23 January 2019

A new year, a new project

I can never decide whether I like New Years’ resolutions, but I always end up making them because, I suppose, you certainly won’t reach goals you don’t bother to make.

This year, I have taken up the general resolution of being more productive in various aspects of my life — and this site is part of that project. There is a risk that I am just going to fritter away time on it here instead of on The Bird Site, but hopefully others will find it useful. Time will tell.

The Banner Bright is a weblog about politics and social issues, with a focus on the need to build a more equal, democratic society. The site’s title comes from the great socialist anthem, The Red Flag, with its themes of solidarity, cosmopolitanism, and perseverance:

It well recalls the triumphs past,
It gives the hope of peace at last;
the Banner Bright the symbol plain,
Of human right and human gain.

Then raise the scarlet standard high,
Beneath its shade we’ll live and die;
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.

The basic principles motivating The Banner Bright are these:

  • Parliamentary democracy is important, but its role is to implement the will of the people, and that must be determined and expressed by the community on an ongoing basis, not just occasionally at the ballot box.
  • True democracy is about the equitable distribution of power, which requires disparity of wealth or social status to be minimised. Class, race, gender, sexuality, disability, and other factors should not hamper full participation in society.
  • While our political and economic world is built around owners and workers, labour unions are the most important institution for building real democracy — join yours and support others!
  • The transformation of society can not be achieved by adopting a doctrinaire or sectarian stance. Real change comes from the work of many different people organising in many different ways, and pursuing a range of goals that are broadly consistent with a better future.

The goal of this website is to share and discuss news and ideas that advance these ideas.

I’m wary of making a firm commitment without knowing what the work year has in store for me, but I am aiming to share maybe one or two brief links each day, with an occasional longer post.

The Golden Years of Blogging are now a distant memory, so it is unrealistic to expect that people still have a list of bookmarks they click on to check for updates — but there are other ways to keep track of sites you like.

If you are interested, you can subscribe to The Banner Bright via Twitter or RSS for instant notifications — or if you prefer, you can subscribe by email to get a weekly digest newsletter on Wednesday afternoons.

Let’s go!