“… if you want change, you need power.” (p.50)
“It is not how right you are but how much power you have that will determine whether or not you can achieve it.” (p.26)
“Politics is indeed too important to be left to the politicians. So vote, always vote, but that’s the bare minimum. Your democracy needs you. Yes, you.” (pp.11-12)
This is a well-written, easy-to-read handbook, authored by a white-male-community-organiser-activist, championing and (partially) fighting for the rights of those who are not part of his own in-group; which can be a risky thing to do, regardless of who you are.
“…the government did adopt the 20.000 target for Syrian refugees …” (p.130)
He works hard to establish unsustainable political alliances in order to obtain temporary political gain, forcing the establishment through people-power and the media to get specific results, while artificially keeping something together that cannot possibly last…
In other words: He is successful in reaching his objectives while simultaneously working against them, by supporting issues that can potentially undermine some of his efforts in the long run…
“ …the government announced the ‘National Living Wage’, which, although less than the real Living Wage, has brought significant pay rises to over 2 million people, including nearly 700.000 care workers, with some who were stuck on the minimum wage getting a 10 per cent increase.” (p.93)
“The following month we won the first test case and four Syrian boys stuck in the Calais “jungle” travelled legally and safely to be reunited with their families in Britain.” (p.146)
I do believe that he has his heart in the right place however and that he is a true believer in his own values and whatever cause he sees as his core-concern.
“The stories of damp and mould were shocking. Parents with eczema, kids missing school with respiratory problems and toad-stools growing in the bedrooms.” (p.153)
He operates within the set frames of our Nation States and the official rules of engagement offered to its citizens, which is probably why the political establishment has publicly and officially praised him … or maybe they just couldn’t avoid him…
“Rather than cast blame on out-of-touch elites, the onus is on us to work out what we want, to get organised and to build the power in order to get it.” (p.50)
“There is no greater heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.” Lord Acton
“We are faced with a market culture that is spending hundreds of millions of pounds on advertising, telling us that our primary role in life is to be a consumer, and with a dominant political culture telling us that we are spectators in a game played out in Westminster and in TV studios.” (p.155)
It is an informative read that conservatives have to check out, even though those who are more traditionalist in nature will probably find the idea of Bolton’s activities un-appealing:
“Community organising was pioneered by the American Saul Alinsky and then further established through the work of Citizens UK’s sister organisation in the US, the Industrial Areas Foundation.”
“… Saul Alinsky famously planned the first ever ‘shit-in’, where busloads of campaigners would take over all the toilets in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport for a day to bring the whole place to a standstill…” (p.119)
Bolton’s background is one of socio-economic movement, which has made him alert (through experience) of parallel realities, much like I described in this entry of mine: Europe & America’s Transformation Due To Migration – My Observations as A European Globetrotter.
He however, obviously perceives economics or the global capitalist system, as the number one culprit or catalyst for injustice, whereas I’ve previously stated that mass migration and street-level diversity, resulting in gangs and neighbourhoods divided over racial or ethnic lines are much to blame for instability. I also acknowledge that human nature in and of itself is a massive obstacle to peace. There are probably many who would argue that a good solid economy would sort out the problems as laid out by me, whereas I would highlight the importance of identity, culture, natural “clustering” and a sense of belonging…
On that note it is worth mentioning what Bolton writes concerning the Salvation Army and its start in England. I find this most interesting due to the current scandals involving “grooming gangs” in the UK; meaning packs of Arab and/or Muslim men, or individuals hailing from those territories, targeting ethnic English girls for sexual exploitation.
“The founders of the Salvation Army were husband and wife William and Catherine Booth and one of the social injustices that angered them was the sexual exploitation of children, which was rife in the East End of London, where they were based.”
“This audacious tactic caused huge public outcry and the Criminal Law Amendment Act raising the age of female sexual consent to sixteen was hurried through Parliament in 1885.“
Once again; it is dangerous to champion those who are not from ones own “in-group,” (I’m guessing that there are many who aren’t quite sure what their in-group is in the Western world of today) in addition it is also worth to note that all Nations have internal problems, which is an argument that is both used to advocate for or against replacement/mass migration.
