Everyday, hundreds, if not thousands of people, die around the world needlessly - often violently. Whether it is a woman who has been beaten to death, or perhaps a baby who has no food, perhaps it is someone who died at the hands of a suicide bomber, or more than likely, at state sponsored terrorism. Why do they die? How do we allow this?
When i was younger my greatest wish was to stop all this pain. I would look at a situation and go, I want to be part of the solution. I was going to be a photojournalist, an aid worker, i was going to be in an NGO, i was going to ask governments why didn't they do what they were supposed to do.... keep people safe.
Of course, then i ended up in the civil service. Still, i did stuff. I worked voluntarily in AWARE and then i moved to Ireland - partly because i wanted to be part of this exciting journey which the Irish were on. But also, i had fallen in love - with Ireland, it felt like coming home... and i fell in love with Peter. I fell in love with him for strange reasons. It was because he was still interested in making the world a better place. Even though he was 37 he hadn't sold out and settled down and he was still able to see the value of making a nuisance of yourself.
Time passed. I found out many many things about the world we lived in. I detested it. The barefaced grab for power because of greed. The hypocrisy practised by the West, so awful that people had to develop conspiracy theories to make themselves feel better because the truth, the brute truth that they just didn't CARE, was too much to bear.
Over my time here, i worked in NGOs and then i worked in the school. All the time trying to make the world a better place. Still not giving up. I am lucky though - i have the support of my family back home in Singapore, without whom i would almost certainly not be living the comfortable life i live now, not on the salary i have.
I have to say that despite my best efforts, things have gotten worse. Despite ALL our best efforts. I mean, poor Noam Chomsky. The poor poor man. Naomi Klein. You can write books, give lectures, point things out, be on long interviews, make films and NO ONE WILL LISTEN TO YOU. For some reason the glamour of Trump Towers or Keeping up with the Kardashians, in its infinite painful tasteless moronity is far more attractive than eating well, being kind to people, taking care of waste, ensuring we have a better planet to pass on to the next generation. For some reason, this is infinitely preferable. I don't understand why.
Is it because people are so crass in their souls that we should despair? Is it because we are pathetic by nature? What? Is it because we are so fucking deluded that we simply cannot, just CANNOT understand that the things which they have promised are so ridiculously outrageous that they are not simply impossible but they are also downright dangerous? What?
Over the past week i have bee elated with the possibility that Corbyn's Labour will manage to dismantle the Tories' neoliberal narrative and the dire consequences it has spun. However, this was ground to a complete halt by the Manchester bomb. Something happens when people are faced with such horrendous terror - all their reason goes out of the window. Perhaps this is where i think, i have Aspergers. Of course i feel dreadful and incredibly wounded, but no more wounded than when i heard that in Syrian tens of thousands of people had been killed by Trump while he had chocolate cake. Fuck me. It is ALL CONNECTED. What happened in Syria and what happened in Manchester is connected. If we don't solve one, we will not solve the other. But the problem is that our politicians are either incredibly stupid or not interested in solving the problem because they stand to gain from it.
I want to tell people, don't let them, don't let fear supersede the hope you felt. Don't let politicians which are not interested in you AT ALL, who have values which are not about the continuation of life, terrorise you. Stand up to them, tell them, we are better than this. You may not be, but we surely are. And if we are taking our lives, the real narrative, who we were meant to be, back.