It is peculiar how, in a few short weeks, we have moved from a public dialogue based on cynecism to one based on what may actually be the opposite.
And since this is Easter Day – though I am not the Queen nor the Archbishop of Canterbury, just the editor of this blog – that would be the heart of my Easter sermon today. If I was going to give one.
Yes, we have a global pandemic on our hands. Yes, we have trashed the economy and it isn’t clear how it can ever be made to sustain us again. Yet there is a radical centre message at the heart of this – that ordinary people are not actually ordinary at all.
All around us, wecan see the efforts of the volunteers and the NHS staff, and those who serve us at post office counters, cheerfully risking their lives to keep things going. There are messages here for both right and left.
For the Right, it must now be clear that most people don’t require prompting, tickboxing and nudging the whole time, just to get them out of bed in the mornings. For the Left, on the other hand, they are not victims or victimisers either. Yes, there are people suffering from domestic abuse, locked away with their tormentors – but most people, and most families, aren’t like that at all. They are generous, courageous and loving.
They are also – because this is the Christian festival that emphasises suffering – sacrificing themselves, their energy and their health, for a wider good.
I now understand why people look back to the sufferings of the summer of 1940, as a moment when everything seemed to be coming together. I know political blogs are not often supposed to be optmistic, but this time – this time…