I do find the recent scandals surrounding pedophilia in our Western entertainment industry alarming but also informative as it brings to mind accusations of hypocrisy from other population groups who feel unfairly targeted when it comes to the frequency of child abuse. Maybe the only difference is how well certain groups can cover it up…
I’m guessing that the sexual exploitation mentioned and fought against by the Salvation Army was a case of poor children being exploited by those who were wealthier; so once again the example of one class targeting a “perceived” lower class. In the other example you see non-Muslims or Whites being targeted, probably under the excuse that we are “lesser” or worth less. This is sadly a common theme when observing and hearing of human behaviour regardless of the time or location…
Funny enough an in-group can be based on: faith, occupation, financial status, race, ethnicity, sports, brands, music style and the accompanying life-style, political ideology, the county or State you live in, etc; You can form a tribe or an in-group around anything, another example are biker gangs.
With that in mind it might be of interest to add that recently I’ve pondering (among a million other things), whether many of our modern problems can be blamed on the insistence of maintaining Nation States…
Religious liberty as advocated by the U.S.A., just to pick one example, can in theory work perfectly in a “tribal-reality,” but can potentially be disastrous within the frame-work of a Nation State since it automatically undermines whatever identity pillars that are needed in order to maintain such a structure and union.
If you are going to unify a territory, you obviously need certain unifying factors.
If tribalism is promoted however, it changes everything.
No more Nation States, just competing tribes and clans, all with their own perimeters, beliefs, and values.
Rather than having “global segregation” through the much worshipped (or vilified) Nation State and its borders, you would get more localised, tribal segregation, which is what can be observed anyway, when experiencing and witnessing the voluntary tribal division internally in the major cities of the U.S.A.
This phenomenon is also becoming increasingly visible in the so-called “New-Europe.”
It might be an idea to realise when one’s territory is shifting from being “civic-minded” and becoming increasingly “tribal,” since it will leave “civic-minded” characters extremely vulnerable if they do not adapt.
To use an easy example: when I was little people did not lock their front doors if they lived out in the country, you went to bed with your front door unlocked. In the English country you have relationships that are trust-based. If societies like that are introduced to raiding parties who take advantage of their naiveté then needless to say it will be a scenario of loss for your own trust-fixated-tribe.
It is also an idea to be aware when “the guillotines” are being brought out so that it doesn’t come as a surprise when they are lined up and ready, sadly it seems that those who are active politically are largely ignorant of the rage that they see from certain demographics and simply do not comprehend why people are so angry and upset. This level of detachment and genuine surprise says it all when it comes to the present state of affairs in the Western World…..
There are numerous people out there who simply do not know what they are doing or recognise the beast they are staring straight at.
Someone like Matthew Bolton understands rage and work to harness it for his own political purpose.
It is an interesting thing to note that socio-economic mobility has placed Matthew Bolton and myself on two opposite spectrums politically, even though we are united in a common awareness of issues and problems and would probably agree on many things.
“One great example of impact is the 38 Degrees campaign in 2011 to stop the privatisation of UK woodlands, which involved 500.000 people signing their petition, 100.000 people emailing their MPs, and a crowdfunded poll that demonstrated wider public opposition. This rapid mobilisation of such large numbers scared the government off and plans to sell the forests were scrapped.” (p.127)
“The issue is serious: an estimated 40.000 early deaths in the UK per year are linked to dangerously high NO2 levels.” (pp.121-122)
This quote in particular is without a doubt a favourite of mine, since it describes the scenario of socio-economic diversity, and the absolute ignorance of it, perfectly:
“… but the gap between that bubble of privilege and the reality of south London started to grate on me. As a teenager, I was mugged in my neighbourhood twice, at knifepoint; I was punched in the face several times, and I was violently carjacked. I don’t want to make it sound worse than it was, but those things did happen and my brother and I were always aware in the back of our minds that kids in our area did get stabbed. But my school just seemed so pleased with itself, and it had nothing to say about any of those issues happening outside. One morning, the head actually started an assembly with: ‘As I sit back in my chair and hear the crack of willow on leather [cricket], I think how wonderful it is to live in Dulwich…” (pp.20-21)
Yet there is much to learn, just take a look at this:
“… Rosa Parks and Abdul Durrant were both trained in campaigning. Both were leaders in social change organisations. Their acts were not spontaneous acts of individual courage.” (p.14)
That quote is of utmost importance.
