Monday 13 January 2020

Open letter to Bosnia

To 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 “United Kingdom”. 

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.

My 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.

He 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.

As 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.

But, 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

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