"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced" - James Baldwin
Monday, 13 January 2020
Open letter to Bosnia
my friends in Bosnia Herzegovina. I think this is the right moment to
explain to you what is going on in my country – the misnamed
You and I know – you much more than me –
the terrible results of corrupt political practices and how staged
nationalism, manufactured racism and fascist nostalgia are threats to
our humanity, to our lives.
father used to joke that, “You can always tell the honest
politician. He is wearing a pink hat.” There have been few pink
hats in your country. In mine too, but weirdly, and against the odds,
there has been one in recent years. His name is Jeremy Corbyn.
became leader of our Labour Party and with him came 400,000 new
members. Me included. Most were young and eager to support a
Corbyn-led party that would defend the weak, reverse the Neo-Liberal
privatisation of our National Health Service and national utilities,
promote peace in place of war and ensure the richest 1% at least
started paying their share of taxes.
in your country the odds against him, and us, were too great. Not in
terms of numbers, but in terms of who had the most money and could
shout the loudest - The billionaire Press and broadcast media, (I am
sure many of you will be shocked that the BBC led the way here), and
the influence of foreign states.
as in your country, the good overwhelms the bad. I may be too old and
ill to have the chance to witness our victory, but it will come.
Across the Adriatic from you a victim of an earlier fascism, Antonio
Gramsci, said from his prison cell, “Pessimism of the spirit.
Optimism of the will.” DA, SI, YES