When Jeremy Corbyn stood for the Labour Party leadership for the first time I paid £3 to become a registered member. I also volunteered to be active in his campaign. I've never done anything like that in my life. I've always had lots to say for myself and an opinion on everything, but as for actually doing anything,I don't think so!
So I was asked to be a steward at his Cambridge meeting at the University Church. It was my job to shepherd those without tickets into a separate queue on the basis that if there was any room after the ticketed had got into the venue then they would be allowed entry. I was even given a nice bright orange Unison tabard to wear.
There was a young guy at the front of my queue, all shorts and spectacles, who turned out to be a passing academic who was drawn because of the crowd. We ended up having a short conversation which ran along these lines.
"So tell me then, why I should vote for Jeremy Corbyn"
"I'm probably the wrong person to ask, I'm not really sure."
"Well, you're wearing a Unison jacket, I would have thought if anybody would have been sure it would be you."
I explained that I had simply volunteered to do a job, and that the Unison costume did nothing more than indicate that. He was curious about Corbyn, so his next question was:
"Was he here?"
This is Cambridge speak for did he attend Cambridge University.
"I don't know, but I don't think so"
"Must have been at the other place then"
This is Cambridge speak for he must have attended Oxford University"
At this point the obligatory smart phone came out and Google was consulted. It transpires of course that Jeremy Corbyn attended North London Poly. A fact which completely nonplussed him.
If I was being mean, I would probably have described him as having considerably more self esteem than self-awareness. But I'm not being mean and in truth he was just some bright young thing going about his business.
But as a vignette it stuck with me...
Affordable consensus design co-building of ECOmodal Homes. Co-operative style , co-housing style of living. Research & development award for the initial idea. We are looking for students, alumni and Creatives to join in the discussion and co-building of first pilot Pod. What can be done, what is available, are there people out there who want to support us.
One of my major concerns is place specifically the quality of homes, attractiveness, sustainability and cohesivens of communities. We have a housing shortage because housing has become a commodity for investment not a place to live and be happy. Developers build boring, tiny, overpriced unimaginative developments which despoil landscapes and are rarely real communities as only a few can afford to buy. I'm interested in discussing, creating, better places for real communites to live, work and play places and homes people want to live in there are many alternatives including community land trusts and self builds, co-housing much to explore, it doesn't have to be the way it is homes can be functional, attractive and affordable. Interconnected with this is how we live well - what does that mean, including inclusive cross genrational living in an ageing world....
'The seas are dying, the forests are on fire and the climate may be changing', how do we react to this as individuals both in a practical and theoretical context. As you can see from the above, I restore meadows in Herefordshire and Worcestershire; is that an appropriate level for action? Can one also work as part of a global perspective...
Caitlin Walker's work on systemic modelling and Clean Language is one key element in this. I am interested in other perspectives, and how they can work together.
To be able to share ones real life experiences and education with other like minded people and to create an organization to get this world we live in, past its current problems and to a better future for all. Together we are stronger and have a more powerful voice in what happens next.
The right to be heard is not the right to be listened to. Galvanising people in very small communities around an small very local issue, regrouping around the next issue empowers people and helps them take interest in larger but still very local issues. Our present methods of electing "politicians" does not.
Enabling people to have a meaningful say in their lives and communities. To harness the skills and abilities of all to create power from within
With a grassroots and strategic networking interest in Herefordshire community health and wellbeing, particularly 'social prescribing' healthy alternatives for families and the troubled youth agenda, I'm really hoping campfire and Pete Lawrence, will take the initiative practically locally here on this one and act as a galvanising focus to assist with recruitment and implementation of the compassionate communities (CoCo) model already working in neighbouring Shropshire. With imminent annihilation of local social care budgets for charities and volunteer organisations through central government cuts combined with unsurmountable pressures to NHS capacity, we have to improve our community resilience and all now take personal responsibility for this new social change required of all of us. Current development of the STP (Sustainable Transformation Plan for Herefordshire and Worcestershire) means this is the ideal time to help work towards a 'Healthy Herefordshire', right now.
We've had decades of neoliberal policies destroying the well being of people and redistributing wealth to fewer people. It's time for 'regular' people to unite and tackle the 'establishment'. I see Campfire as a step in the right direction and an opportunity to 'network' and enrich our lives and projects too.
I pride myself in everything I do, to not take the easy path, to not take the path most attractive or beneficial to me personally and instead to look at everything for what it is, and what it can be for a wider cause.
After some years in acting, I retrained as a psychologist and I've been practicing and lecturing for most of the past decade. The desire to help and empower people is intrinsic in this work; nevertheless, the focus on 1-1 relations had started taking its toll on me. I always had an ideological difficulty with this. Hence I shifted to social science research, looking at long-term, successful migrations to London and intercultural communication. I have been quite involved in the skills’ exchange movement, from travel communities and festivals to city-based skills’ exchange collectives. I consider this extremely important. The world moves towards automation, scarcity of resources will affect our lives more and more, wherever we are. As skills become obsolete, new ones need to develop. This cannot happen if we don’t create a shared knowledge base, which can operate both within and outside the monetary system. People will need jobs and skills to create new social practices, if we are to manage the difficulties we face ahead. From learning to listen to each other to developing sustainable practices and localised networks, we need eachother. Let’s do it.
I've worked as a psychologist and lecturer for most my adult life, leaving behind my earlier interests in politics and radical democracy. Now I am returning to those earlier passions with decades of 'inner attention' work and some insights into how the same structures and oppressions seem to return no matter what the flavour of the politics, right or left, centralised or decentralised, majority rule or consensus, or anything in-between. 'People' need to change if the way we live is to change, otherwise there really is no change. Alongside systemic change we need to learn to listen deeply to what we actually experience and know 'bodily', then we can build new ways of living together that are wiser and more creative than anything we have attempted till now... Psychologists and academics and professional agitators etc are not the experts. We have a lot to 'unlearn' in order to be open to new possibilities
I've worked in healthcare for 35 years. I recently chose to stop work. I don't describe myself as retired but others would identify me in that way. Before leaving I joined the Open University, taking an Open degree in the humanities with modules in creative writing. I have one more year to go. I am interested in voices and how they communicate ideas. By reading and listening to others, and by writing, I am hoping to find my own voice. This is my strategy for transitioning from a life of traditional work to what comes next. This is something most of us have to face, through choice or imposition. What can those of us in this 'post-career' phase of life learn from each other and from others, and what can we contribute to future generations at a time when society is so fractured and polarised. Can Campfire hear voices that have been exiled by the democratic deafness around us ? Phil, age 60 1/2
Looking forward to sharing ideas, discussing concerns, realising values and meeting like minded children 😃 If not for myself, for our children's children, I come to the most loved network on our planet and enjoy with kindred spirits!
The gathering together of loving people. For years now, the distance between the lives and minds of the materialistic and the spiritual has widened; whereas the arena for materialism has become scandalously overt there has been little sign of unity within spiritual circles. I believe that Campfire Convention will offer us all a place of solitude and community wherein we can relax in the knowledge we are among friends!
As an event and gig photographer I see a wide range of styles in music, fashion and business approaches. Most people are taught in a linear fashion unfortunately the brain does not function that way. I would note the work of Tony Buzan as the Inventor of Mind Maps - the most powerful "thinking tool" of our times. Ideal for creative minds. Thinking outside the box of conventionality, inspiring and helping to develop peoples creative dreams. If we can think it, we can create it.