“What are we doing to each other?”
During a Radio 5 phone-in on child abuse, Barry Mizen, the father of teenager Jimmy who was killed by a schoolfellow on the streets of south-east London, asked: “What are we doing to each other?”
I would include in his reference the fact that ‘we’ are also polluting the planet – our resource base – we are sending young people to kill other young people, elders and children and we acquiesce in the avoidable deaths of millions who die of starvation or weakened by malnutrition.
Honourable exceptions include Brian Haw and John Bunzl
Personal, sacrificial action:
Very few leave all in order to protest about these ills; one example is Brian Haw who has plagued Parliament with his daily accusations about the wars on which we have embarked. If he were joined by a person concerned about the environment and another protesting about deaths from hunger world-wide – and they alternated their calls – what a witness that would be.
The political, strategic democratic grassroots approach:
In 1998, a British businessman, John Bunzl, founded the International Simultaneous Policy Organisation (ISPO), a voluntary organization promoting the Simultaneous Policy (Simpol) campaign. Its core premise is a recognition that the current competitive global marketplace dictates government policy, causing the world more and more problems.
ISPO is “a growing association of citizens world-wide who aim to use their votes in a new, co-ordinated and effective way to drive all nations to co-operate in solving our planetary crisis.”
Those who adopt Simpol are saying: “I will vote in all future elections for any parliamentary candidate – within reason – who has signed the Simpol Pledge, or if I have a party preference, I want my preferred candidate to sign the Pledge.” With many parliamentary seats, and even entire elections, often hanging on a small number of votes, politicians who don’t take part in creating our people-centred global democracy, risk losing votes to those who do.
At the last General Election over 200 parliamentary candidates were persuaded by Simpol campaigners to sign the Simpol Pledge – a record number. Of those, 24 were elected. This shows the leverage citizens can exert over politicians and the potential Simpol offers in getting politicians to cooperate to solve global problems.
A combination of increased personal witness and a growing number of strategic voters could at last begin to bring about civilised approaches to conflict, environmental degradation and hunger.