And So To Work…
… Now that the Referendum is Behind Us, Some Preliminary Thoughts on What I Will Be Looking At
There are three Big Issues for me. They are the Economy, the Environment and Constitutional and Electoral Reform.
I’m interested in the Environment. I think climate change is both real and avoidable. If it isn’t avoidable we can still slow down the change and take steps to mitigage the effect of climate change on the quality of our lives. I think we need to pay more attention to sustainable living, looking at both available resources and the capacity of our environment to absord the by-products of the way we live. I think if want to go on living here we probably need to put some conscious effort into living here in a way that works forever. I also think that a good environment is intrinsically valuable. Not just because it facilitates a Good Life for all of us, not just because we find a good environment a key component of a Good Life but because the eco-system has some value just in itself which is separate from our own experience of it.
If the Environment is damaged or can’t supply what we demand of it we have a big, long term problem. I think there are costly and unpleasant consequences from getting the Environment wrong. I think these consequences will be with us sooner than we think.
I’m intereseted in the Economy and economics more broadly. The Economy is the information carrier of the Western World and I would look at it all day if I could. I am interested in the link between individual heuristics, micro-economics and macro-economics. Fundamentally economics is about how gets what stuff and how we decide. That strikes me as a big question. The rules of economics are fixed by what goes on in people’s head. To understand economics and change people’s behaviour you have to influence what they want and why they want it.
The economy is also an enabling factor for almost any question that we want an answer to. It is heavily influenced by the environment in the long run and our attitude to the economy influences are demands on the environment. Almost any other issues in politics is made easier to solve if the economy is working well and is strong. I think it was a feature of the Brown Chancellorship that the last government tried to solve problems with money. This is not necessarily a fatally flawed approach.
My last Big Issue is Constitutional and Electoral Reform. The constitution and the electoral system are about power. They are about who gets to make what decisions and how they may make their decisions. The constitution limits, allocates and defines the exercise of power. I think decisions are better made if they draw on a plurality of views. I think better made decisions will have better outcomes and be better able to be implemented. Decisions that are made by a narrow group will be of a narrow good and of a narrowing aspect.
Looking at the Environment and the Economy we have some pretty big decisions to make soon. Our current Constitution has many flaws. The most fundamental of which are that it enshrines a worship of enherited privelege, it does not actively seek out different views from different people and it does not place decision making power with The People, or with people. I don’t think we live in a democracy. We nearly do in theory but in practise we are a long way from it.
These are the areas of politics that really excite me. It’s not that other areas don’t excite me or that I don’t think other things are important. I do. I think these three issues are wrappers for everything else. How we organise our Economy affects the state of Environment and vice versa. Our Constitution affects how we make decisions about both. Both the Economy and the Environment will restrict or enhance our abilty to make choices about other issues. Every thing is all connected but the resource constraints from the Environment, the insight into our needs and wants from the Economy and the decision making processes from our Constitution touch everything in every way.
Finally, I’m interested in how individuals, me especially, are politically engaged, active and aware in these issues. Where do we stand in our political landscape and how do we navigate around it? How do we change it if it is unsatisfactory to us? These questions and more will be asked and may be answered to my satisfaction at least.