Posts Tagged ‘hope’

Today is not tomorrow.

January 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Because tomorrow can be better.

Today is a big day in the small world that we live on. I worry about its future every day.

Today, President Trump became a reality. We all laughed when it was a mere suggestion, a joke. Maybe there’s a lesson in complacency here. Let’s speak up because there are so many groups of people fearful for what Trump will mean to them. Let’s welcome everyone and let’s fight for a more inclusive world where hate like this doesn’t have a place, where it doesn’t triumph over our jokes, where we stand strong in the face of it.

For now, I’ll be praying for everyone who is in fear and I’ll be praying that we can all take on this new world and create some love and space for all.

The great thing about this blog lacking in consistency but making up for that in age is that I wrote about Obama in 2008 and the hope that was coming. I’m going to go back and read that and try and work out what hope the world needs now.

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Who are the Labour Party?

July 22, 2015 Leave a comment

I have a strange relationship with politics. In this context, I am talking specifically about party politics.

I have always had an interest in politics. When I was just 1 year old, John Major became Prime Minister. I obviously do not remember this happening however, some of my earliest political memories were of seeing John Major on the TV all the time and each time he appeared, I would shout his name. I am not sure how old I was but I must have been fairly young and I suspect I had no idea what his job really entailed, I just knew that he was fairly important. I remember liking him. Children have a bigger capacity for liking which is endearing. Children don’t tend to ask questions. I imagine if John Major were Prime Minister today, I may have more questions. I am not quite sure why I tell this story – it’s not to say that I was an 8 year old who was politically active. It’s to say that I have always been aware of politics and different parties. I also remember the 1997 election. I don’t remember details but I remember everyone saying that it was a big deal and I remember my dad buying me and my brothers chocolate lollies with the faces of John Major, Tony Blair and Paddy Ashdown on them. They had different coloured ribbons and I remember asking why they were different. At this point, I realised that politics was difficult and that different people supported different things.

I can’t say that my political interest took off after the 1997 election…I suspect I went back to dreams of being a vet and playing with toys. It’s always been there though.

When I reached High School, I met people who had an interest in politics and I had some of the best conversations during that time. I found High School quite tricky. I felt quite old for my years and I yearned for chat that challenged me. I got that from these individuals. They challenged me to go out and learn about the political parties and learn about policies. 5th and 6th year of school really sparked my interest.

By the time I got to University, I was fully determined to join a society so that I could keep having those conversations.¬†I noticed that there was a general politics society but that there were also party specific ones and for some reason, I thought that university was the time to take the plunge and make a commitment. I read up on policies and decided that Scottish Labour was the best fit for me. They were about social justice, education, employment…all good things. I was particularly attracted to their social justice policies. So, I went to meetings, got myself involved and was all set to get stuck in. I went to my first conference (a youth type one) and it was around then that I started to waver. I went to a full weekend conference…it must have been in around 2007/2008. I was instantly put off – there was ¬†constant negative lament about the SNP and how terrible they were. At this point, I start asking…so if they are, why are you better? What are you saying that they are not? Where is your challenge to what they are saying? There was none. I don’t think it was because the party weren’t capable of challenge, they just went into negative mode and I am not sure they have ever left it. At the time of the conference, Labour were in power in both the Scottish and UK Parliaments. It’s been pretty awful to watch what has happened since then. I had a good time in the society I joined – the meetings were great. The students in Young Labour were amazing but on the bigger scale, I felt hopeless and voiceless. When would policies be the main conversation again? When would Labour start talking to the electorate and stop bad mouthing other political parties? I really thought there would be a change, but I have yet to see it and the hope is fading for me.

More recently, the hope has well and truly faded. There is still a very small glimmer…but not much is left. We’ve now seen Labour’s most disastrous election result (ever?). The loss hasn’t really impacted on my hopes – I kind of expected that. The loss made me really sad because I am genuinely terrified of the effects of a Conservative government. That’s another matter though. What has made me really sad recently has been conversations surrounding the leadership contest. My sadness has been sparked over the rebellion voters on the welfare cuts. Labour MPs were asked to abstain from the vote by the leadership and a good chunk decided to go against that instruction and vote against it. As an opposing party, this should be what they are doing most of the time right? The cuts proposed are going to have a significant impact on young people, on workers – and it’s not a good impact. It’s devastating. I thought Labour were meant to stick up for those people?! That’s what I was told when I naively joined the party back when I was 18. Now they abstain? Offer us something different! That’s why you are there!

