Maybe it's because my parents aren’t English or that i'm dyslexic or that i've Asperger Syndrome or one of my other disabilities, but i find it difficult to understand and appreciate the adversarial and cynical thinking in most of current politics, never mind the language.
This weekend was my first day of a four days over four months Community Leadership course at Birkbeck College. Very well funded, designed and presented with over fifty potential community leaders. Most of the people on the course seem to be voluntary/statutory workers already proficient in local government speak. Before the first lecture women from the London Civic Forum www.londoncivicforum.org.uk let us know about a jargon box (dustbin) by the entrance to the lecture hall and handed out cards for us to note language we don't understand. Luckily i sat next to an old West Indian woman from the Broadwater Farm estate in Haringey, a genuine community representative. The lecturer Professor John Annette seemed to have genuine care and desire to work with community, i could relate to him but there being a full moon in the sky found myself arguing in the lecture hall and workshops. Considerably wound up by the end of the day, walking to Euston station with the old West Indian woman felt like having a fairy godmother.
That evening the excess energy was put to good use in my first visit to rampART, a "creative centre and social space managed by a collective of artists and activists with a strong emphasis on consensus decision making." www.rampart.omxtra.net/modules/news/ Take Radical Action through Popular Education and Sustainable Everything (TRAPESE) www.trapese.org were facilitating a workshop to inform and mobilise around issues behind the G8, the Group of 8 most industrialised nations holding their annual meeting in Gleneagles Scotland 6-8th July 2005. That the centre was a squat run by crusties rolling up was expected, that most of the workshop consisted of acronym/jargon games was synchronistic. If the message - engage in politics and boring technical language - had not come from grass roots green activists, it would be difficult for me to continue on this Community Leadership new labour training track, and if i didn’t have my Dance Movement Psychotherapy i couldn't do mainstream community health work. For now then we dance to the same tune:
Acronyms: NDC SRB NRP CVS NRF ODPM etc. G8 WHO IMF OECD etc.
Jargon: mainstreaming, capacity building, social capital, community assets, deliberative democracy etc. money laundering global governance nuclear safety renewable energy etc.