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September 24, 2020

Stats and Statues


Strange times. The world is floudering between political take-overs, power grabs and global recession, yet the news is crammed with two topics, stats and statues.

Stats

Stats clock up the global misery of Covid-19 for a frustrated, locked down (captive) audience. The human mind seems to stall once numbers get above a few zeros.

Statues

Statues. They are tangible, and something we can get our head around. In the UK, like everywhere else, many have been around longer than any of us can remember. They are landmarks, many hold fond memories, even if not all of us are sure who they represent and why they are there.

Damage and Defacing

Seeing them damaged and defaced annoys me. We all knew, around the age of five, that breaking things was bad. Aggression, temper tantrums and violence are not behaviours that parents or carers encourage in a child. If we knew that then, what happened? Did someone or some thing tell us that these acts are righteous under certain circumstances? Who told us that, and why did they want to use our hands to destroy for them? That’s a different subject, but probably worth thinking about.

Our World

The world we live in today is very unequal. Poorer countries are exploited for the raw materials that power our lives. Few people have access to running water, xenophobia is causing widespread misery and murder across large parts of Africa, Asia and beyond.

Chirpy, Cheap, Cheap

Knowing the reality of the struggles that so many live with today – Watching young people wearing cheap imports, videoing each other pulling down statues and defacing monuments on mobile ‘phones made with componants that depend on unsafe mining (likely by children) is just tragic.

But Really …

Slavery is alive and thriving today. Many people support it. The UK supported slavery to the tune of £14b in 2017. This cites one study, and that is just what we can measure. The tiny tip of what citizens of UK and other folk spend directly supporting slavery. Yes, that’s probably you. If it is, how should we deal with you in a fair and just society?

Smuggling, trafficking, drugging, fake cigs and cheap tobacco are harder to measure. There’s the cheap booze and other “under the counter” items that most people know how to source – Either first hand, or through a friend.

Surely any caring, thinking person would spend their time, energy and money protecting slaves and children working in sweat shops today? Do you care? Do you think? If so, what are you doing?

Somebody told me to educate myself. They were nameless and faceless, and thought smashing statues was justified. I am sure it feels good. We were all young and eager to make our mark once, but these are the days of the internet. An image is forever, and public sentiment is a fickle thing.

Transport, fares, munchies, flares, fireworks and ropes do little to combat human misery. Whatever is spent on those would do a lot more good donated to a Covid appeal from good people trying to make a difference in a challenging country for people who desperately need help.

Because I Care

Does anyone really care about equality? A great man once told me that if you want to know a person’s values, you should look at how they spend their time and money.

If any lives really matter to you, it might be worth sacrificing the selfie, and making a real difference.

Kick the addiction to cheap imports, drugs and contraband. Stop smugglers and traffickers, their profits support things you will hopefully never have to see. Look after your devices and skip buying the latest model.

The slave trade of yester year was a travesty. Leave the stoney eyed statues alone and man (or woman) up. You are more like the flawed people they immortalise than you think.

You are the Statue

Take care of the living. They need you.

Do your bit for stats (people) in the countries worst equipped to deal with the pandemic, and leave token acts of aggression and violence to somebody else. Those selfies might not age as well as you think.

You are a slave enabler. Don’t be a hypocrite, too.

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

George Orwell – 1984

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