Our fringe event at the Labour conference
We are very proud of what we achieved yesterday with DiEM25 United Kingdom.
In our first fringe event at The Labour Party conference we made the case for Citizens' Assemblies in the Brexit context highlighting how this is the only long term solution to the democratic and constitutional crisis we are facing.
Yanis Varoufakis - Γιάνης Βαρουφάκης energetically reminded us all to cheer up as this crisis has created a wonderful opportunity to imagine a different country, as Citizens Assemblies would open up an democratic discussion on the UK constitution, our decaying infrastructure and business model borne of decades of neoliberalism.
Julie Ward for NW & Europe MEP, defended the EU Parliament and voiced the view that the EU would be keen to allow time for a process of Citizens Assemblies that can inform a better referendum. We do indeed need more time to listen to people we don't agree with, as part of a new politics that puts citizenship education and civil society front and centre.
Lisa Nandy, MP, gave a powerful intervention on the two England of large cities and small towns that seem to have lost the art of compromise after being driven further and further apart by the economic policies of successive governments.
The Labour Party is going through a difficult discussion around its Brexit policy and its divisions reflect the divisions of society at large. This is why we are convinced that this Brexit crisis can only be resolved by broadening the discussion from the referendum to an overdue process of democratization of both the UK and the EU.
No matter what happens in the next few weeks, deliberative democracy is both the antidote to regressive populism and the way to fix what's broken in our democracies. There is no shortcut to end the Brexit saga, heal the divisions of this country and tackle its constitutional crisis. In the long term the best and quickest way forward is a deep process of citizens’ empowerment which we are convinced should precede any new referendum.
We will keep this flame alive in the challenging months ahead of us.