Have you seen the seaside?
This morning I went down to New Cross Learning. A group of parents and their kids are going on a coach trip to Clacton organised and paid for by the library and the New Cross Gate Trust. Some of those children have never seen the sea or been out of London.
At their age, I’d been to Skegness four times, had embarrassing pictures taken of ice cream faces and being washed in the caravan sink. My parents did not have much money, but they had access to a 1 week trip a year from Sheffield to the Lincolnshire coast.
As a country and society we are supposed to move forward not back. But what is happening is back stepping into history, where some of our fellow citizens and residents are trapped in an economic cycle of reduced life chances and experiences. Now before I am trolled or attacked by the usual suspects on Twitter, I am not advocating the council pay for coach trips to the nearest seaside towns, though I am sure those towns would welcome it. But, I am advocating for a resistance to a government that is ruling for a narrow elite when children of 6 and 7 cannot even breathe in the cleaner air of the seaside.
The picture attached to this article is of this morning. But it represents more than a #BackBell poster. It is about a new hope. A new future, where all our people – wherever they are from – enjoy the fruits of our society irrespective of income or background.
That is a long way off. But every journey starts with a first step, though we need to quicken the pace.