with an opinion and big mouth or brave typing fingers within a 25 mile radius.
     
  16. iamtheoneneo

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Mar 15, 2010

    Posts: 8,721

    Location: Bucks

    This is a good suggestion.

    Just recording yourself discussing an issue regularly will help you loads. As long as you keep to a basic format and you have some good sources for evidence to use (for both sides!) You can really start to form a narrative for your views AND be able to defend your position.
     
  17. satchef1

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 17, 2009

    Posts: 3,884

    You will write something stupid. You will be mocked. And people will get personal. It's politics; a subject which brings out the worst in people.

    Accept that it will happen. You can't know everything, and even if you did people would still disagree, argue, and mock you. So it's best to just get over it now, and get on with writing. It could be worse; you could be getting the torrent of abuse on the doorstep.