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Tear Down These Walls

What a week for the non-power-crazed ordinary people of these islands. Here we are - packing the lunches for our children, walking the dog, working, shopping, paying bills - all the everyday stuff we always do. A note to the politicians - we don't have time to play power games - you may think your busy lives of frequent flights and meetings are serving the people but they are more likely to be self-serving. Your wages alone may not make you billionaires but they're not bad and the control you have over our little futures would appear to be intoxicating. We continue the daily round.

In my social group, we are struggling to lift each other out of this mire. Some members have almost given up hope and they need special care and attention. Of course they will get it - from the rest of us - politicians are messing up our lives but we are picking up the pieces for each other. And we will continue to do so because we have a right to feel secure and content. It doesn't matter how we voted - or if we voted - in the referendum - we have all been cheated and lied to by those without scruples. Hands up - who feels like a tiny pawn in a game of chess? Instantly disposable. 

My childhood was spent in rural Lincolnshire. Politics was a topic we didn't discuss much but Dad was interested and took the morning news programme on the radio very seriously indeed. "Today with Jack de Manio" kept Dad up to date with the dealings of our government and he didn't like our chattering to inhibit that. Dad always voted the same way and I followed him the first time I voted. I loved him. As I experienced the big wide world, I made up my own mind about politics and have never voted the same way as Dad since.  It didn't matter.

Today there is a great deal of anger about a person's political persuasion should it not be in line with one's own. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't remember that being the case before this current catastrophe. It seems to me that our country has lowered its level of tolerance generally. There are serious problems regarding race, politics, gender issues, religion, class . . . . Pretty grim isn't it! 

I no longer live in rural Lincolnshire. I'm now in the far north of Scotland and I can tell you, from here, that the majority of people I come across feel ignored. We watch this terrible drama being played out in Westminster, knowing that Scotland is the last thing on the minds of those with the power to change all our lives.

At our house we talk. We talk about everything. Weekend breakfasts tend to be a chance to put the world to rights. We bite, chew, swallow and digest a topic just as we do the croissants. Nobody decides what we will discuss - in fact we never mean to discuss anything - but we always do. For a very long time now, Brexit has been a hot topic. We've shared what we've individually learned during the week, attempted to understand the viewpoints of those whose line is different from ours - here and out in the nation - as well as coming up with solutions. As if anyone wants to know what we think! I wonder how many voters, now that they are in the middle of this crisis, would like to cast an informed vote. The previous information we were given seems to have been at best incomplete, perhaps misleading, and at worst downright untrue. We all know someone who has recently discovered they will soon be out of a job. Here in Caithness, we discovered this week that Caithness Horizons is to close. North Coast 500 has taken off - many drivers have been following it since 2015 - so now we close the museum which explains the heritage here. The volunteer-run Wick Heritage Centre is still delighting tourists. Whether we voted to leave Europe or to stay, it would be real democracy to be given the opportunity to have our say now that the picture of our collective future is clearer. Please, please, please listen to us. Leave greed for money and power behind and allow the people of Britain to invest in their future with an educated assessment of where we are now. This country is at risk of becoming a dictatorship. I do not willingly submit to the dominance of a few politicians who do not care an iota about the future of our ordinary lives. Perhaps willingly is irrelevant.

I can't bear negativity - I always look for a way to improve things and I want to improve this country today for my perfect little granddaughter who came into our lives on the 23rd January - sharing my grandfather's birthday. She doesn't yet know any of the anger, the prejudice and the fear which moves through Britain as I write this. She has already brought incredible joy into the lives of so many people. She deserves to be surrounded by fairness, security and positivity. So, yes I have a vested interest in the outcome of our present dilemma - she's called Auri and she's four weeks old. And I love her.

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