Wary of the new government? Maybe there’s another way
It’s been a painful few days for those of us who never thought the outcome of the general election would be as bad as this. From a personal, self-indulgent level, it’s felt like a grieving process: I’m oscillating between denial and acceptance and a thinly-veiled hope that maybe, just maybe, we won’t have to wait a full five years, will we?
The idea of a Tory government intent on hurting the most vulnerable in society and ripping up the NHS is almost too much to bear. And it is too much to bear for so many of us.
I’ve angered, I’ve raged, I’ve fumed, I’ve argued. I’ve blamed and I’ve questioned. But the hard truth is there is nothing we can do about the outcome. Cameron and his wealthy cronies are here to stay, and that is why it’s so painful. Like it or not (and I don’t) we are powerless to stop the horrific cuts. We are powerless to protect those on the breadline, we are powerless to do much at all. All we can really do is exercise our democratic right and protest, protest, protest. That, in itself, I realise is somewhat futile. The anti-war protest during the Blair administration during 2003 did very little in the grand scheme of things, as did the hundreds of petitions that we’ve signed furiously over the years. But that doesn’t mean we should give up.
In fact, I have an alternative approach. My idea is still in the early stages, but it’s already made me feel lighter, more hopeful, more determined. But I can’t do it on my own. For this idea to ‘work’ (for want of a better word) I need a bit of help. It’s very simple.
You see, it occurred to me a few days ago in a painfully obvious lightbulb moment that we can do very little to stop the Tory government. But maybe we don’t need to stop it, maybe we need to do something else all together. And that something is counteract.
This is my idea. For every cruel, unfair and inhumane cut or action the Tory government implement, I want to do something positive for our society to counteract it. Even if it’s something small and seemingly trivial like donating £10 to a charity or buying some lunch for someone on the streets. Because although we can’t change the situation, we can change our reaction to it.
I want to be proud of our society, I want to counteract every unfair government action with a loving, kind one in the name of social justice.
That’s not to say all this should be in place of fighting our government every step of the way, we should absolutely do that. Petition, demonstrate, get active, write to your MP, whatever it might be. But for those of us from Labour, Green, SNP and all the other parties who want a fair and just society that protects the most vulnerable, we should absolutely be doing what we can to cushion the blow, to dilute the cruel reality that is this Tory government.
I’m not calling for a revolution, I’m not expecting a seismic shift in society’s attitude. I just want a few people, even if it is just a few to pledge something little, to make that bit of a difference to someone’s life.
Maybe we need a website where we pledge an action or a deed. A website where we can come together and share ideas. Maybe even a Facebook group or a Twitter hashtag will be enough. Let’s get this ball rolling.
So people, are you in?
EDIT: I’ve now set up a Facebook community page, Counteract, in which to pledge acts/deeds and share what you’ve done or plan to do.
Image source: Crown copyright, some rights reserved. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/