Dosomethingaboutit? What, exactly?

George Monbiot champions ‘dosomethingaboutit.org.uk’


A friend sent me a link to George Monbiot’s passionate and powerful article about political apathy and disillusionment in the UK (Guardian Feb 3rd 2009). It captures what is possibly now a majority view in this country today: that British politics is bankrupt and there’s no meaningful difference between the parties.

Monbiot is right – it IS time for a change. His optimism comes from the example of a US movement called ‘MoveOn’ that has harnessed the internet to exert pressure on mainstream politics from what would otherwise be politically inactive people.

Monbiot hopes that the time is ripe for a similar movement here in the UK – www.dosomethingaboutit.org.uk – a site created by British academic Nick O’Donovan in the US and which copies the ‘MoveOn’ principle.

Being one of the people that Monbiot’s article was clearly aimed at, I was keen to have a look but what I found was something of a let down. No means to do anything about anything. No real passion, no ideas and nothing to inspire confidence. In fact, nothing but an invitation to give my email address away.

I’m not knocking someone for trying to ‘do something’ about politics. Far from it – I’m all for change. The problem with dosomethingaboutit.org.uk is that the site reduces ‘change’ to an inane and palatable equation:

doing something about it = giving you my email address

The result is that it fails to engage me – or ‘convert’ me.