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The New Dawn

Obviously this isn’t a photo I’ve taken recently, but I couldn’t let today pass without marking it somehow. So I’m posting this picture taken in Massachusetts back in 2017. I was visiting my friend Chris there who I recall was embarrassed, angry and concerned about having Trump as President. Her hope was that he was just too lazy and self-obsessed to actually implement much during his term, and that the Americans would boot him out at the end of it.

But Chris didn’t just sit back and hope that Trump wasn’t re-elected. She sent over 800 postcards in the lead up to the election, to constituents in closely contested states. These were targeted at folks who hadn’t voted in the last election but had voted for the Democrats in the past, and were begging them to go out and vote this time. So, I know that she will be very happy today to see a new chapter in the White House, one that already has hallmarks of kindness, integrity, dignity, racial tolerance and an understanding of the issues that America, and indeed the world, is facing.

So Chris, I’m drinking a toast to you as well as to Biden and Harris, for wanting change so fervently that you did your bit to help it happen. As Biden said in his inauguration speech, we have to believe that change can come about.

It’s hard to see a glimmer of hope this side of the Atlantic. All I can wish for right now is that, with the Right Wing bully gone from a position of power in the States, such politics will be less fashionable at home. Maybe our government will need to change their tone a bit, and also not be so quick to label anyone disagreeing with them as ‘woke’.

What else gives me hope? We will have an election in the UK again at some point, and maybe a change can come about here too. As America’s Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, told us all so powerfully today:

The new dawn blooms as we free it.

For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it,

If only we’re brave enough to be it.

This image forms part of my Daily Print series, and is available to buy here

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Lockdown 2 Day 3

A new cycle

It was a gorgeous autumnal day today – so warm that it felt like an Indian summer. It’s strange because the weather has been lovely since the start of the second lockdown, following a particularly wet and windy October. It was an unseasonably warm spring this year too, when we had our first lockdown. Some may moan that it’s cruel to have fine weather when we are more confined, but I actually think it is like the planet is trying to lift our spirits and get us through this. It did feel almost like a bank holiday today, as if people were embracing lockdown and the chance to stop the world for a while and take time out again. Especially with the news that the furlough scheme will be extended to the end of March next year. Maybe there was also a sense of hope and palpable relief in the air too, as it became increasingly apparent that the United States would be electing a new President and so will be able, to some extent, to shake off the shame and horror of the past four years.

Maybe this means that political change will be in the air here too. After all, they say that if America sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold. And Biden is no fan of either Brexit or any friends of Trump. So a change of direction may be necessary for our Populist government, which suddenly isn’t quite so much on trend anymore. It seems the wheels of change could start turning.