Inclusion & Gestalt Politics


I am Billie and I believe in Gestalt Politics and I believe SomethingNew should be committed to that.
Having looked at the Manifesto, however ,I am not yet convinced.
Open Politics to be accessible to al l, means - in my opinion , that policy’s should be selected by the people collectively, not by groups no - matter how well meaning.That won’t be done by creating a situation where only people who sign up for a GitHub account can even influence the manifesto.
You claim, as an " Party" to represent change. Is that true or just a selling point?
As Quentin Crisp once said, -
" If you want the world to be a better place , darling, be a better person.“
If the " Party” is genuinely committed to change where is the opportunity for the public at large to challenge aspects of the manifesto without needing a level of computer literacy, which many older people do not have?
Is this group for everyone or just for Pro-EU, younger generation supporters?
Please understand where I am coming from here. If the outcome of the Brexit referendum had been in favour of staying in the EU, I would have accepted that decision, no matter how much I disagreed with it.
Staying in the EU as part of an " open " policy . that , as a Brexiteer is something I can never support. Not because I am against Europe but because the British people NEVER joined it.
Yes, I was there, I remember the FACTS not the fiction.
The British people joined the E.E.C.- that is the only thing we signed up to . The European commission, the European Parliament, etc,etc, have nothing to do with the democratic will of the people so could I have some clarification here?
The EU is a political party dream, a dream of Absolute Beurocratic Control over a powerless populace.Are you for real, or not?
If you are, why is there a Manifesto shaped by a minority?
Can we have some openness about this?

Introduce yourself!

Hi Billie, welcome!

I’m not sure what Gestalt politics means, but some google searching has got to me some understanding (I hope!)

From my understanding this whole point of the party is openness and involvement - everyone is free to get involved. You are right that at the moment it takes a small amount of computer literacy but no more than the skills people use to write on this forum. That said, the perception can be that it is more difficult than that and I know that the founding members have been putting effort into trying to remove that barrier (both by education and creation of easier to use tools).

At the end of all that, we should have policies that are defined by anyone that wants to take part.

As for your statements about leaving the EU, I think that the current policy is defined by those currently taking part - I, for example, am very much pro-EU, and whilst I fully believe that you would have accepted the outcome of the referendum no matter what the result, I firmly believe that the referendum was a poorly planned, badly run shambles - even if the outcome was to remain, I wouldn’t have blamed anyone for saying that it wasn’t settled.

It was never really clear what people were voting for - I know people that voted to leave but wanted to remain in the single market and free movement area. Similarly, I also (unfortunately) know people that want all “non-British” people to be put on boats “home” immediately. I don’t think that they were voting for the same thing - it was a false choice.

That said, it does raise an interesting thought - if the point of openness is to encourage all people to contribute, how can we ensure that a strong current position in one or more areas of policy doesn’t put off people with the opposite position? This probably wants a thread all of its own if we want to continue this discussion!



I don’t believe the meaning of my words has been digested at all.

If you are as inclusive as you are suggesting why is direct involvement restricted to those you presume - falsely , I would argue - to people who have regular access to the internet and what you term a basic understanding of computers.
Sorry, but that appears to me to be either muddled thinking or deliberate evasion.

Many people do not have access to the Internet for a variety of reasons so in what way can they contribute to your " Manifesto" ?

Gestalt politics means every decision which affects the electorate being made by the electorate.
In short it is about democracy. Yes, it is not easy to comprehend in regard to the present system, because it does depend upon it’s abolition. I am talking about direct election ( by the voters ) of independant politicians to individual ministerial positions on the strength of the individual policies, which would not be manufactured to promote outdated ideaologies that serve no other purpose than to divide society against itself .
As a Party you could argue well we have decisions on who to vote for and what policies we want put through on our behalf, but that is simplistic at best, and again, at worst, - evasive, the current Party system offers a choice of elected Dictatorships not a responsible Government. Bear with me on this one, please.

Under the current System we are duped into voting for specific policies that we( in theory ) support. The reality is that we are playing see-saw politics to ensure the survival of the Party System. We vote for Conservatives, for example, because they promise to cut taxes, but we don’t want their other policies. So, next election we vote for the other Party to get rid of policies we don’t want.This is, of course, if they keep their promises to begin with.
The odds , however, are stacked against us, - we are lied to from the beginning by being told If you vote— we will do this, but the reality is that the policies we vote for are then put to a second vote by both the Government and the opposition.Also, as often happens, many people who are members of the winning Party only paid lip-service to accepting the leaders Policies to begin with in order for the Party to get into power and so vote with the opposition to stop the voter getting his/her democratic choice. Much like the Brexit argument.

