RealFare is crossing the country in the coming weeks, and we need your help to do it!
If you read our ‘This is not about UKIP’ piece you will know it is our contention that there is an ongoing war on our minds. This has always been the case, but in the past few years the level of misdirection has increased.
More importantly there has been a media blackout on progressive politics and movements since Occupy (more on this soon).
So one of the things we announced we would be doing is going on a tour of the country, visiting marginal constituencies and visiting other sites of interest during the summer as part of our build up to a campaign to reclaim the national debate.
Starting on the 4th July (that is an accidental date – we are not Independence Day fetishists – though don’t tell me that film didn’t rock, it did!) one of our contributors is going to be biking across the country in search of Middle England.
Armed with a crap video camera and some microphones, Thomas Barlow is going to visit a pretty unscientifically selected set of marginal constituencies across the UK – on a bike.
This isn’t a search for the Middle England of the most conservative, deep countryside stereotype, but rather a search for places where there is the greatest balance of British people with (supposedly) competing views.
These are places where equal numbers of Liberals rub shoulder with Labourites, or where Tories despair of their Green neighbours, or any mix of the above.
Marginal constituencies are also the places that – if anywhere – politicians have to listen to when thinking about the public. Because of our terrible electoral system, 70% of parliamentary seats are safe even in a landslide victory.
In reality a lot more are safe, but these are the areas they are concerned with (and a small number of voters within them) come election time.
If we are going to try and get them to listen to the concerns of real people, this seems to be the place to start.
To be honest politicians are far too controlled by lobbyists, global media and (through them) big business to ever really be concerned with the real opinions of real people – but we are!
We are also aware that we live in our little bubbles, and that the prism of the media is not the best way to understand the country (the thought that people think what the papers print is a pretty terrifying one as well right? We can only hope that isn’t the case in reality).
So let us explain what we’re going to be doing on the road and how you can help.
Firstly the obligatory self congratulatory travel blog will be written, updating all our avid readers long hand about what is happening in North Warwickshire and other exciting hubs of the country.
We want to make this more of interactive experience though, and one we can learn from. So we are going to film short interviews with people on the street and interesting characters every day and upload as many as we can.
We want to use these interviews to get little snapshot of people’s thoughts, and also of their reactions when (gently) challenged with contradictory opinions or facts. Do people react in the same ways as they do on the self glorifying prison of social media?
Once a week at least we are going to round up some of these characters and record an hour long podcast – talking about topics of the week, local idiosyncrasies and broader themes of freedom and democracy.
We are also going to be taking (our first!) printed version of RealFare around with us and distributing as far and wide as possible. Hopefully we’ll pick up some fans, and build a network, at worst at least we’ll have made Tom’s job harder by ladening him with thousands of papers, which is fun for all of us!
So how can you help?
Well like our facebook page for starters!
More importantly you can check out where we are heading (all on the Facebook page) and you can recommend places and people for us.
We are looking for any kind of interesting outspoken character from these localities, whether it is for a short interview, or maybe they would be good for a podcast, or even an article. We’d love to meet them – parents and cousins, friends and enemies – whoever you have links with.
We are also looking for interesting places to hang out and get rid of our free papers and make some new connections – whether it is a barber’s shop or a community centre, a cool bar or a rowdy pub we are looking for them.
The places we have on the itinerary are just places we could get papers delivered to! We will be exploring those marginals, but also all kinds of places nearby and on the way from one spot to another, so any recommendations are wanted.
You can get in touch with us on facebook here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org