Can you change the world from your kitchen table?
To see if you can, I invite six people around to chat about what bugs them the most – in the world, in our town, in our street, in my loungeroom (turns out it’s chiefly the little kids attached to participants, who make one hell of a racket the whole damn time!). The idea is, me and lots of other people each get a little group together consisting of family, friends and randoms we met last night at the pub, and share what bothers us most and what we’d like to see change. The whole process is recorded (literally in my case,on a little tape recorder which also comes in useful for interviews with underworld figures) then scrambled by an organisation called See-Change (get it? See…Change!) and provided to politicians so they can get to work doing what they’re sorta supposed to – carrying out the will of the People.
So, my neighbours and relllies being on the greenie, leftie side of things, the chat naturally turns to things like animal welfare, not towing refugees out to sea, the uncomfortably warm future foreseen for us by the International Commission on Climate Change, and how we wouldn’t mind paying more tax if we all GOT more for it. I’m pretty sure most people who get involved in this kind of thing have the same bees in their bonnets, though. I can’t see a bunch of rednecks choosing to spend an hour chronicling their beefs with the world and then sending it off to an organisation whose claims to fame mostly involve growing organic veges on your townhouse terrace. Unless you count talkback radio (the fuckhead’s forum).
And the politicians, when they get the hefty tome that is our collective opinion, will realise this. They’ll either go ‘just as I thought’ (if they’re green left) or ‘bet they didn’t ask the local bankers/chicken farmers/mining magnates’ if they’re right of centre.
The biggest thing that came out of it for me was everybody’s sense of frustration. The only time it remotely matters what Jim and Beth Citizen care about is Election Time – and then not much. The way the cookie crumbles on most things is beyond anyone’s control (except Mr Banker/Chicken farmer/Mining Magnate). Ah, democracy. Better than the other thing.
Oh, and what’s on my kitchen table right now? A lot of empty wine bottles.