OK. There’s a vote coming up that will make a huge difference either way. Let’s approach it with utter seriousness.

But it’s not the be-all and end-all of democracy. There is more…

The stuff that is even more serious is the kind of stories we tell about ourselves as a country, the values we hold central… How we talk to each other across our differences, and what we do as a result of talking together.

That’s real democracy.

So please, please, please, wherever you are in the country, whether you’re ‘safe’ or ‘marginal’, before 8 June please organise some open get-togethers to talk vision, values, priorities, stories, identities, solidarities… and what we can do together as citizens. Because it’s only by talking about that stuff together that we’ll know what we need our politicians to do with us, or for us.

Please: get people together, bridge divides, get people talking, get a taste for people power.

That’s the only way things will really change.

Revd Al Barrett, Hodge Hill Church
Niall Cooper, Church Action on Poverty
April 2017