A National Social Plan

October 26, 2010 at 11:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
  1. We need a Social Plan. This should be one developed by the people rather than by elites or ‘experts’. Not only would this frame and articulate our ideas and values as a society, a participative process of creating this plan would in itself create an engaged citizenry and allow us to re-claim our society.
  2. Therefore, I suggest that on one particular evening within the next number of months, we the people meet in our homes, our communities, in private and public spaces, and fashion the outlines of a National Social Plan. These meetings can be formal or informal, large or small, structured or not. They should include everyone – minorities, children, people in institutions, etc.
  3. This process would enable a sense of engagement to be engendered, would create national solidarity and would permit the Irish people to directly forge the type of society that they want. It would return ownership to the people and amount almost to a renewed act of national self-determination.
  4. The process would be such that it could not be controlled or dictated by political agendas or vested interests. It would simply be too big and too wide.
  5. The outcomes of all of these meetings should be posted directly in real time onto a website (or social media platform) which can collate and summarise the views expressed and thereby produce a genuine national statement. This Statement would have a powerful framing effect on politics and political discourse in this country and should be subscribed to by our political parties. At the very least, it would provide a yardstick by which various political party platforms can be assessed. How close would they be to the people’s wishes?
  6. This event should be televised live by RTE / TV3 so that the excitement, participation and uniqueness of the event be engendered and recorded.
  7. In advance of this event, there should be an intense two-month educational and conscientisation campaign centred on facilitating people to understand economics and politics. Educational providers (via TUI, ASTI etc) and mass media should be central to this. Not only would this create new critical awareness and empowerment, it would develop an exciting momentum to the national evening of self-determining our shared Social Plan.
  8. The event needs to be framed as exciting and joyful – a new type of politics centred on creating harmonies not antagonisms. It is an exercise in hope and democracy. It would be a new type of democratic action – not just voting but speaking together with each other on what kind of country we really want to live in.
  9. It needs: a public awareness campaign; an IT technical capability to process the inputs; IT accessibility for all; a mass media ‘buy-in’; educational and awareness-raising done locally (in schools, clubs, libraries, halls) and by national television.

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