i wish you all well – i wish us all well.
as the wheel turns, the winter king is slain and the summer king is born, whatever you call him, proserpina has had her pomegranate and you start to hope more. this year i feel i have no real hopes … oh the usual, i hope the world deals kindly with those i love most, gives rich experiences to my boys and returns softness for the softness of the clp*.
the hope is for others. and before there are cynical rumblings from the boathouse, it’s not just blether. i don’t think i can be happy in a society where there is unfairness. apart from anything else, it just bloody annoys me. there is no point in having things in such a state that some people get screwed; it’s not even as if it makes anyone’s lives better, it just makes others’ lives worse.
this year, among the many pointless cuts, have been big cuts to legal aid. the law centre where i volunteered is likely to close; the people who work there will lose their jobs. lawyers, eh! tough… many comments i have seen about the cuts to the legal aid budget are based on the notion that lawyers are all the same. the city boys (and even occasionally, whisper it low, a girl!) on their large salaries doing whatever it is they do for big businesses who do errr … whatever they do too. and the law centre solicitors, who after maybe 20 years in practice probably earn less in a year than a city partner earns in a month. their law is getting repairs done for someone living with hiv in a flat with a sieve for a roof and ‘damp’ just doesn’t cover it; stopping an attempt to recoup £40,000 of housing benefit from an unemployed single parent because they say she is married to the landlord – without actual evidence; fighting for a domestic servant who was made to sleep on a floor, was beaten and so maltreated she drank bleach (like a bloody priestley play innit?). the clients aren’t all likeable, they aren’t all right – but they all deserve a shout.
and the law centre solicitors keep people in their homes and fight for people everyone else disregards. when the law centres go – and they will go, despite the will of people to work in them for less money than they could get elsewhere – people, families, will become homeless. and we could have stopped it.
and we didn’t.
and i sit here happy with my lot. the world has looked after me again. there have been potatoes, beans and raspberries… god there were raspberries! and the garlic will soon pop its head through the snow. the world turns and my boys grow towards the sun. i give thanks to the world for another year where someone has looked after us.
i’ve saved some hopes for you: if you’re faced by a senseless system that doesn’t appear to understand your true value, well, i just hope you get pupillage. i hope you find where you need to be and the quiet that goes with it. i hope you find a place … for us … for you.
i hope you remember that this time we didn’t (couldn’t?) help these people. and if that worries you, resolve that when you next have the choice, you choose to do that small thing that brings whatever you believe in just a step closer. if not, may you never make your bed out in the cold – you may be short of room. and may i not be there first – but if i am, i’ll let you share my blanket and offer you a shrivelled raspberry.
i raise a glass to your dreams for 2011.
* ‘chosen life partner’: for those of you who weren’t reading about 4 years ago