Pointing the way

A month in and it still feels like a new year. Partly because of politics, although that also feels like the same old stuff. Partly because of pure busyness. Every January is the same. A few days of idleness followed by everything kicking off at once. So this feels like a good time to look forward, take stock, put down a few markers.

First, and not only to get it out of the way, the politics. We’ve somehow managed to agree to throw away our economic advantages, our position of influence and a myriad of protections for the environment, food safety, and working conditions in order to pretend we’re an imperial power again. And we have a PM who appears set on making all this as needlessly painful as it can be. But, it’s going to happen – very slowly in practice but it will happen. So what to do?

It seems to me that we need to focus on three things, these being the climate emergency (pressurising our politicians to take the necessary steps), protecting our most valuable institutions (the NHS, the BBC, our schools) and protecting our food standards. So, for me, the emphasis is on issues and not party politics. A party political system which throws up a choice between Corbyn and Johnson as PM feels tarnished, no longer fit for purpose, and out of touch. In truth, while part of the Brexit debacle was the feeling that Brussels is a long way away, so is Westminster for most people, and Westminster has steadily pulled power away from local government and into the centre. That needs to be reversed.

Enough of politics. What about the rest? For me, renewed focus on Damn Cheek Productions as we look to take provocative shows to venues around the country and to grow the offering. We met with our new group of trustees last week and it feels like a very positive move forward. Renewed support for the work of Terrestrial in the West Country – another day of positivity with the team a couple of weeks ago. And more writing.

Blessed Assurance has taken on a second life as dinner theatre and I’m becoming a speaking novelist as I visit groups to talk about the book, to read and to discuss. Very little politics in the book, but plenty of philosophical argument, plenty of relationship stuff, of angst and redemption. The next dinner theatre outing is on 5th March at The Stepping Stones pub in West Humble and cast, band and mine host Tina are all looking forward to it – and to taking bookings! 01306 889932.

Life as a playwright continues and The Door has another outing on Friday 7th February at the Yvonne Arnaud in Guildford. (https://www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk/production/the-door ). Over ten years now and still going down a storm. While this is going on I continue to work on Preparing for Power, my new political farce. Watch this space!

Tony Earnshaw

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