Neil Oliver: Anyone fearful about the state and fate of the world - is welcome to stand beside me

Neil Oliver: Anyone fearful about the state and fate of the world - is welcome to stand beside me
Neil Oliver

By Neil Oliver

Published: 23/10/2023

- 07:17

Updated: 23/10/2023

- 09:55

We must maintain the courage to stand side by side against evil, any evil perpetrated by anyone

Anyone fearful about the state and fate of the world tonight is welcome to stand beside me. Anyone devastated and dismayed by the seeming tailspin into hell can share that feeling with me. Anyone feeling helpless in the face of unfolding events, Anyone feeling they're not enough, that they don't matter enough to make a difference? Then come and be with me.

Anyone wondering, doubting if humanity has learned much of real worth in the last 100 years indeed ever should know. I feel the same way.

For the past few years we've been marched from bad to worse by people who are bad and getting worse every day. Anyone feeling sick at heart on account of how the so-called decision makers seem hell bent on taking instead of giving. Anyone feeling enraged by how those characters seem determined to suck the very joy out of the lives of everyday people, if not to snuff out life itself, should know that I feel all of that as well.

When it comes right down to it, all I really have to offer is the question a child might ask, which is why the decision makers already had their vast wealth, the power to indulge their every whim.

They already owned most of everything and looked out on populations whose heads were mostly down, shoulders to the wheel, just making ends meet. And yet that was not enough. Not enough to have them leave us be.

Anyone who watched the daylight robbery of our rights and freedoms. And who looked on helplessly at the deliberate sacrifice of physical and mental health and the altar of a supposed pandemic. Who understands the totalitarian power over our lives being sought right now by the World Health Organization. Who watched the easy segue into war in Ukraine with half a million dead Ukrainians and counting and thousands upon thousands of dead Russians? Anyone who sees and fears the drive towards forever war, and yet knows, knows because it because it's obvious that the United States of America is in no position to fight simultaneous wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, when that nation apparently cannot even defend its own southern border, can share those doubts with me.

Anyone who thinks the rest of the West surely can't defend itself either when all its might and money has been shipped to Ukraine or flushed down the toilet in pursuit of Net Zero. Anyone who writhes in disbelief at the realisation our leaders care only about boosting the profits of arms dealers and drugs dealers can come and sit with me.

Anyone here in the UK who looks on at Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, our Prime Minister and our leader of the Opposition and shudders at the thought and asks how in the name of all that's holy did we find ourselves asked to choose between two men who by their every action have failed the people of this country in every measurable way. Join me by all means. Neither of those puppets and their elk represents the people, you and me. They have no intention of representing the people. Instead they obey on their knees the commandments of the corporate gods they worship.

An MP worth knowing. Andrew Bridgen fought tooth and nail for a debate on excess deaths.

The undeniable truth that more people of all ages are dying every day, every day when compared to previous years. 20 times he asked for that debate before it finally happened, and this week he stood in an all but empty chamber, the guilty parties staying away in droves almost in their entirety, while one man asked questions about life and death and none of his colleagues cared to contemplate far less answer. Who are these spineless, graceless nonentities? Why should we regard them?

Far less listen to a word from any of their mealy mouths, supposing the snouts were ever out of the through long enough for any of them to listen, far less to speak? Or is that squeal? And now? And now, if you're wondering how much worse things can get, how much worse things have to get. And you're looking on tonight at the peoples of the Old World, the inhabitants of the benighted Holy Land, and feeling only mounting horror and fear about the vortex of death spinning there.

Anyone feeling hopeless and sickened and grief stricken in the face of all that can take a seat alongside me.

Anyone who feels knows that the world is on the cusp of radical, irreversible change and fears the path. We're being forced down, let me assure you, I fear it too.

The poets have known the truth of it. Irishman WB Yeats, born into a country that has known more than its share of spilled blood, horror and grief, was especially clear.

"Eyed things fall apart", he said. "The centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

"The blood dimmed tide is loose and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. And what rough beast it's our come round at last slouches towards Bethlehem to be born."