You say you are a passionate pro-EU supporter, yet you fail to clarify that definition.
Do you really understand the distinction between the EU - a system of Non-Elected Dictatorship and the E.E,C, -the Open Market we joined?
I doubt that. You appear to think we who voted Brexit are uninformed knee-jerk reactionaries ,when you have no idea whatever of the bigger picture. The reason we now have the very real possibility of a Third World war, is a direct consequence of the EU and the ambition to create a European army.If you think that coincidence then perhaps you should have studied European history more than computers. There is a film ( a very entertaning one ) called The Odessa File, which ,is only part-fiction. Take the message from that film and relate it to why Putin was elected and why he annexed Crimea, and you might gain a better understanding of the real situation this world is in due to over-reaching EU ambitions.
I, for one, knew exactly what I was doing when I voted Brexit, I am by no means a simpleton and presenting the argument that people didn’t understand what they were voting for is both ingenious and incorrect.
You are partially correct that leaving the EU was not the ONLY reason, but being members of a non-elected dictatorship certainly was, and will remain, a significant issue.

I have already explained the EU issue and it is clear that while my generation did have very clear reasons for voting to leave , it is yourself and the pro-EU lobby who are confused.We understood the question clearly enough and it is you who either can’t or won’t understand the answer.

So, let me attempt to clarify it once more.
We the people never voted to join the EU,
We, and i am talking about the democratic decision of people I strongly disagreed with at the time, decided to join the E.E.C. referred to then as the Common Market.

The Common Market is NOT the EU. What part of that is difficult to understand ?
Perhaps you should clarify your statement to read …it was never really clear to those who never voted for the E.E.C. why we were being asked to leave something which those who did vote to join the E.E.C. were never given the option to vote for or against prior too the referendum?( I hope that makes sense? )

SomethingNew claims to be in favour of Democracy but whose democracy are we talking about your’s or mine?
So, you are one of the disgruntled 48% who voted pro-EU and choose to ignore the vote of the 52% as a consequence of our lack of insight.
What of the Scottish Independance issue, do you also believe that those who voted to remain part of Great Britain also got it wrong? I don’t read anything in the Manifesto supporting the arguments of Nicola Sturgeon.
Now why is that?
Could it be that because you approved of that democratic vote it should stand , while the result of another democratic vote should not because you personally disapprove?
As for the racism of the band-wagon jumpers who also voted to leave, I would make two points.
1/ If you invest in your own people as well as new arrivals, it is far more difficult for racism to take hold.
2/ I know people in the pro - EU camp who are equally racist.
Being in or out does not change human nature, but attempts to do so only reinforce the negatives.

This brings us to another reason I voted to leave.
The British political system lost it’s way when forcing the EU on the electorate.
The EU has been an excuse for Britain’s politicians to ignore the problems at home, and this is equally true of many other Nations within the EU, including France and Germany. The popularity of Marie Le Pen’s party is a direct consequence of ignoring home-grown issues.Perhaps, you can’t see that, or it doesn’t matter to you?
It matters to me, and millions of others.

The little people voted for meaningful change, for whatever reasons, the main one being common to all, the ignoring of the poor and vulnerable in their own Nation-states, not only the working-class but the underclass also.One thing is certain, Britain is going to leave the EU. Whether we remain in the E.E.C. may well depend upon people like yourself embracing the concept by accepting the distinction.
I repeat, hopefully for the last time. the EU is not the E.E.C.
I am anti-EU, I am not anti-European, so let’s put that one to bed shall we.

In your Manifesto you are promoting the ideaology of a walking corpse , which may well lead to the Zombie Apocylpse.
I suggest you seriously consider promoting your support to the original Common Market if SomethingNew really wants to make any sizeable impact in politics.
Neither, the British nor other European people are going to vote for any party that promotes Elitism in any shape or form.Like I said before there is a once in a lifetime opportunity here to make the world a better place ( providing we avoid Nuclear War , which, if we can survive to the end of the year may well be avoided. ).

Parliament’s and Political Party’s throughout Europe have all lost touch with the voter, because they are promoting their own blinkered visions.
The people all know what the Party’s want, but do they in turn know what their people really need?


I think that we should probably split this topic off into aa new thread if we want to continue discussing it (which I would be happy to do), or it will overwhelm the “introduction” thread.

Can one of the admins help with that please?



