By Chris Porter, Lawyer, Warrington
Human civilisation evolves spasmodically, often violently, as societal paradigms shift. From the industrial revolution changing our land from small cottage industries to a vast sprawling land of industrial production, changing farmers to workers, ours is a society in constant flux. Britain in 2019 is a society in the grip of such change.
But this is not a new concept.
The mechanised decimation of the first and second would wars and the famine and suffering of millions of Britons during the great depression of the 1930s forced us to think about our society and how we needed to collectively band together to achieve something better. A starving population emerged from the ashes of the second world war to create some of the greatest successes of collective thinking ever seen, e.g. the United Nations, the Welfare State and the NHS.
In 2019, once again we are at a crossroads in our society. Our collective sense of community is eroded to the brink of extinction, with little or no rights in work, zero hours contracts, and wages lower now than a decade ago. The very foundations of our collective society seem under attack with anger and pain felt on all sides.
Right now we don’t even have a functioning government. A society in such profound turmoil can have disastrous consequences, as in 1930s Germany when the anger of crushing poverty led to the rise of the far right and fascism. So too in 2018 we see once again the march of such extremists through Europe. We saw, with horror, the violent murder of British MP Jo Cox by a far right extremist.
We need to understand and address such anger, isolation and discontent. We need to recognise the crushing isolation, poverty, fear and disconnect that exists in our modern society.
We need to listen. We need to learn.
Struggle and violent change is endemic in our evolution however positive change is only achieved when we pause, listen to each other and stand together and united as a people, as a society. We need this common understanding more now than at any other point in my lifetime.