Deliberative Democracy, a beautiful echo and another appeal to Lambeth Labour

Image by Steve Snodgrass via Flickr

On 4th June I managed to string together a very brief post on the then much anticipated launch of Lambeth Labour’s white paper and citizens consultation on it’s much heralded “Co-operative Council” strategy.

My post was a very humble and basic set of hopes/recommendations for the good people at Lambeth Labour to guide them in their proposed “public consultation”. Sadly, though lets be honest, not unsurprisingly, no one at Lambeth Town Hall reads my blog.  As I’ll soon be posting, the much vaulted White Paper and ensuing consultation process has been quite a disappointment thus far.

However – while I am saddened by the rather haphazard approach being adopted here in SW2, I was heartened (really heartened) that Matthew Taylor  (Chief Executive of the RSA since November 2006 prior to which he was Chief Adviser on Political Strategy to the Prime Minister) posted an eerily similar piece to his RSA Blog on the challenges of Government run “public consultations”.  And he’s a man who knows having been responsible for “The Big Conversation”. Remember that?

Just four days after I made my entreaty to Lambeth Labour to place an exercise in deliberative democracy at the very heart of it’s “co-operative government” consultation, Matthew Taylor suggested this particular approach as possibly the only genuinely valuable strategy to engage and gain endorsement from the public on tough policy decisions.

It’s on the rare occasion like this that I feel genuinely a little better about myself. I know this is a inappropriate and misplaced vanity, but it reminds me that sometimes I do have something useful to say when I can stay my limited intellect long enough to craft an argument.

It’s just a shame he didn’t post a little sooner. I sense the words of the Chief Exec of the RSA carry more weight in the corridors of power in SW2 than those of a well meaning if ill qualified part time blogger and one time consultant from up Acre Lane.

So – deliberative democracy. Lambeth Labour – it’s not too late; but are you listening?

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