Sorry, I didn’t intend to hijack this thread.


Hi @billie! Thanks for your thoughts. As discussed I’ve split this out into a new thread, simply to keep the intro thread cleaner and to give us space for proper discussion. It’s late now, so I’ll give this a proper read and get back to you tomorrow.

But, just to (partially) address your point on inclusion - YES, absolutely; finding ways to make this more accessible to people with less digital access is really important. We started with quite an unfriendly interface requiring people to use GitHub directly, and have since improved that so that less technical people are OK, and there’s more to come in terms of allowing people to use other social media identities, not just GitHub accounts.

However, making it work for people who aren’t even online is something that I know we will have to do as well. That’s especially true for any progressive movement, as those who are offline can also be the most vulnerable in society. We’re not there yet, but rest assured it’s something we know we have to do. We should be more explicit about that as a target though.

At the moment, our manifesto is simple shaped by those who have taken part so far, and it reflects their beliefs. It’s not intended to be a thing that satifies everyone (no manifesto ever can be), but it will obviously change as participation increases. It’s also limited by the time we’ve had available to put into it. We’re building this all as we go along :slight_smile:


Incidentally, on the EU question, before I go to bed, the party does contain both pro-EU and Eurosceptic voices, and while we came down in the Remain side in general, we certainly don’t want the EU to remain the same as it is - it does need huge reform, and does need to serve the needs of its people. So I hope there’s plenty of room for the full range of viewpoints on the topic - we certainly don’t shout down dissent around here :slight_smile:


Like @geeksareforlife I hadn’t come across the term “gestalt politics” before, and there’s very little about it online, but from the one reference I could find to the term, it sounds like a democratic, consensus-driven process that operates collectively as opposed to hierarchically; and yes, that’s very much what we’re trying to do here :slight_smile:


@ Floppy,
thank you for the response.
I can explain my views on Gestalt politics more if you like.
The main issue with it , however, as being consensus driven, policies themselves are devised by " complete" or " inclusive " consensus.
As such, having a manifesto establishes an indirect form of ideaologically driven mission-statement that is contrary to true democratic growth.As, for being little about Gestalt politics online, it is a spiritual conviction that is not present in Party politics.
In essence , it is the oppossite of Party politics. It is my own creation, if you will, which is why it is not generally understood at present.The fundamental premise is , however ,that collective need is more important than minority want.
If you perceive a similarity between the words of Spock " The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few " that is not coincidence.The philosophy is similar, though it would be better expressed as " The needs of the many outweigh the wants of the few.
I have things to do so I will have to come back to this, but ,before I leave I would say that I am not sure Iet that I am in the right place. I find it very difficult to associate a manifesto with any form of collective consensus.

p.s. Just to be sure we are on the same page here, - I am not a Trekkie.


Hi Billie

I think you have four main points, so I’ll try to give my opinions on each (and these are just my personal opinions, and open to change :slight_smile: ). If I’ve missed anything, let me know!

Gesalt Politics - it sounds great in theory, I’m all for more people having greater control over our democracy. I’m not convinced that the methodology you lay our would work in practice, but I’m not sure that matters right now!

Access to our manifesto - I’m with @floppy on this - I would love to get non-connected people involved. I’m not sure how to do that without a lot of money though, so I would welcome any suggestions you have. My first thoughts definitely steer towards getting those people connected, as I believe that it will become more and more important to be connected in the future world.

EU - yes, I know the difference between the EEC (now EC) and the EU (and the ECJ and the EEA, and the various other European institutions). I know that the common market is not the EU, and I still believe that we are better in the EU than out of it - I think that reform from within is better.

Leave voters - I absolutely don’t think that people that voted Brexit are uninformed. I think that the choice offered wasn’t a true choice. The question itself was very clear, but the electorate were lied to repeatedly - the example that particularly annoys me were multiple statements from the Leave side that we could remain in the single market and remove free movement of people. A number of my friends and family voted Leave for exactly that reason and are now upset that we appear to be leaving the single market. I think that people voted Leave for a variety of reasons - what I was trying to say is that I don’t think that the 52% all voted Leave for the same reason.



Thanks @billie; there’s one important thing that I think might make things clearer. At the moment, we’re a party, building an open source manifesto based on consensus, because that’s what we think we can make work in the current system. However, I certainly believe that post-party post-representative politics is essential for the future, something based much more on liquid democracy or similar ideas. So I think we are thinking along the same lines as far as the future is concerned. The party believes that it shouldn’t have to exist :slight_smile:


This sounds interesting - I am involved in the Hackspace movement as well, and some of those spaces make decisions entirely by consensus. I can see that further on in your post you sidestep the main issue that Hackspaces encounter - you can’t ever have a complete consensus as the group gets larger.

