In a time when we don’t trust politicians, when everyone is cynical and we are questioning why we even bother to get out of bed in the mornings because those in power don’t listen to us…..well I’m here to buck the trend!
I’m going to take two politicians at face value, and see how far it gets me in the following year. Watch this space.
The first politician is none other than our (if you’re in the UK) very own Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Yesterday he launched a scheme for 16-19 years olds to get involved in community work, with £146 million attached.
He said, “It is my ambition to create a Britain in which there is a clear expectation that all young people will undertake some service to their community, and where community service will become a normal part of growing up in Britain.”
The scheme will commence from September and it is thought it will eventually become part of the national curriculum. Read more at the bbc news site here. Community Media organisations can support much of the work of this new scheme, and I hope this will be recongised when the plans are drawn. Hope the gate keepers of this scheme will be creative enough to realise that what consitutes as community work does not need to only be restricted to the obvious (but still important and necessary) activities such as shopping for the elderly fundraising for the local nursary. Community work can also include producing promotional adverts for charities or helping run an out of school media club or community radio station.
This leads me nicely to the second example of an MP saying nice things to cheer us all up. Here is Children’s minister Sarah McCarthy-Fry talking in the news today, about her hopes for the future of creativity in education.
“Exciting [arts] initiatives…can help raise standards not only in art and design but also in other subjects too. There is a myth that art can be an optional extra but this simply shouldn’t be the case. Learning to think creatively and express your ideas and imagination are, in fact, amongst the most important skills to learn and are indeed needed throughout adult life.”
So with PM Brown’s vision yesterday and MP McCarthy-Fry’s vision today, let’s just hope that his people will talk to her people and find common ground.
Or better still, we need to just tell them ourselves.