This election, we must demand social security be rocket-fuelled so it becomes social opportunity

4 Jun 2024

Elections are like islands of hope in a sea of troubles. They seem to increase hope when deep despair is at hand. Last week, while doing a Q&A in Falmouth after the showing of the film Someone’s Daughter, Someone’s Son, I was asked whether I hoped for much in the forthcoming general election.  

I was not appointed in life to urinate on people’s parades. Nor was I appointed – or self-appointed – to be gooey-eyed over political promises. Rather, to be firmly sensible and not misled by what turns out to be
electoral bluster.  

So it’s a hard one when, having stacked up so many empty promises, the government finally surrenders to the inevitable and calls a general election. And suddenly everything is about promises and hope and political bunting, with manifestos not admitting one squeak of a chance that the promises won’t be
realised if office falls into their lap.  

No, poverty won’t go away. No, the health service won’t heal itself. No, prosperity won’t be gloriously distributed throughout all constituencies irrespective of where you are geographically.  

But we must demand that all things possible are done to repair our troubled society. We must ask for promises even if we know they might not be delivered. Because we have to have a gauge by which to measure achievement.  

Read the full Big Issue article at –

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