Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Jubilee weekend

In the UK and across the Commonwealth, we are celebrating the Queen’s 60-year reign. In our village we are having a big lunch, races for the children, the service of thanksgiving and a drama performance. The highlight will be the lighting of beacons across the mountains which will be visible from miles away!

In London of course, there will be a pageant of over 1000 boats on the river, a procession and a concert starring, amongst others, Paul McCartney, Jesse J, Take That and Tom Jones (an event that I am sure the Queen will enjoy!)

It is good to have moments to mark the passing of time and to reflect.  If you look back over this second Elizabethan age, so much has changed. I recall my parents telling me that they, like many others, bought their first television to watch the coronation, now many will be watching the jubilee online. Many have enjoyed relative prosperity, while for others, inequalities seem to have increased.  Mass consumption has placed great pressure on resources; we have been labelled a throwaway generation. We have reached the Moon, but managed to confuse the climate. 

How much have we actually ‘grown up’ in the last 60 years? Are we more responsible, or just taking anything on offer? I’d like to think that we have in recent decades been able to think beyond ourselves, and nation, and to have some responsibility for the wider community and environment. We are more equipped to deal with complex and interconnected problems, and have achieved great progress in combating poverty and the abuse of human rights, although there is still much to be done.

Sustainable development is a great expression of this progress and shows how having an eye to the common good can be achieved without creating havoc in economic terms. The emergence of public support for sustainability shows that individuals and companies are getting involved without top down direction. However, the green agenda needs to expand in order to reflect and engage with wider interests involving social progress. The emergence and continuation of sustainable development is an important initiative that should be implemented during what will hopefully be many more years of Elizabethan reign.
David Jackman

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