This morning I took time to read the Arts Council’s 10 year strategy properly. It is an inspiring document, filled with important beliefs about the power of the arts to do good, the importance of community, and the need for collective wisdom to create the best for our world.
Then this evening I put out a Facebook note to ask what today’s Blog should be about. As I pressed go the mug of David Cameron landed in my in-box with the following report
“The government just declared war on the British people over fracking. It’s going to allow companies to frack under our homes without our permission — despite 99% of responses to a public consultation saying an emphatic NO.
A massive 40,000 people formally objected to proposals to change trespass laws so that fracking companies can extract oil and gas from under people’s land without permission. Showing utter disdain for democracy, the government has decided to ignore this outpouring of public opposition, and go ahead with changing the law in favour of the frack-happy 1%.”
That coming hot foot after many messages of despair relating to the TTIP negotiations which, appear, to allow Corporations to challenge the legitimacy of elected governments to make choices in support of public health, local services and all things which we vote our politicians to consider wisely.
I am an immensely “glass half full” person. I have met many people who are heading into (or at the foothills of) Political life. They seem good and honest. They are definitely self-driven which seems to be an essential of the choosing, but they seem to enter the arena with a sense of right.
However as I type this there is too much happening behind closed doors. I applaud the power of the online action groups to harness massed signatories against issues. But is there something more that we as ageing artists can do to help. [I discount many bright young artists because unless they are already politically active, they often seem driven by the need to get jobs, find their way, and hit the heights – with the Stage as their newspaper of choice]. So how can I, an old creative be most effective in getting some sensible consideration of the future.
I was heartened by Simon Stephens of the NHS talking about real change which needs to be embraced by government and all involved in the health service. He challenged more long-term thinking, joined–up thinking, and creative uses of available funds. Not Cuts. I have heard great suggestions whilst facilitating various Clinical Commissioning Group open meetings. I hope and believe that these will be part of the new way forward. Provided the politicians see that the Public is their leader, not the corporations.
So I ask again – what can we as struggling, aging, concerned artists and creatives do to counter the power of the Fracking Companies, the Global corporations cheering TTIP, and the Pharmaceutical giants cheering traditional expensive drugs over alternative mindful non-invasive therapies.
Dear reader – tell me what I can do… I will try to remain positive.
I know the arts does good. I know we can improve young people’s lives. I know we can talk sense to those that will listen. I know we can harness community cohesion. I know we can delight the most saddened human being. I know e can use arts to teach life skills and joy for our world. I know all this. Surely other human beings who have chosen to join the civil service, or parliament know it to. We are part of the solution.
I wish I could say thank you for this call to Blog. But I wish I didn’t feel the need to shout, and could take the time to concentrate on some of the people and work I have seen in the last week. That will have to wait a week.
Thank you for bearing with me