The Queen’s Speech to Parliament on Thursday was a reminder of our past as well as a sign of our future in one particular way, and that is in terms of our sense of community.
When he prepared the script for the Monarch to read out, David Cameron would have been oblivious to the example of Lemuria, of which I was reminded as I heard the Government’s plans. Lemuria in its heyday before it was taken over by Atlantis was the last and greatest example of how humanity can live together in harmony. Lemurian life was the epitome of spiritual living, and being a member of the Lemurian society was Heaven on Earth.
There, everything was shared, possessiveness did not exist, and there was no desire for “stuff”. Every adult had a role that matched their skills, and whether a Lemurian was a farmer, a poet, a healer or a wise elder made no difference to the respect with which they were regarded, for comparative status was unknown. The needs of their local community was paramount, and everyone worked, in their own way, towards of goal of maintaining a peaceful, contented, loving way of life for everyone.
I am not suggesting that the contents of the Queen’s Speech are intended to establish a new Lemuria in Britain! Nice though that would be. Neither am I endorsing the Conservative manifesto on which it was based – my comments are non-political. However, the Speech contains tendrils of hope that the ethos of community may be revived in a way that has not been seen in these lands for a long time.
The promise of a further extension of devolutionary powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; the development of the Northern Powerhouse scheme for electing local mayors with decision-making powers over local matters; and the transfer of decision-making over onshore wind farms to local councils are some of the signs of an intent to imbue communities with the right to decide what is right for them, rather than have it imposed from a bureaucratic, often authoritarian government centre. While civil servants in Westminster largely do their best for the country, how can they know, despite countless consultations, the real impact of their decisions on all the varied communities in Britain? Does Nanny really know best?
A looser, more devolved system of governance not only will save money as central bureaucracy is reduced, but may encourage citizens to be more interested in participating in local politics – in the literal sense. If they feel the expression of how they feel and what they want for their local community will bring about results, people will be more likely to be involved in ways that do not occur now. The huge interest and political involvement in the Scottish Referendum last year is an example of how the possibility of local autonomy can revolutionise the traditional torpor associated with politics.
The ideas in the Queen’s Speech may enable and encourage the spirit of localism, but they cannot bring about a change in our attitude to those who are our neighbours, overnight. A sense of separation is endemic in societies worldwide, separation from our fellow man, from the Planet, even from ourselves. Separation can lead to aloofness, to not-caring, and even to unkindness. Compassion was the heart of Lemurian society, and universal compassion is what is missing today. It is something that cannot be legislated for, but is our responsibility, yours and mine, to find and express.
However, developed sincerely and used wisely, the ideas in the Queen’s Speech to which I refer can pave the way for a new sense of community involvement and power, and indeed, caring. You have a voice, and you have a responsibility within your own home area for creating an environment that serves you and your neighbours well: breach the wall of divide and speak out – bring a beautiful past back to be a perfect present day.
[Image by Dave Morris].