Just over 6 years ago London hosted the Olympics. My country welcomed the world with open arms. The games makers were volunteers who came together from all walks of life to help visitors feel welcome and showed the best of Britain. In the opening ceremony we celebrated the NHS and the Windrush Generation. During the games we cheered for the winner and we commiserated the loser. In the Paralympics we were truly inspired by some outstanding feats of human endeavour and bravery. People with disabilities were seen as equals. I have never felt prouder to be British and that summer of 2012 felt like a game changer.
6 years later the NHS passed the point of being on it’s knees a long time ago. This amazing institution which should be our country’s proudest achievement is in danger of being sold off to the highest bidder. It’s staff who are angels and heroes walking amongst us are demoralised, deflated and defeated. They finally got a pay rise again this year after 6(?) years but it was immediately swallowed up by the NHS pension scheme. We have nurses having to use foodbanks to feed their families Just think about the NHS for a minute. Free at the point of delivery, regardless of wealth. Think about the times when you or loved ones have had to use it. Now imagine it not being there and instead we have private healthcare ran by the rich for the rich. Not great.
The Windrush Generation – a group of people who answered a call from the UK to make a life here and help rebuild the country after the devastation of the Second World War. A generation now caught up in a “hostile environment” policy which means they may have to provide documentation to prove they have a right to live and work here. Not just one document but enough paperwork to prove where they were each year they have lived here! People who have made a life here, raised families, contributed to society, paid taxes no longer made to feel welcome.
Instead of supporting disabled people and people with mental and physical health conditions we call them in for assessments so somebody with no understanding or knowledge of what it’s like to live with their condition on a day to day basis can make an arbitrary decision on how disabled they are and whether they are fit for work. A quick google search reveals countless examples of people who have taken their life after having to go through this process and having their support suddenly stopped.
Then we have Brexit – don’t get me f**”@^g started! One of the worst decisions a country has ever made. I could write many a blog on how we got here. Yes – we made a democratic decision, but it was a bad decision, very bad. It was a decision made on the back of lies, false promises, bad advice. The Leave campaign is under investigation and should face criminal charges for over spending. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the process was interfered with by Russia, except the government isn’t interested in exploring it.
We have made a decision to isolate ourselves and to make ourselves poorer, well I say we, the rich won’t be poorer, they’re already making contingencies to protect themselves whilst telling everyone else that we have to leave. The thing is, we were never dictated to, we are soverign and always were soverign. Any new PM has to go and bow before the Queen and get permission to form a government!! We had a say in any law and decision passed by the EU. I’ve yet to see or hear one valid benefit that we will get from leaving and nobody can seem to name any law that has a negative impact on them.
Aswell as making ourselves poorer the decision to leave has given rise to a lot more hate crime. We are not a united country, we’re well and truly divided. The far right feel confident to take to the streets to make their opinions known leading to clashes with police and we get some horrifying images. We get a known racist Stephen Yaxley Lennon hailed as a hero.
I’ve also taken to the streets (things are that bad) and joined in peaceful and friendly protests to try and stop Brexit. I’ve met some inspiring and beautiful people who give me hope that we can turn things round and bring about a second referendum or a people’s vote, I don’t care what you call it. Everybody I meet just wants our country to go back to that spirit of 2012 where we were equal and we welcomed everybody. We know how good our country can be and at the moment we are a long way from it. Whether we succeed or not at least we will be able to look the next generation in the eye and say “we tried”.
Keep smiling x