“I warn you not to be ordinary………..”
My friend Ralph Dartford of Arts Council Yorkshire just posted this on my Facebook page – deeply moving but also how horrifically prophetic! Reminds you that, when Kinnock hit the spot, there was no one to touch him –
Kinnock’s searing and prophetic speech – made in 1983 but how it resonates now –
“I warn you. I warn you that you will have pain – when healing and relief depend upon payment. I warn you that you will have ignorance – when talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and not a right.
I warn you that you will have poverty – when pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a government that won’t pay in an economy that can’t pay.
I warn you that you will be cold – when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don’t notice and the poor can’t afford.
I warn you that you must not expect work – when many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don’t earn, they don’t spend. When they don’t spend, work dies.
I warn you not to go into the streets alone after dark or into the streets in large crowds of protest in the light.
I warn you that you will be quiet – when the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment make you obedient.
I warn you that you will have defence of a sort – with a risk and at a price that passes all understanding.
I warn you that you will be home-bound – when fares and transport bills kill leisure and lock you up.
I warn you that you will borrow less – when credit, loans, mortgages and easy payments are refused to people on your melting income.
If Margaret Thatcher wins on Thursday, I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old.’
NEIL KINNOCK 1983