So the leadership contest is both dull and interesting. Jeremy Corbyn is gathering support – he was not an abstainer. He speaks up for young people. He speaks up for the vulnerable and he speaks up for workers. He is by far the most compelling and he offers something different. He offers a real alternative to a Conservative government which the Parliament so badly needs right now. The other three? They seem to say broadly the same things and seem to be all set for maintaining this slightly odd centre-right party that offer very little to voters. As Jeremy Corbyn is gaining support, I see that Tony Blair has once again come out for his say on matters. I find it very odd when he comes out and says things in relation to current party issues. There is still a lot of ill feeling about his time as Prime Minister and many blame him for the downfall of Labour. I think there is more to the downfall, but there is feeling out there. It feels like someone thinks that he still carries favour. He was once very popular. It’s like he has been sent with a mission – to steer everyone away from a Labour party that dares to have a left wing agenda. He has been outwardly critcising Corbyn’s approach and it’s incredibly frustrating.

The main frustration with the Labour party is – they don’t know who they are. They are trying to work out who their leader is without having worked out what they stand for and what they want to put forward. Hariet Harmann was on TV recently talking about her instructions to MPs to abstain in the welfare vote. She talked about gaining back trust and becoming electable again. My difficulty with that is…you are currently elected and people want you to actually stand for something. They didn’t vote conservative so you can probably work out that they might want you to offer something different. Get talking to your voters – don’t guess what they want, try to be more Conservative because they got elected. Stick your neck out – offer an alternative, offer something you believe in and people will vote if they believe in it. People need something to believe in.

I really think that the Labour party could be very exciting if Jeremy Corbyn is voted in as leader. I think there might be some kind of split but I hope that there wouldn’t be and that Labour could start offering policies that were different, that were their own and that represented the electorate. If they get someone else…I think there are more wounds to come.

Who ARE the Labour Party???

How do we respond to global terror?

June 29, 2015 Leave a comment

This week has seen many horrific stories in the news – stories from around the world involving terror, death and fear. How do we respond to it?

When I heard/saw the news, I was in a public building which had a news screen and I saw that people had gathered round it. I saw the flashing “Breaking News” scroll across the bottom so realised that something had happened. The sad part was that it wasn’t just one thing. Stories came in from Tunisia, France and Kuwait. The even sadder part was that this isn’t the first time that we have heard stories of this nature. It’s becoming less surprising and more normal but still the same level of terrifying.

How do we respond to these stories? How do we stop them from becoming “normal”? Can we? Can anything be done?

I don’t know.

What has moved me this particular evening is reading stories from survivors. I read them and started crying – all of them are so thankful to be here and so sorry for those who are not. What really touched me was the stories of the hotel workers and other local people going all out to help people – creating a human barricade around a hotel and hiding people. What bravery these people showed. There were others and in particular, the man who took a bullet for his fiance. Through all the terror, we see huge acts of love that we just don’t see in everyday life. I wish we did, but it seems to take a terrifying act for love to shine some light.

The world scares me at the moment but in that, there is hope. There is love.

A phrase that is particularly apt for this week, particularly in light of the news in America at the weekend – #lovewins

2nd May 2011

May 2, 2011 2 comments

I am really intimidated to add to any conversation on this but I wanted to document it in some way so that I would remember it. I think it’s not an exaggeration to say that today has been one of the biggest days, globally, that I remember. Today and sadly enough, September 11.

I was working early this morning and was watching the news just before I left and heard the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. I really didn’t know how to react and without much time to take it in I had to go off to work.

When I returned from work, I did not expect to be so baffled and saddened by the reactions, particularly from the political world, by this news. I am not going to go into anything too much because I realise I am not really in a position to offer anything particularly insightful. But I am genuinely terrified that we appear to live in a world where people can kill someone and then there be rejoicing over this. This death has been “welcomed”…what?!

Now, I know how many people have been killed. I know how much it has hurt but has killing him really made that go away? I would say probably not.

Has the problem gone away? Again, probably not?