In our societies we constantly highlight the power of the “individual,” especially highlighting successful so-called lone-wolf activists such as Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr.
The face of a movement however, isn’t necessarily the brain of said movement….
“The Montgomery NAACP had been planning a bus boycott for at least a year and had been looking for the right person to be a test case to take to the courts. There had already been at least three other black passengers that year who had refused to give up their seats, but in those cases there weren’t the right ingredients for the strategy to catch light. With Rosa, however, it did.”
After reading these lines though, I’m guessing that this false image of political individualism is promoted in order for peoples’ agitation to fail! You need a plan and you need people. In other words: you need to get organised.
By selling a false narrative of successful political individualist agitation in conjunction with “free-speech,” especially in light of today’s “surveillance-state,” I assume that you can catch and uproot potential grassroots movements in their infancy, before people realise that organisation is key.
“The organising culture aims to turn that individual despair and frustration into collective anger and power for change.” (p.153)
“Finding common self-interest can move people over the barriers of prejudice into coalition.” (p.44)
“ …it is politicians and celebrities who are portrayed as the significant political actors. Ordinary people tend to be left to the role of spectators – maybe tweeting a view or featuring in a five-second vox pop, but mainly just faces in a crowd.” (p.86)
It should not be the goal of any Nation or movement to be a loose Nation or movement of atomised individuals, if they wish to succeed.
You need strong units of people; something that can be accomplished by individuals living on top of one another, just to pick one example.
If a number of individuals are forced to live in a small living space, especially if the resources are limited, it will either make or break the unit.
This once again flies in the face of the more modern theories of “individual atomisation.”
Just because collectivism fails on a Federal, Nation-State level, doesn’t mean that it will be disastrous on a “unit-level” or “family-level.” In fact in this scenario it might flourish substantially, getting out the best in people, creating an environment of: all for one, one for all!
The fact that people on the right spectrum of politics are so averse towards the idea of “collectivism” puts right-wing individuals in a position where they are doomed to lose against those who are well-organised across multiple socio-economic plateaus, unless this trend changes of course.
“…disempowerment feeds feelings of distrust, apathy and blame, the conditions needed for a divisive populism to spread. The Iron Rule, by contrast, requires us to make people the authors of the change they want, which then breeds confidence, agency and collaboration between people.” (p.140)
A very revealing section in Bolton’s book can be found on page 147, where he writes this:
“… the reason cited by people coming to food banks are:
- Benefit delays or benefit changes (40 per cent)
- Low income (23 per cent)
- Debt (7 per cent)
- Unemployment (5 percent)“
Why is this of particular interest?
Because there is this prevailing myth out there that as long as you work hard you will be rewarded accordingly…
If you depend on the charity of others or depend on benefit programs then this must undoubtedly be evidence of your own laziness, according to this narrative.
In a number of cases this couldn’t be further from the truth and it might be easier to get stuck “in the system” than a lot of people imagine.
Yet it is a problem that has to be acknowledged that the expenses of a Government are many. Its income is based on taxes and if one area is to be prioritised then something else will have to be sacrificed….
“… our campaign for a Living Wage moved a Conservative government to make the biggest increase to the legal minimum wage since it was introduced in 1997.” (p.118)
It would be much better if family values could be re-introduced in the Western world, (especially in Northern Europe) as it would make more sense if family-members looked after their own, rather than lumping troublesome relatives unto the State! It would also be beneficial to re-focus people on the Christian value system, so that individuals and families could open up their hearts to charitable participation, rather than falling into apathy, since “the system” will handle whatever injustice that is out there….
By promoting a value-system that emphasises “good works” a Nation or Nation State stand to gain massively!
