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I had what I call, a bit of a ‘head in hands’ moment when I came to write this leader… Many of us have had a break over the past couple of weeks to enjoy Christmas and celebrate the coming of 2016. The fireworks routinely set off by so many countries now, as one year becomes the next, have been even more spectacular than those we enjoyed last year, yet alongside that, millions of people were (and still are) going though turmoil, from the families displaced by the growing global conflicts, to – closer to home – those who are fighting to salvage what they can from flooded homes and businesses.
I’ve been following the floods closely as I have family in the most badly hit parts of the UK and although I can see that it looks miserable, it was only when I was caught out walking in heavy rain last week that it occurred to me just how cold those affected must be! And then of course came the question: “Are we spending our money wisely, or should we spend less on fireworks and more on looking after everyone and upgrading our nation’s flood defences so we can prevent this recurring misery for those living in flood zones?”
Linking the two extremes are the cleaning crews (they get everywhere, don’t they?). This New Year’s Eve I started a discussion amongst friends about whether we’d prefer to be cleaning up after the floods or cleaning up after those who’ve gathered in the cities to watch the fireworks… many of them having drunk far too much alcohol which has led to vomiting, urinating and brawling in the streets – not to mention the littering which isn’t just paper but which comprises filthy food packaging, bits of food and broken glass. It ended up being pretty evenly matched but we all agreed that a cleaner’s job is not an easy one. They’re out there in all weathers, dealing with the mess the rest of us leave without thought, making things safe for us again while often (at best) being ignored but sadly, sometimes being abused, as they go about their work.
Perhaps we should start a ‘hug a cleaner’ campaign?
With that thought, may John and I wish you a happy 2016… “May all the good things you wish for, come your way”.
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7th January 2016