More about this website
The photo shown in the centre of the header to this site, and copied here is of the tiny Town Hall of what was the notorious “rotten borough” of Gatton in Surrey, England, UK. A rotten borough was where the population of a long-standing Parliamentary consituency had shrunk to almost nobody but still returned one or more MPs to the unreformed House of Commons before 1832. They were generally owned by a wealthly patron who could control who was elected. Given the current disrespect for politics and politicians and the increasing influence by hidden very wealthy interests in our increasingly unequal society, it is not beyond the powers of imagination to envisage a return to similar levels of corruption of our political processes.
Right now the democratic process in many countries is under pressure as many people are disengaged from politics and are tempted by more authoritarian solutions. Arguably we are in a period of transition and moving towards a new political dispensation and are experiencing a creative tension between global forces driven by climate change, a nationalist and authoritarian reaction and a new, collective and democratic impulse.
This blog explores the current era of political crises in contemporary politics and an emergence of new political visions.
The focus is the UK but also Europe, the USA and global trends.
The aim is to be informative, to raise awareness and understanding, and to be balanced and non-party-political.
Authorship and background
John Gloster-Smith, BA Oxford, PGCE Oxford, MAC, is an observer and commentator on contemporary British and global politics from a political systems perspective. His background is in organisational consulting; senior management coaching, particularly with senior UK civil servants; and small and large group process and facilitation. He has been trained and has specialised in Gestalt Psychology. Previously he was the Director of History and Politics at Mill Hill School in North London for 10 years and read Modern History at University College, Oxford. Thus he is able to integrate an understanding of people and their motives and behaviour from a psychological perspective, systems thinking, and an awareness of how people lead and work in groups. He also brings a strong knowledge of political systems and behaviour, and a wide-ranging expertise in historical contexts and backgrounds in British, European and North American history.
All written material in this blog is original and copyrighted. Where possible other sources are acknowledged in the text. For any issues about copyright, or any other matter relating to this blog, please contact John Gloster-Smith here.