Class (un)distinction – SoCS June 18/16

IMG_2666 (1)

“Due to overcrowding on this train, I am pleased to let all passengers know that the First Class compartments have now been declassified.”

Oh, the oft-repeated lament of the conductor on my commuter train services. It seems to be a permanent fixture of late. There’s an ongoing dispute between the crew and operating company and who comes off the worst? Of course, the passengers. Cancelled trains over and over and over again.

But then, this statement got me to thinking. No matter how often claims are made that we live in a classless society, it can’t possibly be true. Here in the UK we are staring down the barrel of the Brexit gun, with our in/out of the EU referendum taking place next week. The tone of the campaigning has made me feel very uncomfortable, to say the least, with many, many arguments focussing on very thinly disguised racism, on the part of the Leave campaign. We are not an isolationist nation (I don’t think), but that’s how the Leave campaign appear, wishing to pull up the drawbridge between here and mainland Europe, looking down on the policies and nationalities of our neighbours from a very ill-drawn and shaky high horse.

I grew up in Birmingham in the 1970s. Most of my friends were second generation immigrants – Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Afro-Carribean. I loved the fact that our school nativity play was as multi-racial as I imagine Jerusalem would have been back then. I learned so much from my friends, our neighbours, the shopkeepers about different cultures. Yes, there were disagreements, no, it wasn’t all easy-going, but it worked.

On Thursday (yesterday as I write this) a female Labour MP was murdered in her Yorkshire constituency of Batley and Spen. She was a shining example of a good person (from what I have read), someone who believed that we all had far more in common as human beings than differences. She was passionate about humanity, about looking after people. She strongly believed that we are better off as part of the EU than outside it.

I don’t tend to write so bluntly about politics, about racism, about isolationism on this blog.  But I am terribly worried about the direction the UK is taking, about the direction many other countries are taking, about the polarisation of views, about the insistence that there is no need to understand the ‘other’, because the ‘other’ can’t possibly be right, shouldn’t be listened to. Shouting loudest (something that seems to be the vast part of our politics these days) is not the way to understand, is not the way to deal with differences.

Compassion. We all have the capacity for it. Where has it gone?


Here is my early-bird entry into the lovely Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where we are invited to write using the word ‘class’ as our prompt.

This was truly a stream of consciousness. Feelings in the UK are ugly right now, with the Brexit referendum right round the corner. It hurts. I don’t like much of what I am hearing.

Please do feel free to read – even better, take part. You never know where it might take you!

 

Advertisements

Rip Tide – VisDare 64

46b57bd925566297c7deab119fae226e

Photo Source

I pushed the little paper boat round and round the kitchen table, imagining it sailing off into a picture-perfect sunset.

What the hell was this all about? And where was Jo?

My stomach rumbled, reminding me it was well past dinner time. I glared at the oven, the hob, the CD player. Normally they would be doing things by now. The oven would be humming merrily, its light giving the food inside a warm, yellow glow. Something would be bubbling on the hob and the CD player would be playing something soothing.

Now, all was silent.

I mooned around the flat, lost in the emptiness. I held the little boat in the palm of my hand, trying to read its unwritten message. I was no good at subtlety.

I turned the CD player on. The song filled the room and all became clear.

Enya’s ‘Sail Away’.

Jo had gone.

——-

Here’s my latest entry into VisDare this week, the prompt run by the lovely Angela. I did struggle a bit with this one, until I heard this Enya song in a shop this afternoon. As the young, cool kids say these days – Boom! I hope you enjoy it. Take part, why not?

In which nobody is satisfied – VisDare 63

4a68062ee2c258ecd67a401cb6b5e7fa-2Photo Source

worker ants are we

carrying our load

that over the years

has become leaden, unwieldy

and grown knife-sharp

burrs digging into skin and necrotising flesh

eroding and abrading

laden with expectation

wants have transformed into needs

more urgent than water

than the very air we breathe

infinite possibilities are subsumed

in unrelenting grey dolour

as unstoppable as time itself

 

it takes strength to resist

to walk away from the pressure

and those who say ‘just do it’

and those who say ‘it’s not that easy’

are both right

each from their own perspective

each from their own prison

each hearing, but not listening –

empathy is necessary

more so these days than ever, perhaps

and yet the white noise deafens

we are hoodwinked and blinded

and through wilful isolation

we choose to fail to realise –

we are not alone.

——-

Here’s my latest entry into VisDare this week, the prompt run by the lovely Angela. I have chosen to write in poetic form this time, but of course, I have met the guide of using 150 words or less! Please feel free to read, comment, critique or just enjoy, whatever you prefer.

I am going through a bit of a political phase on my blog at the moment, as you will see from here  and here. Of course, all of life is political and politics invites people to disagree with your opinions. Wouldn’t life be dull (or horrific) if we all had the same viewpoint? I’m not great at arguments, they do put me in turmoil. But life requires you to be brave, right?