Reluctantly Political

I had no ambitions to get into politics. I’ve spent most of my life wanting politics to be something that happened quietly and productively, somewhere else, leaving me free to get on with writing books and exploring Druidry and generally doing the stuff I value.

I have no desire to be in charge of anything. I’ve had small tastes of power, in Pagan volunteer roles laden with responsibility. I did not get much of a power kick. I did get a lot of anxiety about doing the job well enough, and managing the responsibilities. I’ll run things if needs be, but leadership is not something I enjoy for its own sake, only for what might usefully be achieved.

Politics is an invasive business. It is not prepared to leave me alone to get on with my work. It is politicians who sort out the laws to protect creative content. I understand from The Society of Authors that the UK affords the shoddiest creator-protection in Europe. VAT on ebooks really hasn’t helped, thank you politicians. Laws about ‘orphan’ works have further undermined copyright. Then there’s all the blocking and banning, and as a Druid author I have to worry that growing censorship will shut down access to my site, and if companies are allowed to buy and sell access more specifically, that could squash me. Then there’s the Trans Atlantic Trade Agreement, which I feel threatened by. As an author, politics has not left me to get on with it.

As a Druid, the natural world matters to me. I see both the sacred and the pragmatic aspects of our essential, life-support systems. I see how politicians are willing to sacrifice the clean air and the safe water for the sake of a quick buck. I see how economic growth is valued above tackling climate change, and as a Druid, this makes me very uneasy. How can I go around being a Druid and be non-political, when politics is trashing the planet?

I would be the first to tell you that I don’t have the knowledge or the training to handle politics. Then I look at the people in positions of power. Climate change denier Paterson in the Environment job. Gove handling teaching, who hasn’t grasped that you can’t make all children perform above average. Osbourn, whose austerity cuts turn out to be very expensive indeed. It’s hard to protest that I’m not clever or informed enough to do a better job, in face of what I see happening.

So I joined the Green Party some years ago, and last year I took on a much more active role, and I’m going to be doing a lot of campaign work. I’ll be supporting EU candidate Molly Scott Cato, economics spokesperson, with a doctorate in economics. She’s knowledgeable, and sensible and doesn’t spend her time shouting random abuse or airing unsubstantiated opinions. I like informed, evidence-based policy, and I like people in positions of leadership and responsibility who know more about it than I do.

I’m tired of people in power who are just in if for the power trip and the opportunity to make themselves and their friends very rich. I’m tired of having to listen to uninformed fantasy and drivel from people who refuse to read, listen or think but who are so overconfident in their own prowess that they still feel entitled to tell the rest of us what to do. I want politicians who are wise, noble, well-informed, responsible and good human beings. That means, until we get to that place, I’ve got to pile in, and try to make some kind of difference. Then, hopefully, there will be some sane and relaxed space in which I can get back into the rest of the business of being an author and Druid.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

13 responses to “Reluctantly Political

  • joannavanderhoeven

    I was just talking about this with my husband last night – how many people got into politics because they wanted to make the world a better place? How many people simply because of power? If it was the former, and they have deviated from their original goal, why? Being in politics is a huge responsibility, but so many don’t regard it as such, living a very ego-centric and anthropocentric existence… x

  • Robert

    As an author and a Druid you can continue to be a clear voice! As a political activist or paticipant you become just another !

    Iconic Druids of many strips always have tended to stay above the fray—–Choosing to advise and clarify and not contaminate their minds with the prattle of the masses—–I wish you well but I may find it sad that you are giving up the spiritual !!!!!! And like it or not—-you will become part of what you so dislike.—–I am certain you will think I am crazy——–But, that is part of the addiction—–Society must go it’s way—–You help best by being a voice——Ghandi died for principle and Mandela was imprisoned for principle——Politics world wide becomes a dumbing down process——-The light you bring to the world will be lost to those of us who truly care and distorted by the rest——–Good luck I will be sorry to watch the descent into the abyss.

    Comments like mine often bring the nashing of teeth by the satanic among us—–Evil is seldom ugly —-It comes —-well dressed and well spoken—-

    Adolf Hitler believed in his people——And brought about such evil as to be a reminder to the rest of us who take the time to—-THINK.

    Best wishes on the next leg of your journey—-Truly!!!!!!!!

    • Nimue Brown

      Not giving up the spiritual, promise! sorry that wasn’t so clear, but I couldn’t stop being a Druid, its too much who I am. this is more about how I spend my time. I’ve been pouring energy into politics for a good 6 months now, and mostly keeping up the Druidry, although the fiction writing has suffered a bit…. but I do it overtly as a Druid, which is going to get interesting….

    • Hakea

      Politics and Druidry are not incompatible! While I’m not an active campaigner with the Greens in my country, my Druidry is what fuels my politics and pushed me to try to make a difference and raise awareness.

      So it’s definitely not a either/or scenario! 🙂

      To Nimue – good luck! It’s a long road to change, but we need intelligent, responsible people trying for political change worldwide!

    • Christopher Blackwell

      The spiritual is braided into the material as long as you live in this mortal world. To claim you can only be spiritual by standing on the sidelines is a bogus claim. I might remind you that the ancient Druids held considerable power as they were the law keepers, and they made all the final decisions when even kings could not interfere. Kings went to Druids to find out what was the right way to do things.

      To stand on the sidelines wringing ones hands is giving power to those that are truly evil and destructive. Since you choose to use Christian concepts such as the Satan and Satanic may I point out that even Jesus came in to whip the money changers and over turn there money tables when they were set up in the temple. How could Pagans do less?

      So to claim one can only be spiritual by not interfering with the destruction of the world and mankind is in itself evil advice.

      • Robert

        Mr Blackwell your rant clearly makes my point—-
        I claim none of your assumptions and pity all who might listen to you—-I admire your self-righteous arrogance??????? —— Which part of evil don’t you understand?—-You obviously are so well dressed and so well spoken !!!!!!—-Please spare me any further diatribe ——And the beat goes on——–

  • caelesti

    The world would be a much better place if more people got involved. That seems to be happening- the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, etc. I’ve taken a long sanity break from activism myself- now I am carefully getting involved again. I was just asked to speak at a state legislature meeting about enacting a law that would give people paid sick leave sooner after they start working (instead of having to wait 6 months when you’re new to a job) also getting involved with raising the minimum wage (happening at both state & federal levels).

  • locksley2010

    Go on Nimue! We need more like you. How long until the people turn around and say “Enough” to the self serving Government?

  • Disillusion | Wild Yoga

    […] Nimue Brown is an author and blogger getting heavily involved with Stroud district politics. Here’s one of the many things she does as a day-job: Hopeless, Maine and here’s her explanation of why this all matters: DruidLife […]

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