We can create a new kind of politics: kinder, more respectful, but courageous, too. Jeremy Corbyn
On the verge of change, hope is resurrected, the world of possibilities opens. It’s only an election on the other side of the world, but it is the land of my birth and I care what happens. For a long time my political heart has been filled with the philosophies of the left, not socialism as such, but a more humanitarian, egalitarian mindset. In the context of the history of the land I live in as well as my homeland, agendas that are totally at odds with my beliefs have dominated the greater part of my adult years. But there is a stirring in the air. Can you hear it? A vibration building. Can you feel it?
England has the opportunity for gentle revolution, or it can choose the status quo, thinking of the devil you know rather than a change for good. For too long the western nations have thrown up a succession of grey men and occasional women, preaching a message of steady as she goes, don’t rock the boat, tighten the belt and pull yourself up by your bootstraps.
Every now and then a small beacon of hope flares up (Obama was one), which inspires the people to believe they can make a difference, society can be better.
Too often that beacon is stifled, snuffed out, as following the election of the Greek Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), the powers against change showed how quickly and efficiently can act.
Bernie Sanders is another who burned for a time, drawing young and old together in a dream for a better future for all, but instead the nation’s convoluted (and arguably corrupt) electoral system intervened, and instead a monstrous demigod has risen to power.
In France, a battle between bigotry and cultured, rational, measured humanitarianism was uninspiring until the duly elected Macron trumped the American president in a hand-shake and the world cheered.
Now Jeremy Corbyn is drawing the multitudes to him, touched by his humanity, his genuine love of his fellow man. He has been persecuted, scorned, demonised, harangued, but still he is calm and steadfast to the truths that he has lived throughout his life.
That is why people respond, even if they disagree with his policies, he speaks to them directly, he does not need speech notes or tele prompts, because he knows and understands the yearnings of ordinary folk. A messianic figure maybe, or a pied piper. But he gives people hope that the future can be different, that is does not have to be misery, poverty, hardship. The society he preaches invests in its people, not buildings, in education for all, not military might, in free, quality healthcare, not privilege for the wealthy. Who would not want this?
The pity is that too often the downtrodden do not dare to believe that their situation can change, and from fear they choose to stay in their confines instead of walking through the open door. Change can be scary, we get comfortable in our old slippers and sloppy jersies. It is easier to watch telly than read a book, or go out and offer a helping hand to a needy neighbour. Shunning the stranger in our midst is preferable to inviting them into our home and making an effort to understand another’s culture. Difference is easier to reject than to integrate.
To make a better world there has to be active participation, it will will never trickle down from the wealthy to the poor. Like tree that grows strong there has to be a good root system or else the first strong wind of adversity will rip it out. The roots are the everyday people, you and me, mum and dad, brother and sister, black and white and yellow and brown. The blood is red for us all. There is so much more that we have in common than keeps us apart; every family tree goes back to a small gene pool.
It is good that a man of peace is speaking words of conciliation, and showing by example that decency and tolerance offer a better path than division and bellicosity. To be sure, the paths of war have lead us to the point of destruction so many times, but we never learn. The paths of acquisitiveness and objectification are leading us to planetary annihilation.
To continue to wilfully ignore the blindingly obvious at election time is a betrayal of our children’s future. We allow the machinations of those with ulterior motives determine the agenda, to manipulate the media, to turn those with altruism in their hearts into laughing stocks.
But when utopia is no longer an option because dystopia rules, remember there used to be a choice. Did you make it?
Thrash metal band, Megadeth released their album last year:
If you only want to live and die in a cage
There’s panic and there’s chaos, rampant in the streets
Where useless thoughts of peace are met with rage
Demoralized and overmastered people think
The quickest way to end a war is lose
Dictatorship ends starting with tyrannicide
You must destroy the cancer at it’s root