Monthly Archives: June 2016

What Next?

It’s been about nine months since I last posted, so maybe no-one will ever read this. But I do have something to say.

I’m now living in Wells in Somerset, just a few miles down the road from Glastonbury.

I have returned to this country after an incredible adventure that took me around the world. Everywhere I went people welcomed me, from post-colonial Africa, to post-war Vietnam to Francophone Quebec. Also, there was no obvious generation gap, as I shared dormitories, explored new places and went dancing with new friends of all ages.

The press, and others, are now trying to increase the divisions in our society by focussing on the obvious difference between the majority vote of young people versus that of the “over 60s”.

Remember, David Bowie was 69 when he died.

The demographic of “over 65s”  includes people who were born in the 20s, people who experienced WW2 and those who voted for the “welfare state” at the conclusion of that epic struggle. They have seen unbelievable changes during their lifetimes and may not necessarily feel they were all improvements. Also, many now live solitary lives in poverty, as our state pension is one of the lowest in Europe.

Since we joined the EU there has been a campaign of misinformation by certain media about all aspects of our life. This has become vindictive over the last few weeks, while unscrupulous and self-interested politicians have exploited the situation.

In the end, 37.5% of the electorate voted to leave the UK, while 34.5% voted to remain, and no parameters had been set to determine what should be considered a mandate.

The newspapers are full of tables comparing old with young, North with South, Scotland with Wales. .

Don’t let them take you in again.

The main cause of the problems in the UK lies with successive governments, who, in their arrogance and ignorance, have tried to deflect the blame for their errors of judgement onto the EU, immigration, extremist forces, the opposition or any other scapegoats they could find.

It is our own politicians who have brought us to this dismal day. They are now seeking to capitalise on the confusion that this totally mismanaged referendum has left us with.

I consider myself lucky to have been born in Europe in the latter half of the 20th century. I could expect basic standards of clean air and water, I could travel where I liked (if I could afford it), and I can claim human rights that would be unthinkable in certain countries.

But essentially it is the planet Earth that I share with my fellow humans and, indeed, with all living beings. All the energy and mass in the universe once shared the same tiny point and we are all made of the same stuff – stardust.

So for anyone out there, feeling disappointment and anxiety about their future after “Brexit”, don’t look to the politicians or the press to find you someone to blame.

We need more love and compassion at the difficult times of our lives, not less.

Even for those very public figures who have brought us to this predicament.

But I do hope that somehow we might still be able to stand together with our European neighbours and friends to face the future and a new day.

“The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love.

What seeds will you plant there?”