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© 2016 Ted Dunphy      Website, Content Production and Publicity by www.digitalcaboodle.com

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Creators of the Future

July 7, 2017

 

It was my birthday last week.

 

I am well on that side of the dividing age that says I stand falsely accused of being one of the money-hoarding, NHS-draining, Conservative-voting, grumpy old gits who wants to live in the past.

 

Hoarding money is difficult when you are the Bank of Mum and Dad.

 

I use the NHS only when my efforts to live healthily stop working.

 

I vote for a party whose leaders cannot be bought.

 

I grew up in the past with its restrictive traditions, glass ceilings and toxic air.

 

I remember smog, rationing, cold classrooms, bombsites, soot and grime coated houses. We had ice on the inside of bedroom windows. We used outside toilets. There were people living in the next street using internal doors as fuel for their fires to get them through the winter. It was normal to hear of people with TB, measles and dying from diseases. Failure at 11+ led to exclusion from the profitable parts of life.

 

We had togetherness. So did hens huddled together for protection.

 

I don't want to go back to that past.

 

My generation emerged from the post-war depression and believe me it was a depressing time. Golden days of sunny afternoons on the village green were found in books not in real places. Who would go back to all that?

 

I know what I choose. Hard experience has taught me what to fight against and what to fight for.

 

I was there when hospitals didn't work, when schools were inadequate, when the poor, the disabled and the unemployed were blamed for their plight. I have a lot of learning to share from that time. I know the type of future I would create.

 

I will fight to stop children being fed even less that I was. I will work to create a future where young people will have hope, will thrive on opportunity and will never have to consider themselves as being second best.

 

Would it be too much to ask for equality and for equal opportunities, irrespective of starting points?

 

Could we agree to give effective, well-funded education, health care and social care?

 

Would it be impossible to fix an economic system that allowed for fair ways of everyone paying something to the common good while protecting outcomes for the weak, the old and the disabled?

 

Might we not start with the simple idea of a country for the many not the few, where leadership cannot be bought and where each person takes responsibility for the success of all who live here?

 

I will not be a curator minding the clay pot shards of the past. I will be a creator of the future for as many years as are left to me.

 

My birthday each year reminds me I am not a has-been but a will-be.

 

On each birthday I am thankful I still have a future, not as long a future as my youngest grandchild who was twelve months old recently.

 

I will use my future to help create her future. May she live long and be healthy, successful and happy.

 

 

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