A Good Weekend

It was a good weekend. I was quiet, saw the Carnival, heard the fireworks,   watched TV in the evening when I should have been mixing in with the local festivities. Never mind – the BBC had two programmes supporting anarchy. Very well done.

Fun ahead next week at the Peace News Summer Camp at Diss, Suffolk. See you there. Good food, interesting discussions, be part of a growing movement.

War is not Essential

Gold Coast 2018We don’t have to fight each other.

If we spend time looking at the lives of ‘primitive’ tribes we find that many (indeed most) avoid conflict with their neighbours.

The chances of war have increased as our populations have risen. ‘Rats in a trap’ is one factor as people are forced to find space, often just to exist. Tell that to the Palestinians who once occupied all of what is now known as Israel.

Most importantly is the social pressures within all groups. In recent years we have glorified war. Even in defeat (and the USA knows more about that than most) we glorify the deeds of the soldier. Today marks the start of the Great War of 1914. Solemn moments, tinged with religion, are taking place everywhere. Poor innocents sent to their deaths for no good reason. There’s still arguments about why we then decided to go war. 37 million people killed or injured in four brutal years. Lives mutilated for generations.

Those social pressures are important. Examining groups that do not fight reveals useful indicators. Most killing is done by individuals acting alone. The next cause tends to be inter-familial disputes. There was, and always will be, homicide, but very little evidence of war. Groups don’t normally want to fight. Today we have other pressures, mainly from the war machine makers.

One way to avoid any disputes is to create common bonds. England is well on the way to creating a multi-cultural society. We have not yet done enough to encourage integration, and inter-breeding is still relatively uncommon. It will come.

What’s exciting is to see how 53 countries can come together for a joint purpose; the Commonwealth Games – the ultimate contest as we test ourselves against international competition. Gladiatorial contests yet we remain friendly and are able to join together amicably.

Let’s have more of that.

Stop war games. Push aside politicians representing arms suppliers who suggest that we can make profit from the suffering of others. We make and supply arms to over 100 countries. You benefit from their deaths and maimed lives. We must stop making awful films that glorify killing. Let’s spend that money on ensuring that in 2018 when we all gather together again for the next Commonwealth Games we can do so with a more equal playing field.

Nobody will begrudge supporting sports in all Commonwealth countries. To do so will bring pride in achievement and proper investment in local infrastructure. Nobody should arrive in the Australian Gold Coast ill-equipped or unprepared. It will cost rich countries very little but imagine the pride, pleasure and joy a third of the world’s people can enjoy if we all start on a level playing field.

Smile at someone new today.

We can make a new world – together.