That’s a shame :slight_smile:


again you have misconstrued my meaning.
I have not actually laid out any “methodology” r.e. Gestalt politics. I am aware of the complexity of the issues involved , and can’t expand upon them in a single post.
We are not here talking simply about Government by consent.what I mean by Gestalt politics needs to be explained in detail before the practical workings can be explained, you are disagreeing with something you don’t understand because clarification demands explanations be taken in several different contexts, so how can you measure what has not been said?

In regard to your explanation of consensus I likewise disagree completely that ANY consensus can be made without all individuals affected by the policies concerned being actively involved with voting on the issues.If you were presenting your " Manifesto", as all there is- take it or leave it, to the voter, then you are only doing what all existing parties do - where is there anything “new”?
However, if you were presenting a list of policies directly to the public en masse, for them to reject or accept on their individual merits then you have true consensus and approach Gestalt.
The Gestalt are the people - as the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. True consent cannot be granted by those not actively involved in the decision making process.
You say this is impractical and can’t be done?

I say you are wrong, and you lack imagination because you are still not viewing the big picture.That, however is a digression.Everything I have said so far is a product of a lengthy thought process and to explain each point in context requires time.All of this is the subject of a Book I am now in the process of compiling, which aims to prove that not only can Great Britain survive post-Brexit comfortably outside of the EU, but also lead the world in a newer, more exciting and positive direction. While I am concerned at the present time with post-Brexit issues, everything I will have to say in the final written work can equally be applied on a global scale.
Of course, this can’t be achieved in time for the next election, but I do believe once the dots are joined the overall plan can in the space between this and the next election gain sufficient momentum to change British politics forever.
It does require as I said joining up the dots.

First, Gestalt Politics itself needs to be properly explained.
Then we move on from theory of Gestalt Politics by gestalt Consent
Next, the practicalities involved in establishing a network ( not strictly a computer network ) must be evaluated and a constructive framework evaluated and organised.
Next, Policies generated by the Gestalt itself - the greater public -, not just the consensus on this forum would be considered for inclusion in a Policy Voting System.
Next, we consider how such a Political system could be constructed and put into practice. As I have said, I have considered most of the problems you hint at and have worked on what I believe to be workable solutions and answers .

At this point I think any further general discussion is counter-productive. All I really want at present is to see if we are all - in principle - on the same wavelengh.?
If the manifesto you are discussing is - take it or leave it - then we are not, but that may be my fault in not explaining things to your satisfaction.I have tried to point out that a set Manifesto can only appeal to a sub-set of the population and that continues to promote see-saw party politics which will change nothing.
People are afraid of the new and to encourage them to leave their comfort zone and vote for the Unknown, it is necessary to convince them they are being given greater freedom of choice in fact and not merely theory.
with the aid of the media - including the Newspapers - that can, I believe, be done.
Newspapers always want " something new ", but it has to be genuinely new and of substantial substance.
You may think I am trying to run before I can walk here, but isn’t that what SomethingNew is doing?

You have theory’s, imagination,but a mini-consensus is not a real consensus, and, I don’t believe the public will vote for any " New Manifesto " , which appears to offer them the same old,same old.
One example, euthanasia - really ?
As a policy that is a hornet’s nest. alternatively, if the policy was placed on a back-burner until after SomethingNew became a player, it’s a whole different set of circumstances. You could very easily shoot yourself in the foot with that one.
Now, let’s take another issue .The Scottish Parliament has proposed raising the purchase price of alcohol , in an effort to reduce alcoholism. as a Scot I can only laugh at such absurdity. Alcoholism is an addiction, not a choice.
Having been in the Wine Trade in years gone by,I would suggest through experience that a more sensible approach would be to introduce a paid-for Responsable Drinker’s Licence before you could even purchase alcohol, with a three strikes and your out policy, the third strike involving a form of controlled rehab based on aversion therapy.

My point here is not which policy is really the best but which would the public be more comfortable with.
Many people, outside of this forum have ideas and policies which are " new " and different.
Old politics has failed and old ideas, no matter how radical are seen in a similar negative light.
Speaking as a voter now, I would say I see nothing in your manifesto which appeals to me enough to vote for you.
These are simply not my choices - they are yours- the policies of a minority, they are wants not needs,
All of the public want three things that Politicians have always promised and never delivered.

