Accidental Gods podcast

Primary Strategy: Growing a new voting paradigm in the South Devon Primary

Rewind 15 seconds
Fast Forward 15 seconds

As you'll know by now, one of our core motivators in creating this podcast was the realisation that the 'democratic' systems of the world are largely broken and are not a useful way to affect change. I used to be a political activist. I thought I'd given all that up, but today's conversation has definitely re-awakened my political instincts because today I'm talking with two of the people who set up South Devon Primary: a group committed to changing the political system in the UK. 
So the first thing to say for those of you who live elsewhere is that this episode is focused on the need for change in the Westminster Parliament. But the issues are worldwide and whatever your political system, it could probably do with being shaken up. We need to share best practice across the globe and what Simon Oldridge, Anthea Simmons and Ben Long have created feels like a template that could be replicated not just throughout the UK but across the world.   The principles are basic and while it's not going to take us to full democracy in one giant leap, it's definitely a step in the right direction.  If adopted around the nation (and the world) it could see us move away from the politics of hatred, fear and resentment to something a great deal more generative. 

To look at these three in more depth and so understand where they're coming from: Simon Oldridge was an accountant with Ernst and Young and then CEO of a manufacturing company. More recently, his awareness of the climate and ecological crisis has led him to engage with a group endeavouring to put forward a Climate and Ecology Bill to the UK parliament (he talks about this in the podcast) and to set up the South Devon Primary campaign which you'll hear about in much more depth. 

Anthea Simmons is Editor in Chief of the progressive online paper, West Country Voices, speaker for Devon for Europe and author of a number of books, including one for young climate activists. Before that, rather like Simon, she worked in financial asset management. She's a passionate advocate for the South Devon Primary and invented the Democracy Meter, which you're also hear about in the conversation. 

Ben Long is an author and educator and currently helps his partner run her ceramics business in Devon. He didn't join us on the podcast - partly because I think two extra voices is enough to contend with - but he's a core part of the work of South Devon Primary. 

And that work is practical, active, really intelligently targeted and if it were taken up around the country, could do more, I think, to shape the outcome of the next general election than anything else I've found.  Listen, enjoy - and then make this happen as near to wherever you live as you can. 

South Devon Primary Website
Zero Hour
Anthea Simmons on LinkedIn
West Country Voices on Twitter
Simon Oldridge on LinkedIn
Simon on Twitter
South Devon Primary on Twitter
Ben Long on Twitter:

Simon - Twitter thread w Local MP

More episodes from "Accidental Gods"