I have always tried to be optimistic, because optimism is, I believe, the fuel of progress. Cynicism is encouraged by people who don’t want anything to happen or to ever change. If you can persuade people that whoever they vote for doesn’t matter then that discourages them from making progress. You have to keep hope alive. And I have drawn comfort from looking at historical examples of how we have got rid of slavery, how women got the vote and how it was all achieved when people organised and campaigned.
When you do that you go through various stages. First you are ignored. Then they say you’re mad, then dangerous and then finally you win and then you can’t find anyone at the top who doesn’t claim to have thought of it in the first place. That’s how change happens. That’s why however bleak things might appear, I do still believe if people organise and if the streets were full of people demanding different policies then something would happen.
Tony Benn R.I.P.
(Reflections are provided each week by a member of the congregation.)