“Basically a lot of people have to die…”

The final words of Marketa Mach on Digital Democracy, spoken at an informal tea and cake chat I held at my house one muggy Sunday morning. The recording of the whole thing can be heard here:

Why was I having tea and cake and talking Digital Democracy at 11am on a Sunday in Guildford?

Because I am a Commissioner on the Speaker’s Commission for Digital Democracy and I wanted my social media friends, who share my passion and value democracy, to have their say, and to be heard by everyone as well as the Commission. Cake seemed a great enabler! And the informality of my house on a Sunday I hope encourages relaxed chat, where the truth will out.

What was discussed?

Well, I seeded the conversation by putting up these two things on the wall, one is a list of bullet points the Commission is officially focusing on, the other is the list of topics we seem to return to time after time as a Commission:

photo(4)photo(3)I would recommend listening to the SoundCloud if you are keen to know what was discussed, as everyone will hear different things, and there was a LOT in there.

Why does anyone have to die?

Well, there was a topic that ran throughout the chat that was whether MPs should be trained in use of social media, or empowered, or whether there should be a job description with competencies for those who represent us, or whether there should be mentoring of MPs by social media literati, or whether there should be champions etc etc. But at the same time we know that this really is a temporary issue, and by the time the 97ers (my own coined phrase referring to those born in 1997 or after who have grown up with social media) are in office, eg the Prime Minister, and their 97er peers are engaging as citizens, that much of this will become a non-conversation. So we are looking at an interim issue that has to be addressed… and Marketa just stated: “basically a lot of people have to die” … so, yes, they don’t really, we don’t make politicians represent us until they die, so more a political death – their death as our representative. Still, a great soundbite to finish this discussion on!

If you too are mad about this stuff, here’s how you can formally engage with the Commission

This website https://www.citizenspace.com/app/parliament/speakers-commission-on-digital-democracy is your route directly to the Commission, Commissioners and the Speaker. PLEASE USE IT!

Am I having any more tea and cake sessions at my house? Can you come? Can you host one?

I am having one more in August on the 19th, but I already have a full house, so no to anyone else joining us, and we have people skyping in too, but as today proved, more than three and one person at least gets to see nothing – which is bad.

But!! Anyone can have a tea and cake session, invite friends and what have you. All that I would ask, is that you please use the website to let the Commission know the outcomes. Also, please record it and share it on the hashtag #DDCEngage on social media platforms. It is so important that this is something as many people as possible take part in. And it is equally important that the Commission hears your voices.

I am all for democracy tea parties with cake. (My recipes for todays ones are here: Chocolate and Ginger cake with Orange icing and here Victoria Sponge)

Who was at this one, and how did I choose them?

They are listed below and just responded to my invitation that was open to all on Twitter and Facebook. It was an open invitation and the dates were agreed by Doodle as to who attended which session

Mar Dixon

Dr Sue Black

Marketa Mach

Jonathan Elmer

Jon Harman

Nik Butler

Are there any further outputs?

Not from me, from the Commission yes there is a report due to be published in January 2015. But I have asked all of those who attended today to write up their own thoughts and publish their thoughts on the hashtag #DDCEngage – so look out for that, and if you too do a tea party, please ask your attendees to do the same.

As they write, I will link them to the bottom of this post in the comments section.

What’s that hashtag again?

#DDCEngage

4 responses

  1. Pingback: “Basically a lot of people have to die…” – Emma Mulqueeny | Public Sector Blogs

  2. Pingback: Chocolate cake and digital democracy « Emma Mulqueeny

  3. Pingback: Digital unicorns and democratic rainbows « Emma Mulqueeny

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