In Hope I Trust… But First I Must Find It
Remember that feeling when someone you trust puts a big arm around you and says things will be okay? The UK needs that moment right now.
TODAY I’m grouchy. I’m finding it hard to settle to anything. My time blocking plan has gone out the window, along with my creativity.
So, I’m writing this.
Write it out and all will be well, I tell myself.
“Just write” — award-winning author, Sarah Waters said to me once.
I quote her words often.
Today is a day to put those words into action.
To be honest, any action is better than none.
So, I’m writing.
How am I feeling right now? Relieved.
There’s something strangely comforting about the sound and feel of fingers on a keyboard.
It’s like being on a day trip and not knowing where you’re going to end up. A magical mystery tour.
I could write about the US elections. Along with half the population.
I’m truly relieved a certain Trump-ed up politician appears to be on his way out.
I can feel the collective sighs of a peace-loving people.
I could talk about the shenanigans of the UK Government. But, quite honestly, I’m sick of hearing about it.
To B Or Not To B?
I’m sick of people either being a Boris fan or not a Boris fan.
Of us having to tip-toe around the subject with a TRIGGER WARNING.
Of all this holding dominion over us.
Having the power to divide neighbours, friends, families.
I’m sick of the Covid numbers. What’s real and what’s not.
And let’s not even go there with Brexit.
The fall out hasn’t even begun yet, has it?
No wonder I’m feeling out of sorts a little.
I’ve always been proud to be a Brit.
Proud without ever truly knowing what that means.
I felt it when I sat in that Olympic stadium in 2012.
Whatever ‘it’ is.
Well, I think I did. But how can you know for sure?
I’m not a flag waving royalist.
But I can see the attraction.
Being part of the crowd at those royal ‘events’ (I queued up twice to sign the book of condolence after Diana’s death) are hair standing on the back of the arm moments.
And those moments are ones you can carry for a lifetime, even if they’re unbearably heavy.
I can cheer and cry with the best of them.
I’ve loved our national flag and, for years, had a house full of union flag themed items.
From teapots and mugs to t-shirts, socks, notebooks, hats and too many other random objects to mention.
But I’ve stopped collecting.
Falling Out Of Love
I think I’ve been falling out of love with the UK a little, of late.
Not the place. Its rolling hills, massive skies, meandering rivers and powerful seas.
Or the flat and yet intoxicating wild landscape of my fenland home.
Something in the air?
I’m not sure, but I don’t like it.
Maybe the country’s not changed, it’s me.
And here I go. Talking politics, after all.
Over the weekend, as Democrats across America, and a lot of Brits too, celebrated Joe Biden/Kamala Harris’ win in the race for the Whitehouse, I watched the President Elect’s speech.
It was a good one. Full of hope, of possibility, of fairness and packed full of promises to make the United States, united again.
I could not help but compare. A far cry from the ‘Putting The Great in Great Britain again’ rhetoric in those months before Brexit and Covid struck.
Why did Biden’s words make the hairs stand up on the back of my arms?
It wasn’t the razz-a-ma-taz of American politics — the fireworks, the grand staging, the whooping crowds. Although that was cool to watch too.
It was something else.
Conviction. Humility. Leadership. Togetherness. Hope.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris delivered it in bucket loads.
Their US family felt like my family.
Their concerns, their wishes for the future, mine.
And then came the question. Who?
Who on the British political scene right now could make such a strong impact on me?
I scratched my head. I thought for a moment. I thought for several moments.
Where’s our passion, our leadership delivered with that beautiful mix of determination and humility?
A political powerhouse able to deliver on promises, see it through with conviction and empower everyone, not just those with an expensive education.
Okay, so if no-one in politics springs to mind, what about outside the political arena?
I scratched my head some more.
It was difficult.
Uniting Our Kingdom
Sometimes I feel like we live in a land of toddlers. Not that there’s anything wrong with genuine little people. It’s the adults masquerading as them that are the problem.
Adults, in true Trump style, throwing all their toys out the playpen instead of working through different viewpoints.
How amazing would it be to find someone who could unite us? From the top of Scotland to the bottom of Cornwall.
To lead us through our differences and help us see things from a different perspective.
To help us find the commonalities and use them to fuel our future. To work on ensuring the basics for every fellow human walking this path with us.
A person of the people and for the people, who appreciates the highs and lows of being on #TeamHuman and dedicates their political life to every life. Putting their needs after the needs of the most vulnerable.
Just picture this for a moment. Take a deep breath and see how it feels.
In this hope, I trust. What about you?
Asha Clearwater is an NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists) qualified journalist who’s been a news reporter, features editor and arts editor, as well as editor of several national business magazines.
Today she coaches SMEs on the art of great storytelling to promote their products and services.
Asha occasionally freelances as a writer for national magazines and is even behind some of the information boards you’ll find strolling through Woodland Trust Forests.
She is also curator of TEDxPeterborough. www.tedxpeterborough.com