Peace of Mind, Happiness and Health - in precisely that order.
Euthanasia does not supply that, nor does the conviction that the EU is good for you.
When people feel in control of their lives they have Peace Of Mind, when they have Peace Of mind they are happy, when they are Happy they look after their Health.
How does limiting their choices promise them Peace Of Mind?

Anyway, it appears I am getting nowhere a tpresent , so for now, i will call it a day.


The party will change to reflect the greatest number of commits, if you disagree with the consensus then it is your duty to branch or vote down. I beleive all members have their own views, but are willing to put the will as gained through the system first and foremost.

Should it be easier? Yes, but it is improving all the time. That doesn’t make it a bad thing.

As for accessability, with the ‘older’ generation, they have been teaching binary indexing at a more advanced level than they currently due every year since the 50’s. So the lack of accessability for an older generation is a publicity issue, but it is also a total fallacy.

A small number of elderly people of course have trouble with any system, new or not. But they were all introduced to it, several decades ago.

It’s a bit like claiming no one ever told yoi what words are, well, you may have ignored it but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

This is a common technique by the self illeterate in finance to move blame, but, the reality is very much willful ignorance.

I do sound a bit mean here, but it is still true. You have exact recall of the entry agreements to the EEC but not to what you learn’t at school. A little conveniant no?

Every library has internet access, as well as friendly people to help.

So does every bank, school, college, job centre. Stop trying to present a falacy.


The manifesto is also bot written by the people on this forum, it is independant. It supports the STV which gives the better representarion uou seem to be alluding to and it also prepared to change overnight with the commits of the newly initiated through the countless number of programmes included to encourage uptske and understanding. Have a nice saturday afternoo


I live in the west highlands, an area notorious for the inaccessability of internet. However, it is also notorius for lack of services and infastructure. It is CONSIDERABLY easier to access the internet than it is to get to a post office or school. (somewhat contrary to my earlier point). 3 hr ferry journeys to reach a food shop are not uncommon. Really, we just need a nice front end, luckily, github supports this. So we just need to act


I don’t know where you are coming from here Mr.Sturrock but your personal observations do not cover every area of great Britain or Scotland.
Democracy is for everyone, – even the homeless , - and I’ve been there too, if you would like to make a comment on that also.
I never said Elderley people have problem with the so-called " system but that many have no practical involvement in it not because of lack of education but health and other issues .the squeeze on public finances causes problems in many areas
You have made three replies to the one post so far, Your view of what constitutes a " fallacy" is empty rhetoric. if you want to prove the case , where are your verifiable statistics , where are your points of reference?
My views are based on my own experiences and observations that are obviously a great deal different than yours.
the Western Highlands may well have benefited from EU support for Internet connection and education but the reality of life both in the Scottish Borders and rural lancashire , both of which are home to me at different times of the year have taught me otherwise.
You come across to me as a box -ticking civil servant , with no true grasp of the real problems of the common man or woman.


I think we’re can all agree that inclusion is important here; wherever the “digital divide” lies (and it’s a mulitfaceted divide based on age, income, social class, all sorts of things), we need to remember that while we are an Internet-based system, there are people who can’t (or won’t) access that.

Rather than arguing about exactly who is or isn’t right on particular aspects, we should instead think about how we can practically bring access to this system to people who are excluded from the democratic process, and whether we can bring anything new to the table. @Lewis_Sturrock’s insight that while we might imagine that the Highlands are badly connected to the Internet, the fact that they are connected at all is way more than they have for other infrastructure, I for one found very interesting, and a positive thing for the process we’re working on here.

And a friendly warning: further agressive discussion on who knows more than who about things will see this thread locked, as it’s won’t go anywhere useful. If we want to talk about improving inclusion, perhaps a clean fresh thread would be the place to do it.


I apolgise Billie for comming across strongly, my intent was not to insult.

Having read your thread I think we are on the same wavelength and that you are correct that the current ‘consensus’ is from a very small sample.

We need to make that sample bigger. The ambition I presume would be for every resident/member of the populance.

You will have experiences and expertise I do not, and that is exactly the point, to get as many people to contribute as possible with different opinions.

I have experienced the difficulty in registering for traditional voting when I have had no fixed abode.

To contribute to the manifesto however, you do not need a fixed abode.

I think this is positive.

We will butt heads from time to time, but I think It’s great that we are all passionate.

Thank you for your time.


@ Lewis Sturrock,
I apologise for my response also.