Kindergarten and beyond

Image courtesy of Michael Newman

There was a girl at my primary school who would stick her fingers in her ears and talk nonsense when anyone tried to disagree with her. There was a boy who would storm out of the room if there was someone there who’d upset him. Reading this morning’s news it seems the girl is now our Prime Minister and the boy is now leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition. It’s tempting to despair, to say ‘a plague on both your houses’ – but there is a lot at stake. Peace in Northern Ireland, standards of living in the UK as a whole, health and the environment, the list goes on.

And, strange as it may seem, Brexit is not the most important issue in the world, despite its repercussions in the UK and Europe. As our teenagers are reminding us, we have a very real threat hanging over us in the shape of the changes to our climate. The Sword of Damocles was famously suspended by a single horse hair. Our Damoclean threat hangs by a thread which is getting weaker year by year but we seem to lack the political will to do anything about it. The striking schoolchildren seem to be the adults in the room here.

All of which sets our day to day concerns into context. I’ve been thinking about appropriate responses. Taking some individual actions to lessen our impact on climate and the environment. Badgering our politicians. Trying to debate Brexit with less emotion. That’s a beginning anyway. And, while doing all that, also doing what Churchill recommended – “Keep buggering on’

Tony Earnshaw

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