After the Convention of Modern Liberty debacle, I stomped off to my “local Wetherspoon’s” (I’m aware of the contradiction, but the only ‘greasy spoon’ cafe nearby is awful) for a veggie breakfast.
Bumped into a guy I know tangentially, and although the conversation started off amicably enough, it soon spiralled out of control. I bear at least 50% of the blame for that, and really should grow up. Sigh. I think the button that was pushed (and again, I bear the blame here- I should be in better control of my buttons) was the resigned assumption that numbers attending a campaigning group’s meetings must necessarily shrink with time.
WTF? Since when was it acceptable to accept that campaigns will go up like a rocket and down like a stick? Why aren’t we moving heaven and earth to figure out how to do things better? Why aren’t we doing sensible soul-searching about the reasons newbies don’t stick around, why other people never quite set foot through the door, why the ‘core group’ is core, and stays core? Why aren’t we highlighting the dangers of burnout and cliquyness in core groups?
Are we doing all this activism tosh this for social reasons, or are we doing it because we genuinely want to achieve our goals?? Huh??
So it all came down to a tedious semantic battle on the meaning of “open”. Open has many meanings, but here it was put, bizarrely as a “contradiction” with ‘fun’.
http://www.agileopen.net/on-open-space is a good place to start.
Campaign Against Enduring Counter-productive and Useless Meetings is obviously going to have to be re-vivified…