As some of you may or may not know, I'm a bit of an idealistic type who believes that an egalitarian socialist humanist paradise isn't too unfeasible an idea to contemplate for the not so distant future (note here from the get go that I am not a utopianist, there will always be problems in a society by nature or design, it's how we overcome those problem as a society and community that defines us and our future) so with that in mind I am taking a few more visible steps into activism, aside from being the armchair type, sharing the odd tweet, signing the odd petition and fervently reading and watching alternative media ... worry not, I believe in life and I believe in love and you'll still have plenty of music from me, and there's plenty more on the way, rest at ease, and for the most part that's all non-partisan, secular and some of it has been recently described by one (hopefully) solitary reviewer as "prosaic", which I don't mind, opinions make up the world and if my tunes are easily enjoying with a cup of tea, tea lights and you biscuit of choice then that makes me happy ...
Anyways, I believe that the biggest difference you can make is local, small changes, and a passion, a belief in local communities and people being able to make a better world for themselves ... if you're an ardent reader of my blog, I'd love to think you've taken a shine to composting and joined the millions of us green fingered types who believe compost will save the world. So, with this in mind I hope to do little bits to improve the places I've lived, worked, studied, played or all in some cases ll four, by focussing on projects, awareness, and just general niceness to get communities coming together, Ilkeston, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Sheffield, London and more, and hopefully I can make my small difference make a bigger impact, empowering others through empowering myself ... I know it's oft-quoted but Mahatma Gandhi wasn't messing around when he said "be the change you want to be in the world.
I've done a few community things in Notts and Derbyshire, and a few bits with the Universities in Leicester, but a truly community led local initiative I've been drawn to is the "Say No To Tesco" campaign that has sprouted up in the Clarendon Park area of Leicester. Residents have united in response to the motions that have started regarding turning an old beautiful building that was a Barclays Bank into a Tesco Express, that would be well into double figures for central Leicester and would further increase the area becoming bereft of local businesses, diverse culture and wonderful buildings. There are so many reasons why I support these people in their desire to stop Tesco implanting themselves on the wonderful Queens Road but I won't rant on too much further ... if anyone wishes to engage in conversation with me on the subject, please do, via twitter, email, facebook or however ...
In the meantime here's a bit of poetry my brother wrote ... he's an English graduate and a school teacher ... right on brother !
Every Little Hurts
You set your sights on our small shops
And they become your prey.
You ate our local butcher whole
When you appeared that day.
You rape our farmers year-by-year,
Or move your trade abroad.
You brainwash folk who think that you
Are all they can afford.
The peasants of this mining town
All come to you for food.
Some clod poles even worship you,
You brighten up their mood.
They travel in their cars to you
Polluting Britain’s air,
Whilst you bring goods from overseas,
Your trade is rarely fair.
For Costa Ricans picking fruit
Can work for two days straight.
Their fruit will keep your stomach full
So you can stay up late.
You steal cashews from India,
You leave their women scarred.
But still our sheep all flock to you,
Although your name’s been marred.
In Bangladesh your women work
For just five pence an hour,
They make the clothes you sell so cheap
Next to your eggs and flour.
With such a wide variety
Our small shops can’t compete;
With baker’s baking cakes all day
That no one wants to eat.
The milkman potters ‘round the streets
Delivering here and there,
But not enough to make ends meet,
And no one seems to care.
So every time their moth-like wings
Are heading t’wards your light,
Like zombies with a thirst for blood,
They help you win the fight.
© Daniel Henshaw
Clarendon Park is the last place you'd expect to find Occupy style grass roots activism but if people work together for something positive that you believe in, you can make a difference ... Spread The Love, MHx
Click the picture above for more information on the campaign ... Thanks !
SAY NO TO TESCO ! BOYCOTT TESCO !! TEACH TESCO CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY !!!