Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Sign

 

police-vanIs it a sign of things to come in the uncertain times we live in that, when I saw a Police van parked directly in front of the entrance to our local tube station, I hesitated before entering. I felt myself hold back, just for a second, and it seriously upset me.

In all the fifteen years I’ve lived in London I’ve never stopped living my life because of fear – I’ve deliberately kept clear of certain busy places at particular times because I don’t like huge crowds, but never because of fear. I’ve been here during terrorist attacks, and along with many other Londoners have always just kept calm and carried on, vigilant yet undefeated.

But today it wasn’t the threat of potential terrorist activity that held me back, it was more an awareness of a growing unease across the population as a whole. People are becoming more and more desperate and angry – angry at out-of-touch politicians consistently making decisions that are divisive, politicians who are then highly critical of increasing divisions in society and blame the people rather than reassess their policies.

People who have the least power but the most need are tired not only of constantly struggling but also of being dismissed as unimportant by successive governments who dangle them like puppets, unwilling players in their vanity project political games. This is how riots begin – anger leading to unrest that quickly becomes more and more heated until it all boils over and spills onto our streets, a conflagration of frustration.

Recently I’ve felt that sense of overheated danger spark ominously in the air again, electrifyingly charged, crisp and crackling close to the surface in some public spaces – and it was my awareness of this air of unease that stopped me in my tracks yesterday. It passed quickly enough, and I carried on with my day as usual. But just for that split-second moment, I hesitated, and that hesitation worries me…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Sign

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12 thoughts on “Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Sign

  1. Ritu June 17, 2017 / 10:49 am

    I know exactly what you mean Ruth. We shouldn’t live our lives in fear, but ultimately all the things happening in the world, start to eat away at us…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ruth June 17, 2017 / 1:57 pm

      It’s not a feeling I have all the time, but yesterday at the tube station something clearly bothered me… we had someone seriously stab several people with a knife in the tube station ticket hall a year or so back, so perhaps that was in my mind when I saw the van…

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ritu June 17, 2017 / 3:59 pm

        Deep down, these things do start to haunt you…

        Liked by 2 people

    • Ruth June 17, 2017 / 2:05 pm

      The night our eldest granddaughter was born there were riots in the streets across London after a needless shooting of an unarmed man by police – public feelings were running high then, too. People are outraged at the deaths of so many in their own homes after the Grenfell Tower fire the other night, and it almost becomes a catalyst for every grievance of injustice felt by those with no power over their own lives… 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan Antion June 17, 2017 / 2:29 pm

        We’ve been saying for quite some time that we are getting closer and closer to the conditions that sparked riots in the 60s. Nobody saw those coming, either. Makes you shake your head.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ruth June 17, 2017 / 3:04 pm

          Nobody ever seems to see it coming but the people on the ground – and generally nobody of any political consequence ever tends to listen to the people on the ground… too busy squashing us all underfoot and denying all culpability… 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Sunny June 17, 2017 / 4:16 pm

    I can relate so well, Ruth. I lived and worked in New York City on 9/11. The aftermath brought such a heightened sense of danger, made more intense because of armed military in riot gear in the subway stations, more police on the trains, and the vibe of frenetic anxiety, anger and fear in the air everywhere. And yet there was a comfort in knowing there was a visible protective presence, a sense they “had our backs.” Much love and well wishes to you and everyone in London at this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Margarita June 17, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    On this side of the pond, Ruth, we, too, are dealing with tone-deaf politicians. People who are self-serving, forgetting that their job is to serve the people who elected them. They do not listen to their constituents and bulldoze through their own agenda, as in the Senate currently drawing up a health care plan in secrecy with no discussion or debate scheduled before demanding a vote. Revolting! xoxoM

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ruth June 17, 2017 / 5:10 pm

      As my husband is American by birth we pay close attention to the politic situation on both sides of the ocean – and it feels like every time we think things can’t possibly get any worse, they do! 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • Margarita June 17, 2017 / 6:52 pm

        Yes. I choose to look at this as a healing crisis, Ruth. We take a turn for the worse before we begin to heal. 😉 xoxoM

        Liked by 1 person

  4. uapsnu June 26, 2017 / 3:14 pm

    Dear Ritu, or whatever your name is, I am none other than Detective Tony Pastry of New Scotland Yard. My informant has told me that you are the Red Herring, the notorious art thief. And my informant is very reliable: He recently sold me the Moon for £500 and a pint of mild. He’s very big in NASA, you know. He has also informed me that the Pink Panther films are not fictitious but are in fact a series of documentaries about a real Inspector Clouseau. Since then I have modelled my entire career on Clouseau’s achievements and it has not been easy, I can tell you. If you do not immediately hand yourself in at the nearest police station, I will have to come and put you under arrest.

    Liked by 1 person

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