Categories
activism Housing Politics Uncategorized

How to be patriotic

I spent this morning at work in my garden. A very, very British thing to do, weekend gardening.

I spent this afternoon listening to Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Burgon talking about patriotism and national security. How quickly we forget what it was like when the good guys were getting to do all the big political speeches.

Patriotism is looking after the people and the land around you. Community work and environmental work, in other words. Oh and gardening, of course.

Security

National security is about dealing with the threats the people are facing. What threats are our people facing? Climate change, pandemic, global conflict – so build relationships across the globe to address global-scale problems, recognise that you can’t put a fence round one little island in the North Sea to stop viruses, extreme climate events or nuclear missiles at the border.

We need to stop UK companies selling chemicals and weapons to the countries creating the conflicts, causing the disasters, driving the refugee tides. What other threats do our people face? Shortage of housing, of wages, of food – so we need to build council houses, create jobs, pass laws making food a human right, and look at how we produce and price food. What else? Threats to our health service? so we need to re-instate and re-fund the NHS. Where will the money from all that come from? I know, says Jeremy Corbyn – let’s use the billions the current government are planning on putting into creating weapons to feed more wars.

Farewell to Prince Philip

Go on, give him a couple of minutes thought, or however long you generally spend on someone you’ve heard of, who’s died. Patriotism, and national security, depend on us recognising that no one person is more important than the others, but keeping faith with the rule that every single one does matter. Let us hope that the current generation of young royals will put the monarchy idea peacefully to bed now – maybe when their gran passes on.

Our job

Meantime, we – all of us – need most urgently to find out how to get control of the rest of the elite who are wrecking the world – the aristocracy, the billionaires, the privileged, public school set who think they own the country. Please put your mind to it, and help with finding the ways. It’ll take all of us – and it’s the most patriotic thing you could be doing with your time.

This seems to be playing in my head, so here it is – you’d better listen to it too.

Oh, and this….

Categories
media Politics

8 days mourning

Very well, you are right. No more cheeky comments from me. Yes, we should observe eight days of mourning.

DAY 1 Mourn for the ones who, in Mr Johnson’s words, have lost loved ones ‘sooner than we might have wished’ to COVID-19.

DAY 2 Mourn for the ones who have died – old and young, many key workers, many more forced to continue unessential work due to lack of funds, the NHS workers, predominantly racialised ones, who died of COVID-19.

DAY 3 Mourn for those who died the horrible death of being homeless and sick.

DAY 4 Mourn for those who died the horrible death of being poor and lacking social care.

DAY 5 Mourn for those who died on The Journey, seeking asylum. Explain to those who say it’s mostly young men who wash up here, so they must be economic migrants, tell them that that’s because the women and the children, the old and the sick don’t make it.

DAY 6 So mourn for the old and the sick who died on The Journey, and those who stayed home and died amidst destruction.

DAY 7 Mourn for the women and the children stolen away from camps like Calais by traffickers.

DAY 8 Mourn for those who die of bombs and pollution and climate change in all the places that will continue to be destroyed until we learn how to control our aristocrats and our billionaires, and *especially* the billionaire aristocrats, who bomb and starve and squeeze the whole world.

And yes, okay, give a thought to rich and well-cared for old men who die in their beds, in their castles, aged 99.

Categories
Book reviews Hastings Politics Uncategorized women

Afghanistan is talking to Hastings

180 years of conflict and misery, and no end in sight.