The Alternative UK Manifestos. 3: Fun Palace's Stella Duffy
Stella Duffy is a writer, theatremaker, Women's Equality Party steering committee member and a co-director of Fun Palaces - and in this last respect, a specific inspiration to us. The way Fun Palaces brings self-empowerment to communities - through arts and science, urging them to dig into their own resources, enabled by the lightest of scripts and invitations - is a model for the kind of "societal politics" that Indy Johar was talking about in yesterday's manifesto.
Out of her busy schedule in New Zealand, we managed to extract Stella's list of ideal manifesto demands.
* * *
THE FUN PALACE MANIFESTO: Stella Duffy
Ten dreams of what else could be in a manifesto, for today and tomorrow :
1. Scrap First-Past-The-Post, to eliminate tedious two-party politics, allowing for honest collaboration, co-creating and work across usual boundaries.
2. Genuinely address intersectional inequalities for women, people of colour, disabled people, LGBTQ people, people in poverty. That is, become aware that the white, middle class, able-bodied man is actually the minority, not the rest of us. Stop considering HOW to address inequality and DEAL WITH IT.
3. Make it impossible to have an unequal parliament by insisting on equal numbers of women and men, and representative numbers of disabled, BAME, LGBTQ, and state-educated MPs.
4. Refuse any cabinet that does not also have representative percentages as above.
5. In the costly re-vamp of Westminster (which is happening anyway) :
- remove the ‘debating chamber’ and create a continual Open Space allowing for talk, thought, listening and action. Make Parliament a moveable event, travelling to anywhere-but-London, three months in each place to allow time for valuable local input.
- help the people to trust politicians by enabling full public and digital access to debates, select committees, discussions and other meetings (within basic boundaries re national security and personal privacy).
6. Scrap the House of Lords and create an elected second chamber with members who are committed to working beyond party allegiances, so we are not simply replicating the House of Commons. Elections to take place on a hyper-local basis, to genuinely represent local people in national decision-making
7. Lower the voting (and standing) age to 16 for both houses.
8. Make voting compulsory.
9. 25% flat-rate income tax for all, no exceptions, no off-shore exemptions, no business exemptions.
10. And because Fun Palaces are about life-long learning and community wellbeing... divert arms spending to equal education and health for all.
* * *