I’ve had a good day! Work was good, the kids are great and the people I work with are wonderful. Everything I do is of my own choice and my own making. I don’t agree with everything that happens in this world, I don’t like the way my country is run sometimes, but I can vote and exercise my rights and freedoms. I live where I like. I do the job I choose. I speak to anyone, about anything and I often call, who ever is running my country a berk! I have the right to do that! I live in freedom and democracy and I’ve never known anything different.
If we don’t like the way our country is run, we can use our vote to change it. I can’t imagine having no one to vote for but the people I am told I am to vote for?
Like all of you, I watched the news tonight and was reminded of June 4th 1989. I was a passionate 24 year old, who stood and wept as I watched the BBC that night as unarmed protesters were shot in Tiananmen square. ‘Radical’ young people in China wanted democracy, to form political organisations and to have a choice of who they voted for. All those years ago, my first husband and I were running a pub and we revoked our ‘No TV in our pub!’ rule and plonked the TV on the end of the bar, and dumb founded we watched, whilst surrounded by regulars of our small Cornish village local, as students and activists were rounded up and shot for wanting the simple freedoms we took for granted. There were local farmers and workers from Fowey and Par docks in there that night, who stood and watched the ITV news, almost in tears at what they saw. As the ten o’clock news came to an end, a silence fell in that pub. Dominoes, a juke box, euchre and a few pints of Tinners just wouldn’t do it that night! For a pub, it was a sobering moment!
I was reminded of that night because Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the Nobel Peace prize, which is no comfort to someone imprisoned in China for wanting ‘multi-party democracy’ and he himself was a key leader in the Tiananmen square protest. He is currently serving an eleven year sentence for ‘subverting state power’ including his vocalisation of the treatment of Chinese Tibetans.
Everything I do, I do of my own choosing. Everywhere I go, everyone I know and anything I want is of my own choosing. I am totally free. I might worry about the financial constraints of my life but nothing truly constrains my life in any way. The most precious thing I have is my freedom; it cost me nothing but today I was reminded how valuable and precious it is.