This blog will cover areas outside of my normal business life and focus on politics, history and science. All things that I'm very interested in and want to spend more time on.
From February 10, 2013 • Original Posting is Here
With the British parliament passing legislation to allow gay marriage, it reminds me again that cynicism about politics and politicians, whilst an easy and cool position to take, is not always merited. When I was born, homosexuality was illegal and civil rights in the US were still being violently contested. In 1987/8 when I edited the students’ union magazines above, the Conservative government was trying to make it illegal to “promote homosexuality” and Nelson Mandela was in prison. The 80s for me (as can be seen from the contents of OVERDRAFT) were a mix of alternative comics, Meat is Murder, anti-apartheid, anti-fascism and anti-sexist activity. At the time, shivering in the cold on yet another demo, I remember it all seeming a bit futile. But looking at where we are today, I think we can say that those efforts by millions in the UK, and around the world – including efforts by progressive politicians – paid off.
The world has changed to one where Nelson Mandela is an ex-president of South Africa, to one where Condaleeza Rice, as US Secretary of State, goes to Rosa Parks’ funeral, where the US has a black president and a woman is the favourite to be the next one – and gay marriage legislation is promoted by a Conservative prime minister.
These victories are not an excuse for inaction, or a lack of vigilance, but they are an argument against cynicism and an antidote to feelings of futility.