Has “justice been done”? Definitely not. The families of those who have been affected by the actions of Bin Laden have not seen him been brought to trial. Justice has not been done; it happens in courts, not assassination. It really hurts to see political figures make this statement.

The world has scared me today and I really don’t think this is the end. I don’t want to live in a world where this is ok.

There is, however, always hope.

This pretty much sums up my thoughts today:

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” –

To boldly go…

August 31, 2010 2 comments

Hello blog.

I have not blogged in a LONG time. I have been on holiday from university and took that as an opportunity to take an actual holiday from most things, including social media- well some of it.

Anyway, I appear to be back.

This Friday I am going to the National Youth Assembly 2010- To Boldly Go…
This shall be my 6th (!) Youth Assembly. I am old.

I think I write about it most years, so I shall keep it short.

You can follow all the goings on in the blog world via…this link
Also people will be twittering under the hashtag #nya2010 or the user @cosy_nya

I’m hoping for good debates. I’m hoping that people will speak and share their stories, their views. I’m hoping people will feel included. I’m hoping for fun. I’m hoping people will meet God.

This song speaks these hopes I think…
People have names, people have voices.

I can think of better things…

April 23, 2010 1 comment

I was going to post a big election related post. I won’t do that at the moment; I shall keep it short. But I have been struggling with choosing who to vote for. I’m taking it very seriously which I think everyone should do and I’m trying to work out what the big issues are. For me, it’s Trident. To me, it is hypocritical and immoral. It makes me sad. Anyway, it’s had a big effect on how I want to vote. Instead of ramble on about it I shall leave the lyrics, and a video if I can find it, of a Karine Polwart song. When I went to see one of her gigs, she sang this and explained that she wrote it about Trident. It seems to sum up a lot of the feelings I have towards it all. And yes…for the moment I shall still be sad about it all. But maybe one day, it shall all change. I shall hope.

Ten thousand years of big ideas
Distilled into a billion fears
A grand design, a shiny rocket
A bullet in a bully’s pocket

So mesmerized by particles
We disregard the articles
The ones we wrote to keep the peace
Sullied now in blood and greed and grease

Is this the best that we can do?
Oh I can think of better things, can’t you?

With the devil’s pitchfork in our hands
We turn the fields of foreign lands
We mine the Gulf, we dig it deeper
We free the serpent from its keeper

Yet these are the hands that fix the bones
The ones that build with sticks and stones
These are the hands that plant the tree
The ones that pull the newborn baby free

Is this the best that we can do?
Oh I can think of better things, can’t you?
Oh I can think of better things
That hands can make and hearts can sing

For now we deal with those for whom
A life is but a carnal tomb
In which the darkness holds no power
Neither does the final hour

We may lament the deadly art
Of tiny atoms torn apart
Visions that we can’t return
And future fires in which we fear we’ll burn

But this is the art of those before
Who found a cure within the core
The noble mind behind the ray
That eased our earthly cares away

Is this the best that we can do?
Oh I can think of better things, can’t you?
Oh I can think of better things
That hands can make and hearts can sing
And hearts can sing

Better Things: Music and Lyrics by Karine Polwart

hope in your hands.

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s been a while since Youth Assembly and as usual things seem to move along much quicker in life after it. I’m now back at uni and into week 2 studying courses I think I am going to properly love. Whilst it’s a lot of work I am totally loving it so far despite the occasional moan.

I meant to blog properly about Youth Assembly but I’ll see what happens. It was very much a mini journey this year. I was very nervous about a new location, nervous it was going to be different whilst really excited at the same time about the change. I explored different debate topics throughout the weekend. I was challenged. I dealt with some challenges and have left some unsolved for the moment. I moved on whilst leaving some rubbish behind me. I looked forward. I dreamed. I am still dreaming. Throughout the summer I have had this mini train of thought all based around “hope”. The weekend has definitely filled me with that on so many levels. My dreams are bigger that they have ever been, they are forever changing and are being forever driven by this thing we call hope. Some of these dreams just seem too big at the moment. I always seem to have more questions than answers and am forever searching for something bigger whilst not really knowing what that “something” is.

Here is a beautiful song:

“Teach me how to hum it, cause’ I don’t know the words yet…”