Sunday morning, wet cold and windy. Nice and warm in the house. Why would any sane person elect to go out and stand in the rain ? Well, here is why I did it.
Since being "invited to leave" the official opposition party that used to be the Labour Party I was sort of homeless in political terms. Sure enough my toys left my pram at quite a dynamic velocity. I sulked for a while and even considered getting a Thatcher poster for the back of the bathroom door ! (that never happened). I looked around at what was available for somebody like me who still wanted to be a part of something that I saw as being feasible when it came to offering the hand of help to anyone who needed it. That was why I had been a Labour member in the first place. I saw it as a realistic alternative to that which we have now. That feeling has never gone away.
When you look around the UK now all you see is more and more depression and desperation. I have never known it to be this bad. Poor wages, awful working conditions, millions of youngsters with no futures, post code discrimination, petty minded jealousies being carefully nurtured by a cash driven and corrupt Govt, abject acceptance that this is how it will be for at least the next 5 years, To be crushingly honest that downbeat view is not actually totally wrong. Does it have to be this way ?
It is , for sure, the easier option to just sigh, moan and trudge wearily on. Thing is, when you delve a little deeper it absolutely does NOT have to be this way. During my hiatus from being active in socialist ways I stumbled upon an organisation called Acorn. I had never heard of it and had no idea what it was all about. As I explored it and familiarised myself with its aims and ideals I realised that there is more than one way to make a telling difference. Acorn is a national organisation. It exists to provide a helping hand to those who are in a dire situation. I found a new hope and a new purpose. Here is why.
My first hands on experience with Acorn was being there when they forced a company in Sheffield to write off £3.5K of debt on behalf of a private renter who was living in poor conditions and saw nothing but misery ahead in her life. That huge debt was a seemingly never ending ominous cloud above whatever future she had. Acorn, and only Acorn embarked upon an action plan, all original ideas, executed those plans and transformed the life of the beleaguered member. The difference they have made to that woman is incalculable. Each and every one of those Acorn members shifted themselves on her behalf for no other reason than wanting to. They get nothing out of it other than the personal satisfaction of having provided MUCH needed help. Simple as that.
Acorn has pulled off many things, pressuring MPs , causing bus routes to be saved, etc etc. This particular rainy Sunday they were out in Sheffield on behalf of a young woman who works for a large burger chain who it seems is being treated harshly by yet another greedy and immoral landlord. They came up with a plan to go to her (the landlords) business address, which also happens to be her house, and present her with a list of demands on behalf of the member. Now then, picture it, 11AM on a Sunday morning and a group of noisy and colourful protestors knock on your font door ! The street concerned is very "well to do", as is usual with the areas where rogue landlords who bully renters live. Lots of BMWs and Mercedes parked in the drives. Lots of net curtains being twitched as Acorn marched nosily and cheerfully to the house in question, flags waving and voices raised. I was tasked with handing out leaflets to members of the public who wanted to know what was going on, I can happily report that every single one of the inquisitive general public was mightily impressed and very supportive once they heard the tale. You see, most people know somebody who is living in expensive sub standard accommodation. These scum landlords actually have zero support from the rank and file. Acorn has a support base which grows daily.
The landlord blew a gasket and called the Police. HILARIOUS. Job done on behalf of the member. Not one Acorn member was anything but jovial, out there in the rain on a very cold Sunday morning. Without this crucial support the member would have been left at the mercy of that cruel and heartless landlord. This is a very graphic illustration of that age old adage, "Unity is Strength". This episode is not over. It is actually in its embryonic stages. The next move is in the province of the landlord, she has the demands, all of which are nothing but fair. It will be interesting to see how this develops. Either way, her neighbours and many of those who live in the locale are fully aware of how she makes her money. Only those with something to hide fear this sort of publicity.
Just by chance, the meeting point was a pub called The Robin Hood, quite appt really, as ever Acorn was going about the business of taking from the rich to give to the poor. As Acorn likes to put it "Taking back what is Ours". Nothing about Acorn is in the least bit extreme or even contentious, they simply look at things and if they see dodgy or shady goings on they get off their backsides. Nothing complicated about it.
I believe firmly that the overwhelming majority of the UK public are fair minded. Nobody likes bullies or seeing the weak fed upon. It is just a case of drawing things to the attention of them. This is very definitely where Acorn excels. So, as mentioned earlier, Unity really is Strength. People are the lifeblood of Acorn, more members are needed to widen the scope of that which can be accomplished. Modern UK society is riddled with many serious and worsening problems. Anyone can be a part of the antidote to all this dire nonsense. YOU can become an active part of the cure by simply looking at Acorn and, like all the other members, acting rather than regretting. My Email will be at the foot of this piece. Also a link to Acorn Sheffield .
I will report back re the ongoing case highlighted above.
Thanks for looking in, please help by spreading word.
Society not Economy.