2. The difference a few metres of tarmac makes
Last week, Liz mentioned our meeting with Jacqui Lait, the Shadow Minister for London. Having left her office, we went in search of a pint but got sidetracked at Parliament Square.
As you may know…on 2nd June 2001 Brian Haw set up a demonstration against the UK government’s policy toward Iraq and declared that he would not leave until things changed. Six years later, he and his fellow protesters are still there.
Brian was sleeping in a chair, whilst we chatted with two of his co-demonstrators Maria and Bunny. Conversation turned to big business and the exploitative of their suppliers.
Maria spoke of how some big businesses squeeze their small, dependant suppliers to increase efficiency and reduce costs. This squeezing creates even more dependency so an unhealthy cycle begins. Because businesses are not people, conscience doesn’t matter. But that attitude rubs off on the very people that work for such companies.
Having earlier listened to Jacqui’s comments about how kids today can sometimes lack a sense of social community and responsibility, it was interesting to hear Maria’s comments on the equivalent behaviour from some adults.
When I asked Maria what was the way forward, she said that society was ready to swing the pendulum back.
Liz and I exchanged an intrigued glance.
Maria’s comment was an eerie echo of what Jacqui Lait had said to us 20 minutes earlier.
So…erm…hang on. These two radically opposed groups are in agreement on something…does this mean that we are all getting ready for a big societal change?
We decided it was time for action, starting with a Team Nice Manifesto...
By Peter Muriuki