“If we think of some of the great institutions we benefit from today – hospitals, schools, housing associations, trade unions and charities – these were often developed in, or sponsored by, local churches.” (p.10)
I think an unnecessary burden and load is placed on a system that must surely collapse in the end, when looking at various European Nation States today.
An initiative such as the NHS for example, should in theory work if individuals take more personal responsibility; danger looms when people do not and costs are added due to bad lifestyle choices, who’s long-term effects could have been avoided altogether or at least minimised!
Likewise when looking at “projects” and their seemingly random placement over in the asphalt-jungles of the U.S.A. there is no doubt in my mind that those buildings have been spread around in an effort to avoid “no-go-zones.” I also assume that the theory behind allowing kids from these projects into “magnet schools,” etc; is to enable upward mobility. Sadly the results are much less glamorous, but I can certainly see and understand how people can support and propose something like this since it works in theory and probably looks quite good on paper.
But there are many things that work exceptionally well … in theory…..
“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” ARCHBISHOP CAMARA
Bolton’s initiatives do seem genuinely well-intended though and might temporarily positively affect natives in Europe … simply by chance.
“Every night he cleaned the offices of Sir John Bond, who earned £2 million a year … ‘Sir John, we work in the same office but we live in different worlds. Let me tell you what it’s like to work on £4.50 per hour and bring up six children.” (p.13)
But those individuals who advocate for better wages, have a tendency to advocate for more immigrants and cultural enrichment as well … not to forget that companies tend to outsmart efforts intended to increase wages so that their own bottom line isn’t affected negatively. Which is something I came across years (or months ago), when a petition was being passed around (which I shared here on my Blog) describing how workers had simply lost out on holidays, benefits and sick-days, due to an enforced wage-increase in the UK….
I also saw an online post not that long ago about a company in the U.S.A simply opting for “robots” when their human workers wanted better payment…
Yet another example is the outsourcing of labour to Asia and economists arguing that workers in the West either have to let go of their privileges or see their jobs lost to cheaper labour elsewhere….
In other words; there are many excuses and reasons that are cited when hordes of people find themselves out of work or find themselves forced to accept terms that are downright horrible.
I don’t intend to sound pessimistic, but it is an annoying and interesting trend to observe, especially if exposed to individuals who are worried that their town might turn into a Ghost-town due to China and the ever looming dark cloud of “outsourcing.”
Even though the media doesn’t seem too keen on reporting on it; there might be a reason as to why American workers cry of joy when their jobs are brought back due to the trade-policies of the current U.S. President Donald J. Trump.
One can only hope that the threat of Globalisation will be diminished over here in Europe as well.
Please justify to me why so many Norwegian and English goods are made in Asia?
Please explain to me why our heritage is outsourced, when our traditional dresses are manufactured by Chinese hands?
Likewise when you look at the Global network of food-trade, it is ridiculous to depend on these intricate systems, as it doesn’t take much thinking to realise that it is all unsustainable in the end!
If a change is not brought to us through politics, then climate change will surely rock our boats; we all need to re-learn how to hunt and grow our own crops, in addition to making our own clothes, etc;
We have to sever our global dependency in order to re-gain our National independence.
We have probably never been this vulnerable ever before.
Learn to hunt if you have the funds and/or learn how to grow your own food!
Back to Mr. Bolton…
….his book is both a worrying and an inspiring read. I guess I and those who agree with my values, ought to be happy that this guy decided to release a book available to us all, so that those who disagree with him can learn from him!
It could be an idea to team up with individuals like him and learn from his organisation if worried and concerned about MicroPlastics in our drinking water, just to pick one example. Learning organisational skills and how to mobilise people must surely be a plus, regardless of where one can acquire this skill!
“… ‘the action is in the reaction’ encourages the weaker side to provoke some kind of overreaction that can be used to strengthen their campaign or undermine the authority.” (p.79)
In fact, regardless of how vilified “community organising” might be on the right-side of politics, you might find yourself in a situation one day where a guy like Bolton will be the one who’ll help you out of your unfortunate predicament!
