OK - so I really shouldn't have put this blog post in the "Inspired By The News" category. To be honest - it was more inspired by one Maverick (who shall remain nameless) and me slowly becoming further addicted to old episodes of "Top of the Pops", as well as the occassional news report, and conversations with a couple of my personal friends.
I missed out on the early 1980's. Yes - I was alive at that point - but I was too young to really appreciate some of the things which happened.
I am particularly thinking about some of the songs which made it into the charts at that time.
One of my favourite songs from that era could be played today - with the same sentiments behind it - and it would still be as relevent as it was then. Maybe even more so - due to the current spate of youths carrying knives in the UK as well as the shootings in the US.
My favourite lyrics of "Stand & Deliver", by Adam & The Ants, are "stand and deliver - your money or your life. Stand and deliver - try to use a mirror not a bullet or a knife".
Whilst I admit to thinking most of the music from that era was either pretentions rubbish or just bubblegum for the earholes, there was some good stuff around. (Put it this way - I now have a new appreciation for Toyah Wilcox - even though I still wouldn't rush out to buy her music.)
What we seem to have lacked from those days is the element of protest. What I mean - the element of protest about things which are really worth fighting for.
Most of the protests I read about and learn about on the news seem to be about attempting to change the course of history. Apparently, the deceased should still be answerable for their crimes against humanity, and there should be a mass exchange of items which have been stolen, or otherwise removed, from countries - so the items can be restored to their rightful owners. Never mind the fact that some of the countries do not appear on any modern map or atlas.
I am still trying to work out how removing a statue of a long-deceased "statesman" from a building at Oxford University is going to change matters in the present day - unless the students who wish it to be removed would also be prepared to forfeit their grants which he provided in order for them to study at that self same university??? Or even bulldose the entire university - juat ao hia memory is completely deleted from history???
Then we come to the idea of banning or "no platforming" speakers who people disagree with.
I am sorry but - if you wish to ban someone from your presence soley because you disagree with anything they say - I feel very sorry for you indeed.
Most of the world is capable of being able to listen to someone and disagree with every single word they say without feeling the need to make the fact they have taken offence front page news.
We seem to be losing the art of being able to think for ourselves. When I was thinking about this blog post I had a very from the Bible come into my brain "We like sheep have gone astray" (Isaiah 53 verse 6). The uptodate version might be more like "We like lemmings are too busy following the crowds".
I can think of one job where I have been led to believe that "critical thinking " is no longer a requirement - in fact, it would appear to be greatly frowned upon nowadays.
The one meaningful (and useful) protest which is on my radar at the moment is the one by the Junior Doctors.
There don't seem to be any more protest songs on subjects like the Social Security cuts (I am sorry but I refuse to use the term "Welfare") for the disabled and unemployed, housing, the numerous cuts to and reviews of Policing, fat cat politicians voting themselves payrises, etc. Or even the general reduction of Democracy in our country.
We are now being fed a diet of argument and counter-argument on the subject of the EU Referendum - however, nobody has even tried to sit down and work out what the real facts are or what the consequences will really be for each course of action.
I read somewhere that the people who protested in the 1980's were so vocal because they faced the very real threat of their democratic rights being removed from the (especially in the event of an invasion by Russia).
We are facing another real threat to our Democratic rights. However, it is not from the Middle East, Turkey, or Russia. The threat is coming from our on politicians - who seem intent on keeping us in the dark for as long as possible.
We really need to find the spirit from the early 1980's again - before it is too late.
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