Why Not Here?

We’ve got it good. We’ve got twenty-six different kinds of bottled water in the supermarkets and fresh, treated water piped to our homes, hot and cold. We’ve got universal healthcare, prescriptions and waiting lists. The only diseases we might catch are when we go on exotic holidays to countries that are cheap and convenient; cheap and convenient because we’ve got it good. We’ve got education in Hair Design, Food Technology and Plastic Surgery. We’ve got empty experts sitting on our doorstep in world class universities, libraries and museums. We’ve got law courts and justice and security from fear (or the fear of fear). We’ve got a hundred or more years of colonisation to fall back on when things look rough. We’ve got art for art’s sake, music of every decibel, pitch and timbre weeping through the key-holes of royal concert halls and sawdust spit joints. We’ve got national treasures locked behind closed doors, secure nostalgia, binding me to you in glorious memory of past conquests, of what makes me your friend, neighbour and inalienable ally – and some unspecified “other” an inconnu, persona non grata. We’ve got supply-side economics in supermarkets and we’ve got free range farmers markets. We’ve got the fish in the sea and the birds in the air, even if they are all pigeons and black in smog. We’ve got television and radio and sports and leisure, advertisements and the watershed. We’ve got political stability, one party and another party, with the occasional scandal to keep the newspapers entertained. We’ve got freedom of speech and freedom of —-. We’ve got everything they haven’t – and you’re asking me, “Why not here?”

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David Charles is co-writer of BBC radio sitcom Foiled. He also writes for The Bike Project, Thighs of Steel, and the Elevate Festival. He blogs at davidcharles.info.

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