It is always important to remember that the capitalist system is an “organic” one where you can easily be a King one day and a pauper the next! This is such an uncomfortable thought that I guess that many would prefer to look another way; rather than reflecting on their own vulnerability!
“…when it’s the less powerful side trying to influence and hold accountable the more powerful side, picking the right time for the action is key. For publicly listed companies the AGM is a good time, … For politicians, the weeks before elections are the time when they are most actively looking for votes and keen to make public appearances.” (p.82)
When writing about the art of organising; Bolton acknowledges in his book that members of the LGBTQP movement were reluctant to team up with Muslims to push for “hate-crime-enforcement” since LGBTQP advocates had been harassed by Anti-Gay Muslims in the past; yet Bolton through his own community organising was capable of bringing these two groups together, in order to push the authorities on broadening “hate-crime-initiatives.”
Bolton describes how he manages the art of getting people who hate one another to come together in order to push politicians through coordinated efforts; also involving the press.
The way to do this is to find an emotional, personal, grievance that can unite these groups.
Let’s say that you are an African who has experienced “cultural enrichment” and I also happen to have experienced something of the sort. Then we will have that one thing in common that we’ve both been violated and that we’ve both experienced fear at the hand of the exact same group. Then that becomes what unites us, until the enemy or the issue has been sorted out. Which is a tiny detail that Bolton forgets to mention, selling the impression that these alliances become permanent, like a step towards an ever improving reality for humanity that can only grow and become better….
Bolton then goes on to describe how the issue with Western people is that we are indoctrinated into discussing and analysing broad problems, without ever really bothering to break things into tangible issues that can be purposefully worked towards….
We are therefore distracted and kept away from productive action, since we think, talk and analyse ourselves into intellectual oblivion.
Yet he writes that it can be wise to use vague and lofty words to attract those who want to “save the world,” and once you get them and have their attention, divide problems into smaller goals that are clearly expressed and defined.
So in other words…
….lure people in with “fog-talk,” then once you have them, introduce them to the real operation that they can be used for….
“Building power through relationships and turning problems into issues together helps people develop political skills and gets us ready for effective action.” (p.76)
What is the grand-strategy I wonder? It seems to me that Bolton is acting on one impulse: a desire to help people, regardless of who they are. It doesn’t matter if he helps and aids the mass-importation of “New-Europeans,” if he gets citizenship for illegals, or if he helps the natural world through environmental policies.
He must obviously think in a very non-ethnocentric global fashion.
Bolton funny enough acknowledges that him and his activist group had to emotionally manipulate their very own members and people, in order to gain support for a citizen led initiative, where the goal was to secure full citizenship for illegal, undocumented immigrants in the UK.
Since the members of his own progressive group were instinctively opposed to the idea, they had to get hold of real illegals to come and share their own personal stories, in order to persuade progressive activists that this was a good thing to support. This undoubtedly displays how thin this solidarity and advocacy truly is …
After reading that particular section there is no doubt in my mind that a lot of Bolton’s efforts will be unravelled as cultural and demographic tensions escalate all over Europe.
In fact, it very well might be the most important passage in Bolton’s book…
There is no doubt in my mind though that his empathy is sincere, it rather seems like he is directing these feelings in all sorts of directions, due to maybe some sort of survivors guilt on his part…
He laments in his book that he is a white-male as if though this makes him automatically “guilty” due to alleged white-male-priviledge …
…His anger radiates from the pages that he has authored, which is kind of funny. Who knows how the Western world would have looked like today, if men like him directed this rage in a patriotic, protective fashion.
“In February 2016, a refugee family arrived with an eleven-month-old baby who needed urgent medical attention, which would never have been possible in the camps where the family had been stuck.” (p.130)
There are lots of English babies who die due to the incompetence of doctors and medical staff, I’ve signed and shared some of these horrifying petitions that have been passed around the internet. In addition you also have those who never see the light of day due to abortion. Of course I don’t mean to be insensitive in any kind of way; but if you don’t even prioritise your own babies, then it is quite obvious that your population group is destined for failure.
If Bolton is a patriot he will surely be a champion for the children of England?
If he had to choose: whose children would he rather save?
And most importantly: what would you do?