Election dust is settlingWho knows what the next five years will bring politically? Dangers ahead appear to include – (hyperlinks to articles on each one if you want further reading) –
- the arguments over Britain’s role in Europe. In an increasingly globalised world, do we really want to stand alone? I don’t. I’m sure that in the future, those nations that form alliances will be stronger and safer than nations going it alone.
- the dilution of the Human Rights Act (although I predict that this is a red herring, given the way international law works)
- the independence and efficiency of the NHS (and a hope that already-rich companies don’t cream off too many bags of profit from clinical commissioning)
- the non-accountability of the academy programme in schools (so hopeful under Labour and now being used as a tool to hammer local services)
- further cuts to the welfare of vulnerable people (given that the biggest part of the welfare bill goes to pensioners and working tax credits i.e. pensioners and those being paid measly wages because of the profits being creamed off the top of the pile by the super-rich.) I am especially concerned about the welfare of disabled people and those with mental illness – a concern that links to my worries for the NHS.
- a widening of the gap between the bottom of society and the super-rich who leech off the UK’s economy. Shouldn’t The Spirit Level become compulsory reading for everyone who lives on the planet?
- I’m ambivalent about Scotland becoming independent as I’ve mentioned earlier – my head says yes even though my heart says no – though I think it will pave the way for a future Northern Territory!
John of Gaunt in Shakespeare’s Richard II:This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
|Patrick Stewart and Michael Pennington as John of Gaunt with their prophecies about England|
Nil desperandumThis will pass
The world goes on
Even though Spring follows Winter and Autumn comes before
And Summer flares often enough across the land
Even though Time passes as surely as the Sun rises
And Governments that emerge will just as surely fall
Even though Boys and Girls will couple and depart
And Men and Women will endure and survive
Even though Death stalks the fields and reaps random targets
And Mothers squat, spread or kneel to squeeze out brats anew
Even though the Heart beats and sometimes feels shredded
Even though the Lungs fill and breathe, though often spray nonsense
Even though Love, Desire, Passion and Compassion
Are compromised by Doubt, Pain, Struggle and War
The world goes on