Poets, and all writers, should always be concerned with what is said and what is left unsaid. So when we watch or listen to the news we are always looking for what is not reported for what is left out of the headlines. It is not so much the fake news as the unreported that gives the bias of the media source away.
With a general election in the offing, and I can’t ignore it, sorry, I am a political creature, I find myself thinking about what I know has happened and has not been told. My duty as a writer and poet is to tell the untold stories, so here is one from yesterday, and I don’t mean long go, I mean yesterday, Saturday 13th April 2017.
The radio the TV and newspapers and the internet were busy reporting the endless and very boring and predictable exchange of personal insults between politicians that now passes for campaigning, (Yes we know you don’t like him Teresa, so what?) and the ransom ware cyber attack and the Eurovision song contest.
While here where I live something much more important, and in some ways more significant, was happening. Having been a teacher for the best part of forty years I remain passionate about education. So I joined a gathering of some 900 people in outside the Town Hall to protest against the education cuts proposed by the current Tory government which will take place if they win the election.
With the proposed cuts to funding per pupil our town stands to lose across its 16 schools an estimated 92 teachers. That’s 92 redundancies of hardworking professional people, 92 families directly affected, 92 mortgages compromised, 92 times 3 to 4 years of training and Heaven knows how many years of experience, dedication and expertise. It means bigger classes and less attention for individual learners. It means hundreds of children suffering from a loss of quality of education. And why? Nowhere on the all-knowing internet can I find an answer, except that it is part of the current government programme of cuts to public services. It is just ‘the cuts.’ Yet nowhere can I find our march reported, although it will probably get a page in the local paper out on Thursday.
The following questions arise; are the squabbles of politicians and success or failure of singing contests of more relevance and importance to our future that the compromising of our future itself and that of our children? There were lots of children at the protest who will be here when I and all the big names in politics are long gone, and what kind of a world will they inhabit if we take away from them the chance of a decent education?
So let’s put personalities and media distortions and lies to one side and look at real policies that will shape our lives and those of our children. Let’s behave like educated and intelligent human beings. Let’s make a sensible and informed choice. Let’s write the story of the future with imagination, compassion and foresight and not with prejudice and gullibility and fear. Let’s stand up and tell the stories that matter loud and clear.
Oh dear! nothing too hefty tome-ish to report. I read detective stories a lot, especially when I have insomnia …nuff said!
Hare in the headlights
Last Wednesday I attended the launch at UCLAN of the catalogue of the exhibition ‘A Potter, a Painter and a Poet.’ There is a long story attached to this which I will tell my next blog. Suffice it to say for now that I am helping to organise an event here in Lancaster to celebrate the legacy of the poet, Elizabeth Burns, who died in August 2015.
More on this very soon