At the recent Friday Room discussion it was suggested that we should be more organised and that a lack of “democracy” means that the Friday Room is somehow unacceptable.
I have the impression that most attendees would not agree with this view and accept the informality of the way meetings are organised.
My perception of the Friday Room is that it is a discussion group only.
It does not aim to take any unified action or indeed to come to any agreement about the topic being discussed.
The only outcome is individual wisdom and individual actions.
There is no defined membership and no expectation of regular attendance.
It might be better thought of as a place rather than an organisation, A bit like Hyde Park Corner.
I also think there is a wider issue of the meaning of democracy. Governance can be entirely top down with a dictator, benevolent or otherwise, or to some degree bottom up with the governed having a some control. The problem is that the governed are many, divided and ignorant, so the practical problems in giving effective control to the governed.
There is a range of “tools” available, the ballot is the most obvious, but there are also petitions, demonstrations, polling, focus groups and consultations, which admittedly have sever limitations. The idea that having a ballot is the definition of democracy and, if you have a one, everything is ok, is dangerously wrong. The ballot, the tool with highest regard, also has limitations and sometimes just does not work.