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#206  Power to the People: Changing the way things work with Simon Oldridge

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We all know the climate and ecological tipping points are terrifyingly close. What can we do – as individuals and collectively?

Simon Oldridge has ideas that answer both of these. Simon first joined us back in episode #182 when he joined his colleague Anthea Simmons and they spoke eloquently about the strategies of the South Devon Primary group which are aimed at raising one progressive candidate in borderline constituencies in the UK, so that the hard right doesn’t swan through the middle on a minority of the votes because the anti-Tory vote has been split (again). Getting progressive politicians into power is their primary aim, but they also want to make sure the candidates who become MPs understand the concerns of their constituents and are prepared to act as independent-minded individuals in the House of Commons, not simply lobby fodder.

So that was a fun and sparky conversation, but it seemed to me at the time that we could have delved down a lot more deeply into SImon’s broader work to find politically viable ways to address the climate and ecological emergency, particularly his work with Zero Hour, the campaign for the Climate and Ecology Bill and which has produced a number of detailed and fascinating reports, including one about the Ambition Gap we have as we head for Net Zero and another entitled, ‘Creating a Nature-Rich UK’. Hence, we came back for another conversation – because apart from anything else, it’s so enlivening to talk with someone else who spends their entire life thinking about these things: and if I can’t have fun on the podcast, what’s the point?

I am well aware that many of you listening are not in the UK – and that politics is a very siloed space: we all have our own rules to work within and our own levels of bureaucracy and kleptocracy masquerading as democracy that we’re trying to reform. So I hope that some of the ideas we explore, particularly the bigger ones of global power systems and routes to net zero and nature-based solutions strike home far outside the boundaries of this island. And yes, I still have Covid, so I apologise in advance for the state of my voice.

Coming up – Accidental Gods Online Gathering
Dreaming Your Year Awake – Sunday 7th January 2024

In Conversation

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