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GlobalNet21: Recreating Our Futures Message Board Meetings, Interviews, Articles & Social Action Reports › Report on House Of Commons meeting: A Just & Inclusive Society: Written

Report on House Of Commons meeting: A Just & Inclusive Society: Written by Julian Gibson

Christina W.
user 3986671
London, GB
Post #: 20
Report wrtitten by: Julian Gibson: GlobalNet21 Reporter.

Monday’s vibrant meeutp on “A Just & Inclusive Society” began after a short introduction, with two performances by theatre company Chickenshed - an extraordinary mix of disabled and able-bodied performance artists. The first performance was a dance to the song ‘Perfect Woman’, written by the disabled Paula Rees. The unsettling yet elegant contrast of the able and disabled bodies moving in harmony subtly illustrated the beauty of ‘imperfection’. The second performance was the ‘Sermon from the Crime of the Century’, where the artists stood, slowly and hauntingly removing their ‘hoodies’ to the backing track of dissonant music, and the recording of the impassioned funeral ceremony speech for Shakil , murdered outside his own home.

After the performances were talks by the director of outreach and education from Chickenshed, Paul Morrell, and David Burrowes, MP for Enfield Southgate, followed by a lively Q & A and discussion. Many issues were raised on the differing layers of exclusion and injustice in society; the role of the justice system, education, charity, the arts, the media, human nature, government and community, and the contrast between individual responsibility and that of society's larger institutions.

People’s exclusion from the affairs of ‘big government’ was discussed, for instance; how can people feel included in a democratic society when they don’t know where their tax money goes, and don’t understand the justice system and affairs of parliamentary politics? There was much heated discussion between the role of government policy-making and community action.

Though little was settled upon, it was agreed that part of creating a just society is trying to find our role as individuals in preventing violence, crime and bigotry. Jo Jo of Chickenshed raised the point, “It should be human nature…if someone falls down, I’ll help them up…It’s confusing to see something so simple…why it’s so difficult?” However, our consumer media, with its noisy production line of demonization and idolization is designed largely to ensure people remain little more than consumers; alienated, atomized and concerned with selfish desires. In this cultural landscape it may be difficult for everyone to hang on to such altruistic values, especially the most vulnerable: our children.

It was generally agreed that inequality in our education system is failing our children, as Paul Morrell said, “inclusivity is not recognized in our education system.” ‘Education’ as it stands, came out of the Industrial Revolution, with the ‘three Rs’ and sciences taking precedence, so that children could leave school and fit into the industrial economy. In the 21st Century, this model is hopelessly out of date. Of course these subjects are important, but as was pointed out, not all children excel at them, and all too often those who don’t are neglected. Children who may shine in qualities such as empathy, solidarity, mindfulness, humour, imagination, dance, music, art and poetry – the things that help make life in this world tolerable, are undervalued. These vital individual gifts could be nurtured and encouraged, shaping a more holistic, inclusive young generation.

Economic factors were touched upon. Paul Morrell noted that, “problems come from an unequal society,” and as David Burrows pointed out, “when we meet a person the first question we usually ask is, “’what do you do?’” If our profession and financial standing is largely how we are measured and valued, what does it say about a society that reveres and rewards football players, but looks down upon street-cleaners? Is one more worthy than the other? And how can a just society be achieved when nurses saving lives can barely afford to live, while women who pose for photographs can live in extravagant opulence?

Paul Morrell concluded, “we should look beyond the limitations society imposes on us, and we perhaps impose on ourselves” and that, “In an inclusive society, we won’t need to use the term.” Paul’s optimism may seem utopian to many. Certainly, in a society where wealth is so divided and those with it are more highly valued than those without, with a government that’s increasingly becoming little more than a stooge for big business, with the mass media separating us into marketing demographics to be exploited, a looming economic disaster and a devastated environment, it may be difficult to see - Short of a social, economic and philosophical revolution - how justice and inclusivity can be fully attained.

However, much progress has been made over the decades with regard to disability, gender, race, and sexuality. As recently as the 1970s, one could see signs in windows exclaiming “No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs”. Today this would be breathtaking, unthinkable and indeed, illegal. Such progress has largely come from grassroots action; communities and individuals working together, using their creativity, imagination and ingenuity to create the world they want, with the mainstream establishment often dragged toward progress, kicking and screaming.