And then again in The Stolen Child he imagined a youngster snatched away from the world of the living. A world more full of weeping, he wrote than he can understand. How true is that for all children that the world's more full of weeping than they than we could ever understand? How can we endeavour to understand what's happening now? The endless sadness of lost children, dead children, and they're all our children in the end.

Are we? Then? Who are we then? And by we, I mean our species that we call humankind.

Depending on what you read and what you believe, we may have been here upon this earth for 200,000 years. Our fortunes have waxed and waned.

There are apparently 8 billion of us alive all at once. Right now, this moment, we're capable of anything and everything. Some human hands painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Others torture and murder their fellow human beings without a care in the world. A human mind came up with burn, baby, burn, another wrote, thanks to the human heart by which we live, thanks to its tenderness, its joys and fears.

To me, the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears. How is it that both those thoughts are side by side in the human soul?

There were angels and demons both, as it turns out.

I just look on tonight at more and more of those dreadful images made so hellishly familiar across the years of my lifetime of pale, dry concrete buildings blasted and shattered into shards, shrouded in dust clouds and littered with the bodies of infants, splashed with blood, with old blood and new blood.

Sometimes the likes of you and me can only look out at the world and share with one another the desperation of not knowing what to do. What's to be done, wondering if there's anything that can be done? Sometimes the most anyone of us can do is keep going in hopes of better days.

In 1848 an English magazine carried the following story. When an Eastern sage was desired by his Sultan to ascribe inscribe on a ring the sentiment which, amidst the perpetual change of human affairs, was most descriptive of the real tendency he engraved on at the words. This too shall pass. Is that all there is for you and me tonight? The hope that this too shall pass? All I need to do, then, is declare fellowship with those who are looking out at the world and feeling little more than helpless. Sadness.

The English artist and writer Mervyn Peake was sent by a British newspaper to record the liberation of Bergen Belsen concentration camp in 1945. Among much else, he watched a little girl die of tuberculosis. There, before his eyes, chalk white arms and the pillows, hardly creased by the tapping of her little cough, jerked head, her limbs like pipes, her head a China skull. Then where is mercy?

What a question, perhaps the only question worth asking tonight. Where is mercy? In the West, we used to tell ourselves that we lived by Christian values.

By the way we've gone about being Christians in recent decades. Centuries really has been, I would say, a negation of the Christianity of Jesus Christ. Read the words of his Sermon on the Mount and ask yourself if it's Christ's Christianity that you see around you, and the words you read and hear all around. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven instead of all that we get. One war after another and full throated calls for yet more war. After that,

We're enthralled to a military industrial complex, and war is its answer to every question. In much the same way that if the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything like a nail. After all these centuries since Jesus Christ, more than two millennia. In fact, it seems the only God too many want to worship is a vengeful God.

When Mahatma Gandhi controversial figure, though he was, died in 1948, philosopher Hayem Greenberg wrote about his passing and said that as well as a readiness for sacrifice, there should also be an urge to keep life holy.

Not to preserve sanctity, shut away in a special Tabernacle, to be opened only at intervals and then sealed away once more, but to keep the source of sanctity always open and let it shine forth into the everyday. If only, if only.

But that's not the way of humanity, not 2000 years ago and not now. Vengeful gods are always in the business of an eye for an eye. But as Gandhi observed, an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. In the end, I think that the truth a world made blind by its own hand. Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, the whole damned lot of us.

How can we look each other in the eye when we've yet to look ourselves in the eye? So much death, supposedly in the name of God, he must look down on his creation and wonder why he bothered.

Here's the thing in the face of all of it. If there's to be hope, and there's always hope, then I say we must trust that all those of us struggling with all that we see, have to keep the faith that there can be and shall be better days. We cannot and must not turn blind eyes and deaf ears to any wrong.

We must maintain the courage to stand side by side against evil, any evil perpetrated by anyone. I do know there's more than me tonight waiting for the Advent of the better angels of our nature. In the end, all I can really say to all those hoping for the best while watching the worst is, I hear you.

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