I am a grumpy old sod and this trait is rising to the fore. As you get older you know more, have experienced life and start to listen and observe more. When I was young I lived and worked through the three-day week, constant power cuts, changing governments, London bombings (I worked at Harrods on the day it was bombed). I was young and carefree and none of the above concerned me.
Now I am consumed by global politics, so aware of corruption and abuse of power plus I have no idea why we are travelling headlong into something called Brexit that no one understands or can rationalise. What will the future hold? It is anyone’s guess.
Why is politics in the UK now so polarised regardless of which party you support. Having worked in London and the clothing business most of my life I have no idea where anti-Semitism has suddenly sprung from. How has all the hatred come about?
I nail my colours to the mast by saying I think we need immigration, we need free travel and free markets. These tenets must be the future for the human race. What we do not need are criminals that exploit the weak, the young, the old and minorities. We need tolerance, understanding and a respect for other people and their views.
Politicians whilst claiming to represent us are in the main so insulated from real life and the issues we all deal with on a daily basis. They often start out with high ideals but quickly get swept into the party and power black hole.
Few politicians in their ivory towers really take notice of the communities they serve. Even today I see that yet another MP is being prosecuted for expense irregularities. The privileged few seem never to have enough they always want more and take it at the expense of others. One argument often put forward is that they have to work within the system. But if the system is wrong they should campaign to change it. As I mentioned to a colleague recently, women did not wake up one day to find a man had given them the vote. There was a long campaign and struggle to get what was right – an equal vote. It is too easy to blame the system. If the system is wrong it should be the desire of all to change it. More often than not self-interest clouds doing what is right.
I have just read a very interesting book “How to Lose a Country – Seven Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship” by Ece Temelkuran. This is well worth a few moments of your time as it brings into focus the way societies are now manipulated by movements. The way we are given two options Brexit or Remain, In or Out which gives no explanation about the path or the effects. You are either with me or against me. Social media now guides our young generation and is so easily manipulated.
No one person has the divine right of kings. In Britain we used to be good at compromise and finding the middle ground. Today this is not a choice - we have to support one side or the other.
Here I stand much older, grumpy and in the middle of a time I barely comprehend. I want a world that is tolerant and fair. It is often forgotten in today’s world that respect is something that has to be earned not something that can be demanded. If only we could all treat others how we would like to be treated. If we could all do what is right rather than hide behind process, rules or just apathy we could all find the world a much better place to live.