Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Concerning the integrity of an organisation and the individual

An organisation's decisions is no more than the sum of the decisions by the individuals who have power in that organisation.

At times I guess  we all change our plans and make pragmatic decisions that aren't in accord with our highest values. If a national charity that stands for justice by the people loses sight of practicising this process of justice between the stakeholders in a dispute, that matters to me. As a party to a dispute that was "swept under the carpet" that matters to me all the more. I wonder if the organisation will ever come to an agreed account of how it was that I was not allowed to complete my elected 3 years in office as a Trustee?

It's not just this organisation that can be critiqued in terms of its ability to care  about an agreed account of what happened; many organisations don't care to take this responsibility to seek agreement about the facts of what happened. Even though we know disputes are inevitable, we are often ill prepared for them when they arise, and fail to learn from the last one in order to generate a "harmonistion policy" -an example of which is here.

Whenever you hear about a conflict or dispute it may help if you ask whether there is either  agreed version of "what happened" or what is holding up the journey towards getting one?

Monday, 19 December 2011

Is UK Restorative Justice representation and delivery ever iniquitous?

The Shift in Restorative Justice from a Bottom-Up radical movement to a Top-Down iniquitous power structure.

Giles Fraser, formerly of St Paul's Cathedral until the OCCUPY protest, tells a poignant parallel tale of how the radical Christianity that was sometimes literally underground (in Catacombs), was changed by a Roman Emperor to serve his (and the state's ends). A transcript of this talk that Giles Fraser gave on Start the Week today is available for those who care about this parallel in the development of restorative justice; whittled down to a version for the state's purposes, which are less challenging to authorities than the original idea.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Vain hope?

Not having completed my elected term of office with the RJC, once the current chair moves on my hope is that I'll be co-opted back for the remaining year.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Circles of Accountabilty and Support?

What you are facing here, as a Board of Trustees, is a situation that has all the appearance of senior officials within a national charity attempting to marginalise an elected trustee. Just one example of this marginalisation goes as far as the extent of not acknowledging his existence as a trustee on the website that purports to list who is legally responsible for the charity i.e. each & every trustee.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Riots: The need for a voice and rehabilitation for the repeat offender

Last night's amazing London Evening Standard piece on a sea-change being needed in Criminal Justice:
My briefest analysis of the two  causes of the riots that provide a clear set of necessary remedial actions is as follows:
1) A break down of shared values such as openness and accountability 
(reference here not only to the readiness to break the law but to the absence of a police statement to the demonstration outside Tottenham Police Station)
2) The active marginalisation of many young people & the perception of those people as being  marginalised in status/wellbeing & justice in a consumer society with all it's trappings.

My corresponding questions are whether you and I are aware of the times we contribute to:
1) the breakdown of values such as openness & accountability?
2) marginalization of others?

The more we become aware of these two things, the less surprised we will be when those others choose to move down the line of protest or taking what they want, wrecking havoc etc - "the rioter line" as I would call it in homage to Myrna Lewis's work on "the terrorist line" in her seminal book, "Inside the No".

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you walk inside the no, and see what the world looks like with your (would-be & ameliorable) adversary's shoes on.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Voting for a 'victim' and an 'offender' to sit on the same Board of Trustees?

It is interesting to see when an organisation has the wisdom to have on its governing board those who represent a number of sides of an issue. 

Friday, 15 July 2011

Process oriented psychology and the analysis of a meeting

"Very real mental and emotional events are sparked whenever we interact with each other -and most of these dynamics lie below the radar of consciousness."(Lewis)
Benefits of deep democracy work:

"People used new tools to establish safe spaces, where they began to address the hurt, rage, guilt, and shame impacting on their everyday working lives.

To their own amazement (and our delight), laypeople with no background in psychology became adept at using diagnostic tools to determine when unexpressed emotional issues were disrupting decision making. And they learned how to resolve those issues themselves, without having to call on outside help.

As Deep Democracy became gradually more intrinsic to the workplace culture, the director's multiracial teams began to function better. But remarkable as that was in itself, most participants reported that a major benefit of their five-day training was self awareness. For Greg and me It was tremendously satisfying to see people owning their power and realising their inherent potential." (Lewis,M, p15)
Questions for those who were at the EGM:

1) How satisfied were you with the outcome?

2) What was the outcome, as you see it?

3) What role did you play in the meeting?

4) What skills did you use and frameworks for conflict work did you have in mind during the meeting?

5) What would you like to have happened differently (e.g. support needs)?

6) If there was to be another EGM what would you like to happen?

7)a)How would you be with a structure involving three circles:
i) The main proposer of the motion sitting facing the main opposer of the motion
ii) A circle of Trustees
iii) An outer circle from the membership?

7b) with this structure how would you like these circles to interact?

8) What views do you have on what happens to conflict when a motion is lost by a proposer?

Who is behind this blog?

- google the phrase "We need to act if we want justice"(as per this photo) and you'll find this:

Mediation Support Ltd exists to “innovate in getting stuck communications unstuck & to model taking responsibility in communities"

I see us using a lot of energy pushing our conflicts around, usually trying to get rid of them, rather than actually processing them.

"Deep Democracy & Restorative Justice" workshop planned for July 2012. Subscribe to newsletter to stay informed on this & other related community-building initiatives:

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Some recent tweets from

  • I want every1 in a conflict 2 get support. Unfortunately the depth of support people usually get is just about agreeing with their position. 1 day ago
  • #Restorative #Justice #result -a good day: the future of #restorativejustice is here: #hastingsjustice #nvc 2 days ago
  • I liked a @YouTube video -Mediation Support SafeSpace Presentation f2 days ago
  • NB I've reached the conclusion today that most of our lives we spend playing 3games. Each of game involves a how question to ourself. Guess? 2 days ago
  • I'm not the one being victimised, but I have a strong-sense of being "offenderised" (my coinage: goes along with scapegoating etc;creates..) 2 days ago
  • Being elected again as a trustee is not important. What matters is that the conflict that I hold (on behalf of myself &others) is processed. 2 days ago
  • Wherever I go, I take my conflicts. 2 days ago
  • What does Mediation Support do?: "We innovate in getting stuck communications unstuck & model taking responsibility in our chosen communities".