Thursday, November 20, 2008

A new kind of politics

A comment from the in-favour Barack Obama to start our conversation:
"... what's troubling is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics -the ease with which we are distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our seeming inability to build a working consensus to tackle any big problem."

Barack Obama, 2006, The Audacity of Hope.

The craziest of things. I'm engaging with this text of Barack Obama while I'm sitting in the coolest of flats in Soho, London, with the coolest of people, exploring without fear or hestitation, what the face/feel of politics could be like today. I honestly dig where the conversation is going. I like the commitment, the energy, and the passion that there is to be authentic, caring, ethical, embracing of "otherness". I like the seemingly inexhaustible creativity for finding alternatives, a creativity that is countering the gridlocks of stuck imaginations. I like the faithfulness that there is to the excluded, the little people, the forgotten and marginalised who deserve a more expansive politics. I like the largeness of the history that there is to learn from (and what history there is in London - Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandi, Isaac Newton, Jimmi Hendrix, Catherine and William Booth, Samuel Johnson, Christabel Pankhurst, Shakespeare, Florence Nightinggale, William Wilberforce, William Pitt, Charles Dicken, George Orwell, JFK, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Banksy, and Brian Haw). And lastly, I like the sense of deep "place", the sense of "turangawaewae" that these conversations have gifted me.
I've gotta tell you. I have this feeling that something new is emerging and this something is big enough to find a consensus from within our differences, this something is big enough to tackle the problems we've inherited (and continue to make). You feeling it?

1 comment:

  1. is that pic a Malcolm original? rad lighting!

    yes it is exciting. I think there is something also exciting happening in Nz politics, there are many reasons for choosing strategic relationships that John key has (maori, act, and appointment of ministers like Paula Bennet)- but what is a bit exciting is the fact that hes made them... he has gone broad, it seems he is thinking about the bigger picture, and even the people! I had an erk in my tummy the night the results for National and Act came through, but that erk isnt such an erk anymore,.. im watching with heaps of interest... cause what John key has done is exciting.

    Peace to soho!