My lovely friend Fiona mentioned something on Facebook yesterday and it set me thinking.
I was born in the 1950s, was a young child in the 60s and a teenager / young adult in the 70s. They were great times to live through. I had a happy childhood (although I think I was a bit weird) and as an only child I was well-fed and felt secure in the knowledge that I would reach adulthood pretty much unscathed. As a student I did what students did and took part in protests about grants etc. As a young teacher, I protested again as harmful changes to education were threatened and pay and pensions eroded. I joined a union as soon as I began teaching and in those days it felt good to have someone on your side, fighting for better pay and conditions and there if you needed advice.
Where is all this leading? I am shocked that these days, when terrible injustices are being wrought upon people, we just lie down and take it. The Unions have little or no effect and people generally just grumble quietly to each other or set up a petition online. It wouldn’t happen in other European countries. Those people make their voices heard by getting out there in the streets, organising rallies, marching with one voice.
Our governments just seem to do whatever they please and we all just sit back and take it without a fight. I am not targeting one particular party here either. My respect for all parties has been sent plummeting down to nothing by years of greed, lies, immorality, cheating, tax-dodging and looking for personal gain by the very people we are supposed to have elected democratically to be our representatives and role models.
I am not advocating violence or destruction. That is not my way at all. But I despair at the lack of backbone and spirit that seems to be part of our modern society. Sadly I can’t see it getting any better either as our next generation go through an education system which will ensure that they know every King and Queen of England and the dates of their reigns but that can’t solve problems, take risks, communicate eloquently or be creative and innovative.
It’s no good just depending on the few to shout for us – the Owen Joneses and Tom Watsons of the world. If we don’t shout out, nobody will listen.