A cold snap


Walking the dog this morning with a friend we came across an iced up gate. Water dripping from an overhead pipe forming a wealth of icicles with a weak winter sun making very little impression. It was beautiful but not good to the touch. Not unlike the experience many voters are about to have I suspect. Those who see Brexit as a beautiful thing will find the reality, when we get there, rather different. Those in the US who see Trump as the saviour will find the reality rather different. There’s a chill wind blowing through our political system and the irony is that those who will feel the chill most are likely to be those who voted for it. Instead of promising a return to the past, we need to be planning for the future. Governments have failed in this. That’s the real issue.

Weak sunshine

There’s sunshine in the photo too, offering hope, but it’s weak. It’s going to take a long time to have any effect. The thaw could be a long time coming. It’s got to come though. The pendulum will swing. In the meantime there is a need to keep on fighting for sense and decency. To resist prejudice and hate. To prevent the oil companies ruining our countryside in search of the last bucks for a dying industry. To do what we can to preserve the planet. To make the economy work for everyone, not just the rich and powerful.

The arts

I’ve been thinking about this in relation to the arts, to myself and other writers, to my colleagues in the theatre. What is our role? Should we drop our pens, leave our keyboards and join the protests? Stand for office? My conclusion is that we should do what we do best. Communicate through what we do best. Write. Act. Play music. But not in a bubble. Communication and involvement are the keys to making a difference. And that means involving all the community, all communities. The current emphasis on BAME, women, youth, LGBT, the elderly is all to the good but it does leave a huge swathe of people feeling left out – and they’re not all part of the spoilt elite. I’m  not sure how we do this. or how we do it effectively enough, but we need to include everyone who feels disenfranchised, and to be inclusive so we can overcome the feeling of one group pitted against another. A work in progress. More thoughts to come.

Tony Earnshaw

Comments are closed.