The meeting threw up more questions than answers, and it was clear that the issue is a complex and difficult one. Whatever the future holds, creating a just and inclusive society means creating freedom, and with freedom comes responsibility. It seemed from the discussion that responsibility lies in the individual, communities, non-profit organizations, businesses and government. As Jo Jo wryly put it, “It’s everyone’s problem.”
A former member
Post #: 203

The coalition government is not interested in creating a more inclusive society . If they were they would not have made the savage cuts they did. The policies of the coalition government will drive many people on to the streets.
The aim of the gov is to cut cost and save money by picking on the weakest groups they can find. The gov has decided that half of the people on incapacity benefit are fit for work even though they have not been tested . When people are tested and found fit for work, appeal tribunals almost always reverse the decision because the original testers ignore evidence that showed people were not fit for work.
It all about cutting cost, not helping people




Report wrtitten by: Julian Gibson: GlobalNet21 Reporter.

Monday’s vibrant meeutp on “A Just & Inclusive Society” began after a short introduction, with two performances by theatre company Chickenshed - an extraordinary mix of disabled and able-bodied performance artists. The first performance was a dance to the song ‘Perfect Woman’, written by the disabled Paula Rees. The unsettling yet elegant contrast of the able and disabled bodies moving in harmony subtly illustrated the beauty of ‘imperfection’. The second performance was the ‘Sermon from the Crime of the Century’, where the artists stood, slowly and hauntingly removing their ‘hoodies’ to the backing track of dissonant music, and the recording of the impassioned funeral ceremony speech for Shakil , murdered outside his own home.

After the performances were talks by the director of outreach and education from Chickenshed, Paul Morrell, and David Burrowes, MP for Enfield Southgate, followed by a lively Q & A and discussion. Many issues were raised on the differing layers of exclusion and injustice in society; the role of the justice system, education, charity, the arts, the media, human nature, government and community, and the contrast between individual responsibility and that of society's larger institutions.

People’s exclusion from the affairs of ‘big government’ was discussed, for instance; how can people feel included in a democratic society when they don’t know where their tax money goes, and don’t understand the justice system and affairs of parliamentary politics? There was much heated discussion between the role of government policy-making and community action.

Though little was settled upon, it was agreed that part of creating a just society is trying to find our role as individuals in preventing violence, crime and bigotry. Jo Jo of Chickenshed raised the point, “It should be human nature…if someone falls down, I’ll help them up…It’s confusing to see something so simple…why it’s so difficult?” However, our consumer media, with its noisy production line of demonization and idolization is designed largely to ensure people remain little more than consumers; alienated, atomized and concerned with selfish desires. In this cultural landscape it may be difficult for everyone to hang on to such altruistic values, especially the most vulnerable: our children.

It was generally agreed that inequality in our education system is failing our children, as Paul Morrell said, “inclusivity is not recognized in our education system.” ‘Education’ as it stands, came out of the Industrial Revolution, with the ‘three Rs’ and sciences taking precedence, so that children could leave school and fit into the industrial economy. In the 21st Century, this model is hopelessly out of date. Of course these subjects are important, but as was pointed out, not all children excel at them, and all too often those who don’t are neglected. Children who may shine in qualities such as empathy, solidarity, mindfulness, humour, imagination, dance, music, art and poetry – the things that help make life in this world tolerable, are undervalued. These vital individual gifts could be nurtured and encouraged, shaping a more holistic, inclusive young generation.

Economic factors were touched upon. Paul Morrell noted that, “problems come from an unequal society,” and as David Burrows pointed out, “when we meet a person the first question we usually ask is, “’what do you do?’” If our profession and financial standing is largely how we are measured and valued, what does it say about a society that reveres and rewards football players, but looks down upon street-cleaners? Is one more worthy than the other? And how can a just society be achieved when nurses saving lives can barely afford to live, while women who pose for photographs can live in extravagant opulence?

Paul Morrell concluded, “we should look beyond the limitations society imposes on us, and we perhaps impose on ourselves” and that, “In an inclusive society, we won’t need to use the term.” Paul’s optimism may seem utopian to many. Certainly, in a society where wealth is so divided and those with it are more highly valued than those without, with a government that’s increasingly becoming little more than a stooge for big business, with the mass media separating us into marketing demographics to be exploited, a looming economic disaster and a devastated environment, it may be difficult to see - Short of a social, economic and philosophical revolution - how justice and inclusivity can be fully attained.

However, much progress has been made over the decades with regard to disability, gender, race, and sexuality. As recently as the 1970s, one could see signs in windows exclaiming “No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs”. Today this would be breathtaking, unthinkable and indeed, illegal. Such progress has largely come from grassroots action; communities and individuals working together, using their creativity, imagination and ingenuity to create the world they want, with the mainstream establishment often dragged toward progress, kicking and screaming.

The meeting threw up more questions than answers, and it was clear that the issue is a complex and difficult one. Whatever the future holds, creating a just and inclusive society means creating freedom, and with freedom comes responsibility. It seemed from the discussion that responsibility lies in the individual, communities, non-profit organizations, businesses and government. As Jo Jo wryly put it, “It’s everyone’s problem.”

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