EU Referendum

Harrogate Agenda: the next meeting



After a successful planning meeting, we are now in a position to hold the next in the series of meetings on our Harrogate Agenda, this one to finalise the six demands, and then to set up formal structures and plans to promote and progress them, all with a view to a mass meeting next year.

This time we have chosen another Spa town, at the agreeable Woodland Grange Hotel in Leamington Spa (pictured above). The date of the meeting is Saturday 17 November, starting at 10.00 in the morning and wrapping up about five in the evening. We are being charged £35 per head, including a sit-down lunch and unlimited coffee and biscuits.

First refusal has been given to the original 'gators. As is inevitable with these endeavours, though, some have dropped out. Others – while still fully supportive – simply cannot make this day. We thus have a limited number of spaces available for people who did not attend the Harrogate conference.

Anyone who wishes to attend, please contact me via this link, or by using the contact link on the top menu. I will pass your name on to Niall, who is doing the administration.

Well before the meeting, we will have a draft pamphlet for you, explaining in more detail the Harrogate Agenda, and how it came about – and we will be inviting comments on this before publication. I will also post a series of analytical pieces on this blog, inviting further comment.

So far, progress has been extraordinarily smooth – although not entirely trouble-free. It would be unrealistic to expect a project like this to emerge without any rancour at all. Those who are familiar with the Chartist Movement will be aware that it was plagued with internecine squabbles.

At this point, though, it is worth saying that the six demands which have emerged are the creation of no single person. They are certainly not mine, and could not have happened without the input of many people.

However, it also has to be said that the discussion was not confined to the Harrogate conference. One of the strands started on this blog, here in May last year, with the idea of "Referism", while others came from other blogs and diverse other sources, including the forum and online comments.

Thus, it has been and continues to be a hybrid exercise, comprising a mixture of online exchanges and face-to-face discussions. The upcoming meeting will be another important step in a continuing process which mixes traditional and modern communication methods. That way we hope we can continue to develop the ideas, as a virtual as well as a physical community.

I look forward to seeing some of you at Leamington.