ElectEd.in introductory speech


The transcript of the introductory video at www.elected.in, as requested by a few folks:


My name’s Ed Dowding and I’m running to be an independent MEP, because I’m bored of politics.

I’m bored of the short term thinking, I’m bored of the arguments about people and not about issues, and I’m bored by the way all the truly important problems are ignored.

We seem to have forgotten that the way we live is a CHOICE. It can seem at times that there is so much history shaping the way we do things that it would be impossible to change now. It can seem that we live in two worlds: the one we know in our daily experience, and the one we read about and see on TV. It can seem that no matter what we do or how hard we try, the bad guys still sneak away to safety, and the good guys never get a break.

Today, I’m asking you to give me a break. Today I’m asking you to vote for me so that I can try to make a difference in Europe.

Europe started as an idea for peace, progress, and trade, and then quickly moved into the public realm and started influencing our lives in more direct ways. In the 90s I used to think that they should stop, just wind it back to a free trade area and leave it at that.

But over the last 15 to 20 years, we have grown increasingly aware of emerging global problems. Not only problems born of globalisation like fair trade, and huge companies throwing their weight around, but also the big problems:

SARS and bird flu have shown us how quickly disease can spread in a connected society; climate change evidence mounted and we had storms and HUGE floods. We have had wars about religion and oil .. oil, a commodity which underpins our entire economy — an economy which has become untethered from value, and been shown to have severe flaws, not just if left unregulated, but also inherent in its very structure and operation.

And in response to these problems what do we get from our party politicians? We get… well … not enough. Some nice work against price fixing in the medicinal drugs market, disproportionate amount of chat about a constitution (which I’m against, by the way), and pressure on mobile phone manufacturers to all use the same charger. Which is neat and will save a lot of waste, but leaves me with the feeling that many of them are fiddling, whilst Rome burns.

Does the EU not understand that trust is earned? Do they not understand that if they do the job we WANT them to do, and confront these problems head on, THEN we will see that the EU can be a thing of value?

THEN we will see ourselves as part of an amazing organisation that is solving mankind’s problems together, because there is no way that we can solve these problems on our own.

Well it turns out that the EU DOES know this. If you read the research and ideas coming out of the EU, many of them are BRILLIANT. Marvellous solutions for making transport zero-carbon, large funds for energy research and implementation, some excellent work in early identification of pandemics, and much more. You should take a look at europa.eu.

So if we know what needs to be done, why aren’t we doing it?

Because the people who make the choices, the politicians, lack the vision to see the solutions; and those who do are allied to parties which work on vote chasing and short term appeal. They are frightened to deal with the problems, because they think you are not ready to face them.

You’re not stupid. You know there’s an energy crisis. You know there’s a population crisis. You know there’s climate crisis. You know that something really needs to be done about these.

But it’s also a lot easier if you can make it someone else’s problem. So you did that. You assigned politicians to represent you in this representative democracy.

But they haven’t. Even given the scale and immediacy of some of problems they’re supposed to fix they have stuck to party lines and old solutions based on a fundamental misapprehension of the problems: aid policies based on the same system which created the need for aid, a war on terror which creates more terrorists, farming methods which create famine, legislation which is aimed to help businesses, but ends up ruining them; a currency which is supposed to bring stability but which magnifies the financial shocks. In the words of Einstein, ‘we can not solve problems using the same thinking used when they were created

What we need in Europe – what we need in ALL politics – is people who don’t care about politics. We need people who care about getting the best long term solution. We need people who are strong enough to stand up for what is right, — even if it’s painful.

People who can talk with honest urgency about fish stocks and agricultural policies, who will campaign loudly and effectively about the overwhelming need for transparency and openness in Europe, people who will represent your DISGUST that we can bail out banks but not find money for public transport and energy; people who will work tirelessly to bring you the answers you deserve.

It is not overstating the situation to say that humanity faces a choice right here, and right now, about how we deal with the century to come.  — About how we deal with problems which simply can not be adequately dealt with at the national level. Problems which require us to all pull together if we’re going to see the next century.

Not only does humanity face a choice, but YOU face a choice. This is YOUR economy, YOUR country, YOUR Europe, YOUR world, YOUR life, YOUR future, YOUR vote… this is YOUR moment to make a difference.

Here’s what you can do, right now, to make change happen:

Please vote for me before midnight today, Friday 24th April, by text EDDOW01 to 86837.

Learn more about the issues at www.electEd.in, or by googling ‘Ed Dowding MEP’

And put it in you diary to vote in the elections on 4th June. If you are not yet registered to vote, you can get a form online at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk

If we work together, we can do this.

Ed Dowding

Ed Dowding

Founder, strategist, writer, gadfly, TED talker, world-record holder, and (foolishly) reality-TV farmer. DOES: Innovation, Product, Advocacy THINKS: Regenerative Systems, Institution design, 300 year horizons


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