If there's one thing global justice activists have given up on, it's the vote. With citizens losing faith in party politics and Green parties far from power, over the past few decades activists and campaigners have increasingly turned to other tools like lobbying, protesting, occupying, petitioning and direct action.
This attack was an attack on British democracy, and British democracy is nothing without those who serve the public. Yesterday showed the worst of humanity, but it showed the best of British public servants. As they sat under attack, not knowing whether or not they were safe, most thought not of themselves but of the country and citizens they serve.
Once the British people realise this and realise that they are being duped by the current government, they will look for an alternative flag barer for this great nation. No matter your opinion of Labour's leadership or current selection of MPs, you cannot deny that in places like Bexhill, up and down the country, it is the local Labour Councillors and constituency party members that are rallying the charge for democracy and fairness.
I am a democrat, and one of my major motivations supporting Brexit has been to bring back decision-making to the UK away from the unelected and unaccountable officials in Brussels. Unlike the Left, which wishes to maintain the wall between the rulers and the ruled, I will always defend and encourage the greater use of referenda and will always respect the result.
The creation of a selfless parliamentary system is a real revolution in itself. It is a new way of doing politics, but it is also and mainly a way to restore the people's trust in politics, and send the populist and nationalist preachers of our time back to the one place they belong: the History books.
In the past, authoritarian regimes and unscrupulous governments have gone to great lengths to engineer actual events in order to justify their subsequent actions in the eyes of their people. But today, in the world of alternative facts and fake news, where the media is portrayed as the enemy of the People, fictional atrocities can be created at will - and the faithful will believe that they really happened.
We have to turn up, and keep turning up, and show that we believe equally as hard as they do, and that respect and acknowledgement of the rights of our fellow humans, no matter their skin colour, country of origin, gender, sexuality or whatever differences we may have, are the core values of the society we want to live in. Democracy is the single most important construct our society has ever developed and, whilst it has flaws like everything else, it's beautiful, and it works when we turn up.
We are right to value democracy, and to demand free, fair, regular, competitive elections. But an election is not an end in itself. Elections do not guarantee freedom or good outcomes. Democracy is much more likely to function well, when the rights of all are guaranteed by independent courts, even if this offends the majority. And elected governments are much less likely to become tyrannical when the people keep tabs on them through a free press, and when people are willing to protest. In fact, and this is not an alternative fact, every healthy democracy needs trouble makers.
Our MPs should consider if Brexit Britain, where fear and violence continue to grow, where the few benefit politically and financially on the back of the many engulfed by poverty, a Britain that allies itself with Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is in the interests of this country. MPs must act now, take responsibility and oppose Brexit in the name of democracy.
The term 'activist' should really be stripped of its obnoxious (and in many cases unfair) connotations and begin to be understood exactly as what it really means: acting resolutely in accordance with ones most dearly held principles. The crowds that have been marching in unity throughout the world show that this process is already under way and I urge every one of us to raise their banner alongside them in solidarity.
Last week, on January 27th, we marked international Holocaust Memorial Day. Together with millions of others around the world, I reflected on the history of unspeakable horrors which were committed when nations and peoples surrendered to xenophobia, nationalist prejudice, and lies. That history has a frightening relevance with regard to current world events.
It's been seven years since the legendary American reformer, Doris "Granny D" Haddock, passed away at age 100, but at such a time as this, she would most certainly have something to say. After living through two world wars and the threat of nuclear annihilation - and then walking across America for democracy in her ninetieth year, undaunted by arthritis and emphysema - Granny D knew what she stood for and wasn't afraid to speak.
Even if democracy did not encourage a more educated citizenry, it would still be the only morally defensible way to decide the laws that govern society, and would still be the best guarantor of liberty and rights. Lasch's argument, however, is worth remembering the next time someone wheels out ancient platitudes about people being too stupid for democracy to work.
In a perfect world, everyone's each and every need would be catered for but as we all know, this world is far from perfect. And so we aim to reach a consensus of what is best for most of us (including for "low information, non-city dwelling bigots"). And by doing this, we realise that representation can never be full in its entirety. And polarisation of opinion will always occur.