Thursday, 3 December 2020
This star is inspired by the Dickens' 'Tale of Two Cities'. At the start of the pandemic there was a lot of talk of it being 'the great leveller', we were all vulnerable, rich or poor, all of us were at risk. I remember Emily Maitlis on Newsnight debunking this myth with clinical precision -
She set out the truth, while the virus had no favourites, society did. Those who could work from home, live in spacious housing and had their own transport were far less likely to fall seriously ill with the virus.
Much like the aristocrats in France and Britain in the 1700s many of our politicians were criminally unaware of the differences Maitlis outlined. It seemed that 'a tale of two cities' was a novel our MP's had skim read at best.
Running through Dickens' novel is his belief in the possibility of resurrection and transformation, both on a personal and societal level. A hope that violence, both physical and structural, will give way to a new and better world. The pandemic's recurring images of people organising to support neighbour and stranger in streets up and down these isles is emblematic of this hope today. A hope that we the people will rise and rebuild, and renew our commitment to love one another.
As we emerge into 2021, my hope is for us to keep the fires of justice that have been kindled alive. That we will remember those who would give their lives to keep a life we love beside us, and refuse to go back to business as usual.