By Lucette Davies
Like so many others, I sobbed as I watched the ITV drama, Anne, last week. It was a harrowing account of one mother’s quest to seek justice for her son who died at the Hillsborough football disaster. I have reflected on that drama many times since. And, I have thought about the many, many instances where ordinary people have fought for justice against the establishment. Often unsuccessfully. Although fresh inquests for Hillsborough did return verdicts of unlawful killing the criminal convictions that campaigners sought did not follow.
I wonder if in a few years we are going to see another heart breaking drama on ITV about the Grenfell disaster? And maybe another about this Government’s handling of Covid-19? Perhaps we will see one about people being arrested for protesting or about people being imprisoned for rescuing another person at sea? There may even be one about the people who have died because NHS care was no longer available.
Or maybe, just maybe, enough of us will recognise that this is a pattern we cannot allow to continue. For as I watched the ITV drama Anne, I noticed that at one point families of victims teamed up with survivors to give themselves greater strength. Imagine if people from all around the country had offered their help?
The problem with these battles against injustice is that it is normally people like you and me against establishment figures. They are called establishment because their positions are secure, settled, untouchable and permanent. Our positions are in contrast fragile, vulnerable and hampered by a lack of money and time.
But another contrast is that so often the facts weigh clearly on our side. We possess the moral argument which is why the establishment needs to wield its power and privilege. The people can also possess real passion.
But really the most significant contrast in the us vs them argument is that we are many and they are few. And, when it comes to politicians their positions are dependent on our support.
On a smaller scale there is now a local battle against injustice raging and that is the refuse workers strike. It is horrifying to read that the HGV driers were only getting paid £9 an hour and loaders were on minimum wage. The working conditions are also barbaric. And we in Eastbourne, pay one of the highest rates of council tax in the country.
We should all demand that this situation is resolved by our council agreeing to the union demands which are not excessive. The latest cynical move by councillors to arrange collections in Hampden Park on non-strike days is unacceptable. They have sought to take pressure of themselves to resolve this dispute so they can dig their heels in further. But as I said we are many and they are few. If you believe in morality, please join with me in calling for the council to agree the union demands. They are undermining the union’s strength by mitigating against the problems caused by the strike.
We need to start acting together for the good of us all. Because, there are plenty more battles to be had. Importantly these include the fight for our NHS and its workers.