Sunday, 12 August 2012

Caring is a revolutionary act

‘Caring is now a revolutionary act’ – that statement referring to life in the UK today struck such a chord with me I had to write this blog about it.

The words were written in one of the latest letters to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, from a man who calls himself Keith Ordinary Guy.

Since March this year Keith, who lives near the city of Bath in south west England, has written a letter every day to Mr Cameron, 140 in all. He has received just five replies, none of them from the man himself and none of them attempts to answer his questions (no surprises there then).

This weekend there was a rather disturbing episode involving the police and members of Ordinary Guy’s family who were returning home after a charity gig in their village. Pepper spray was used by the police in what Keith has called ‘an unbelievable display of police heavy handedness’.

But he reckons this was just ‘very bad police judgement on a routine car patrol through the village’ and adds it would be ‘a stretch to link this with the letters’. He may be right, I really hope he is.

Keith Ordinary Guy, who is 61 and a former community and youth worker, has quite a following on his Facebook page – A Letter a Day to No 10. And there is a website with all the letters, and the replies -

Over a recent article detailing this one-man’s peaceful but effective and persistent protests, the Daily Mail predictably ran a headline asking: ‘Is this Britain’s biggest whinger?’  Ordinary Guy doesn’t whinge. He makes clear, simple arguments and comments that many of us ‘ordinary folk’ would support.

On his website he explains: ‘On 17 March 2012 I  decided I had reached my tipping point regarding the multiple abuses being perpetrated against me and the people of my country by the government, the banks, corporations and the “market”.

‘In order to mount a prolonged protest I decided to write a letter a day to David Cameron and to make those letters a matter of public record via my Facebook account .’

In his letters to the Prime Minister Keith comments on Government policy on privatisation of the public sector, welfare reform (what normal people call benefit cuts), banks and bankers and foreign policy, among other subjects.

He accuses the Prime Minister in one of his recent letters: ‘You may have power on your side, but you do not have justice or goodness on your side, they belong to us and all who care.

‘In such times in which we now live caring becomes a revolutionary act.’

If that is (sadly) the case, we should all now be revolutionaries in 21st century Britain. Keep it going Keith! And long live the revolution!