12 Nov Welcome to the new world order.
Welcome to the new world order, the rebirth of democracy and the voice of the man on the street. Whether it’s the meek inheriting the earth or the masses having a say, it’s all change so jump on board for the ride of a lifetime!
Back in 2012, at a rather swanky city lunch I gave a talk about the changes I felt coming. How the man on the street and the masses were rising up and would have their say.
I’d just been made a junior Minister in the Department of Work and Pensions and had been invited to talk about employment and how to support people into work. The room was small, the guest list exclusive and those attending employed, between them, a workforce the size of a small city.
Most of the speech went down well, at least I think so, but my final part was about how I saw a seismic shift coming – a change in the status quo brought about by the masses and not by the types in this room. Why? Because they are the people who feel most keenly the changes to society, live closest to the breadline and are affected most by changes. They consider too that these changes, which they don’t have control of, are happening to them. I concluded with the old guard would be toppled and replaced by a new order.
Looking back it probably wasn’t a great way to end a speech. Polite smiles and curious looks replaced rapturous applause, but I’m used to such looks. I got that look when as a Liverpudlian I announced I was going to stand as a Tory on Merseyside, a lone Conservative voice in a sea of socialism. I also got that look when I predicted a Brexit win to a room of lawyers and bankers, mind you I got more of a shocked death stare when I said I thought a President Trump could be on its way! I wasn’t saying these things for a reaction, rather to bring to the table the conversations I was having on my travels up and down the country, so giving voice to a shift in mood I observed when chatting on trains, in supermarket queues, in bars and out socialising. I don’t judge. I just listen to what people are saying, picking up the increase in volume from the street.
Change and who’s making those changes is happening all around us and it isn’t over yet. This new order is shining a torch on the old decision makers, putting their decisions in the spotlight. Politicians have been under that gaze for some time, but last week the judiciary found its way there after its decision on Article 50 with the public debating whether this really was about parliament having a say or just a way to frustrate the decision of the people?
Unlike some others, I don’t see questioning as alarming. I see it as an inevitability. The forces of transparency, accountability and mass connectivity coming together to hold all decision makers to account. Welcome to 2016. And surely it’s a good thing that we ask questions of those who are making decisions that affect us.
Next we’ll begin questioning where we get our information from. Is it from the source or is the information second hand? Who commissioned the information? Who sponsored the article? Who did they survey? Was it fact or opinion? Who were the random data set and how where they chosen? Biased or genuinely impartial? Delving deeper can only be a good thing……..Questioning everything will bring us closer to the truth…right?
Questions are only the beginning though. What people are begging for are answers, coherent ones, better than those offered before. We’re questioning and dismantling the old establishment, but we need answers, what will the new one look like?