So here in the UK we have experienced another terrorist attack. Right alongside what is pleased to call itself the Mother of Parliaments. The first thing I want to say about that is that for any Muslim who may read this, for any native of another country living here who reads this – you are welcome here. I’m very happy to have you here. You and your different languages, your different dress, your different foods which our restaurants serve now on a daily basis all brighten up and broaden the collective mind of our society. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m slightly humbled – and flattered – that you should think enough of this country and this society to want to make a life for yourself and your family here, or just to be resident here for a period of time. And you should know that there are millions of others like me whose voices you perhaps don’t hear often enough.
The harsh and hectoring, anti-humanitarian, anti-tolerance rants of all the usual suspects – whom I don’t need to name – are, at a time like this, in full spate as you would expect, sourness, meanness and negativity being their natural milieu. Do not however, be disheartened – there are a lot more of us than there are of them. And in fact, don’t be too harsh on them, for they are dinosaurs and the sun is setting on their day. I have a sense that the many vile things that have been unleashed across the mainly Western World by such as them in the last few months will turn out to be, in the long run, their own nemesis – such anathema to the vast majority that they will generate the push-back against their own selves. The signs, in fact, are already appearing.
The only way this desperately troubled race of ours has any chance of reaching the turn of the current century is if we all bury our differences, turn our swords into ploughshares and sort out our severe and mounting problems together, as one. At which point I have to mention Brexit because I think it’s a disaster and a tragedy; it goes against everything the world now so desperately needs.
As I’ve said in this blog before, I live in South London in a lovely, green area called Crystal Palace. It’s a cosmopolitan, friendly place. There’s a vast mix of black people, white people, brown ones – and pretty-well every colour there is. We live together. And we get on together. On a number of occasions, on my way back home from the shops just up the hill – a seven minute walk at the most – I’ve counted the number of languages I hear from passers-by. The last count was six. French, German, Hindi, Cantonese, some sort of Eastern European, and Spanish. For me, that’s wonderful. And representative of the only way there’ll ever be real peace in our world.