The headline of this post is an optimistic one, I am an optimist.
I know, some of my posts on diablog about spying, tracking, the NSA/GCHQ, WikiLeaks, Anonymous, censorship could have fooled you. Those issues are depressing. And life would be much easier, if one just ignored all of it. Enjoying nice cars, good food and drinks, music and movies, all the good things in life is a brilliant distraction. Or as Glynsky calls it: escapism.
But even when drawing your attention to one shlemazl or another, I do believe things will improve. Why? Because I do believe in my fellow humans. Point in case, a very dear friend of mine.
He is a Brit, and lived in the city for a few years. That is New York City, of course. This gent was born into a good family, received an outstanding education, did his world tour, started a career and was on his way to a bright future.
Instead of following this path, to pretty much everyone’s surprise, he quit his well paid job and started doing good. He went out into the world to help people. Over a period of well over 15 years he has lived in places around the globe, which we associate with bad news. Bad news as in war or catastrophe. Haiti, Uganda, Ecuador, Afghanistan, Lebanon, these are just a few of the places, where he lived and helped people.
The gentleman has seen the world. And with his feet firmly on the ground, he always considered Britain to be great. A great place to live, a free country, much better than most other countries. He was almost equally fond of the US, but just. Whenever we discussed US and UK politics, my concerns where brushed off.
But then I started to notice slight changes. More than a year ago he got a new laptop. And his first action was to fully encrypt the hard drive.
I could not resist asking: ‘What are you doing?’
His reply: ‘One has to do this by now, I am afraid.’
This was the first substantial and noticeable crack in his wall of confidence.
Then, a few weeks ago, while we were discussing the UK, to my surprise he made this statement:
‘Twenty years from now we will look back on this period and acknowledge, this was when the UK became an oppressive state.’
He continued to say, Britain is neither great, nor better than other countries. Most Brits are just sitting there, letting it happen. And life under constant surveillance is not worth living. Wasting money on military and police and surveillance, instead of investing in education and helping the less fortunate, is a huge mistake.
Now you wonder, why is that ground for optimism? Why the headline?
Because, when I asked: ‘What will you do about it?’
his reply was: ‘I will go back and change this.’
Dear Brits, if your brightest, best educated, with ample experience in and skills for turning things around start working on improving Britain, changes are coming.
Have some music to go with it:
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – Mighty Quinn