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Old world inertia

To what extent do you feel the pull of the old and the familiar in your own life and the communities and institutions that you are a part of? 

We tend not to like change. We tell ourselves we are happiest with what we know, even if it’s not good for us, because to acknowledge otherwise is to realise the need to act and change things.

The gravitational pull of the status quo is a powerful one, particularly as those who benefit the most from it are incentivised to keep things as they are.

I’m frustrated with ‘old guard’, the committees spending hours talking but not doing.

Creative Director and Grounds Manager, Gatis Community Space, Wolverhampton Adam Billington

What we heard...

Our pursuit of economic growth contributed to COVID. Our overcrowded citizens, cities and countries”  

Edinburgh resident

“Rural areas don’t always have the dynamism of young urban populations and people think that politics is a thing that happens over there rather than here so they don’t engage with it.” 

Norfolk resident 

“Politically the will isn’t there. Successive governments have side-stepped fixing social care. More people work in social care than in the NHS. More people are unwell at home than are being helped in the NHS…

New housing near me echoes 18th century models of social housingif any of those people ever need a wheelchair they’ll never get upstairs. This is just continuing mindless thinking. This part of society is here, social care and public health are there. Politically awakening is needed to drive it all together.

Stephen Sloss, COE of Salvere, a not for profit helping people to organise care and support


Food for thought

“Our brains really are very eager to get back to normal, to get back to January 2020. But that's simply not possible. Some losses in recent months are permanent. The dark cloud of coronavirus risk, meanwhile, will continue to linger – possibly for years.”

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts (USA Today, 2020)

"One of the defining features of those outside of cosmopolitan areas is a nostalgic view of Britain’s past and a desire to turn back the clock. A sense of national decline was a defining feature of the divide between Leave and Remain voters. We asked our respondents how much they agreed or disagreed with the statement ‘things in Britain were better in the past’. There is a very strong relationship between thinking that things in Britain have got worse and voting Leave. Fewer than 15% of those who strongly disagreed that things in Britain were better in the past voted to Leave the EU while nearly 80% of those who strongly agreed did so."

British Election Study, October 2016

“Between the Haves and Have-Nots are the Have-a-Little, Want Mores—the middle class. Torn between upholding the status quo to protect the little they have, yet wanting change so they can get more, they become split personalities. Generally, they seek the safe way, where they can profit by change and yet not risk losing the little they have. Thermopolitically they are tepid and rooted in inertia. Yet in the conflicting interests and contradictions within the Have-a- Little, Want Mores is the genesis of creativity”

Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals (1989)  

Navigating change before the pandemic

  • Different starting points

    To what extent has your experience of Covid-19 been impacted by your own starting points or those of your local community?

  • Clouds of austerity

    How have the cuts in public funding impacted you, your family and your local community over the last decade?

  • Peaks of power and privilege

    What did power and privilege mean to you before the pandemic?

  • Old world inertia

    To what extent do you feel the pull of the old and the familiar in your own life and the communities and institutions that you are a part of?

  • Lake of latent energy

    Where were you seeing energy for change before the pandemic?

  • Castles of command and control

    What has been your experience of engaging with public, voluntary and other services – to what extent did you feel they were designed to meet your needs?