Thursday 7 July 2011

The Smell of Burning

Like Charlotte, I've been struck recently by just how many summer festivals there are at the moment. I was in London last weekend and every poster on the tube seemed to be promoting some new festival or outdoor event. Just to be clear, I am a huge fan of festivals, so I'm not knocking them in any way. I've been to some excellent ones and it's great to see so many people sitting in the sun, enjoying the best music and entertainment available.

But these are difficult times, and we need to make sure that we're not distracted for too long from the true work that needs to continue. While I was sitting in the glorious sunshine last week, the worst drought for 60 years was destroying families in east Africa, our public services remained under threat, and livelihoods all round the UK were threatened by the recession.

So, we should celebrate - celebrate our common heritage, the things that unite us, the best that human ingenuity can bring to us, and also our successes against the events that threaten us. And we should also use that celebration to remind us of our common cause with our fellow humanity, and at best, with the rest of the planet. We need to recharge our batteries ready for the work ahead.

Anything else is just fiddling while the world burns.

Pic of the wonderful Peter Ustinov as Nero in Quo Vadis

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