Tuesday, September 05, 2006

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me."

posted by k

Do you remember that Portillo moment? It was early in the morning of 2nd May, 1997. We cheered and opened a bottle. We thought that Thatcherism had come to an end and the world had changed for the better
.

It's hard to look back to that optimism.

It was always based on falsehood - the hope that Blair didn't mean what he said and that he would at least undo some damage from the Thatcher era. He asked us to trust him. We tried to, ever so hard, even though the Bernie Ecclestone affair should have raised questions.

We ignored the praise of the free market, the rich friends, the hint of arm-twisting behind the scenes.

We watched the new Millennium arrive. We couldn't go to the big celebration on TV. That was too exclusive for the likes of us.

War came. We didn't believe the lies. We thought that this time surely those in power would listen. They didn't.

Our liberties went and we hardly noticed.

But we got tired of Tony, tired of the cabinet, tired of not trusting those in charge.

So we hope again - for a change -a new leader who will make things better. If a leader will do it for us, we don't have to think and campaign for ourselves.

There aren't perfect leaders. There aren't heroes. There aren't role models. The best solutions aren't served up as five promises printed on a handy, wallet-sized card. People have to talk, think, listen and debate together. We all have to take political action. No one person has the solution.

Not Tony Blair. Not Gordon Brown. Not John Reid. Not any single radical campaigner. Not even Nelson Mandela nor Mahatma Gandhi come from the dead.

All of us, with our different views and different lives. Thinking, talking, listening - taking action together. We need to be responsible for our own lives and the life we make together.

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