Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Saturday, 31 August 2013

I Have a Dream

A couple of day's ago it was the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech, much has been written about this by much more sage commentators than me, but listening to the speech again I was struck by the bit where he says

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note” I can’t help that wondering if even today for some members of society this cheque is still bouncing around.
The other thought that has stuck with me is just how much has changed in my lifetime.   In 1958 we had

·        Appartide in South Africa, that if not openly approved of was accepted by western governments.

·        Race segregation in the southern states of America

·        The British Empire

·        Tito in Yugoslavia

·        The Colonels were in power in Greece

·        Franco was in Spain

·        The only man on the moon was in an H G Wells novel.

·        Computers were in the realm of science fiction (the laptop I am typing this on has ore processing power that NASA used to put a man on the moon, and bring him back safely)

·        We no longer had rationing (that had ended in 1954 and my brother claims to remember it) but milk and eggs were still in short supply.

·        Women, although they had the vote, were not entitled to equal pay or equal rights.

·        Homosexual acts between men were illegal in the UK

·        Abortion was illegal in the UK

·        Harold MacMillan was Prime Minister, a man educated at Eton College with no idea what it is like for ordinary people living the living in the country (OK so some things haven’t changed)


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