The Queen’s Christmas broadcast highlighted local communities supporting each other
I thought the Queen’s Christmas broadcast last year was pitched perfectly. I found it really uplifting. It almost brought a tear to my eye! Why? Because it spelt out just how the pandemic has brought local communities together: how the people in those local communities are supporting each other.
There were examples of people of different ethnic groups and backgrounds who had been drawn together in these difficult times and who had risen to the challenge, supporting neighbours and doing what they could to help the vulnerable.
Those aren’t the stories which appear on television or hit the headlines in mainstream media. Instead, we are drip-fed daily stories of gloom and doom with perhaps the odd story of a ‘celeb’ challenging the authorities to do more to help the poor.
I’m reminded yet again of my post of August 10th 2018, The Politics of Fear, when I discussed how when people are fearful they are more likely to pull up the drawbridge, look after number one and rely on the government to take them to a place of safety. Even the then President of the Royal College of GP’s said:
‘…. leading politicians seem to be developing a pattern of using fear as a political tool.’
So, I say ‘thank you’ to the Queen for helping to alleviate our fear by saying:
‘Remarkably a year which has of necessity kept people apart has in many ways brought us closer. In the United Kingdom and around the world people have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year.’
Why is the Queen choosing to highlight local communities supporting each other as so very important? It’s because many, many, a commentator sees the development of local communities as crucial to our bringing about the big changes we need if we are to deal with the challenges of our 21st Century world.
Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder of Local Futures in her book ‘Local is Our Future’ makes the case for localisation very strongly. And, Bill McGibben, historian and activist, says:
‘There is no more important task than re-localizing our economies – it will help to cure everything from climate change to human sadness.
For those of us who’d like to receive the ‘localisation’ message but might not have time to read the book, this delightful animation will take less than 3 minutes and will also provide some simple ideas of how you could get involved.
So I go forth into the New Year resolved to find the good news stories, many of which build on the local community togetherness which has been growing throughout the pandemic. It really looks as if many of us are determined to ‘Build Back Better’!