Sunday, February 06, 2011

Sunday Song - Stuck In The Middle With You - Stealers Wheel

Today's 'Sunday Song' is 'Stuck in the Middle With You' - a fun song written by (among others) Gerry Rafferty performed here by Stealers Wheel.  To find out why it is a sunday song we must travel back in time.....

February 1951 was just another month for most of the UK's population. For some readers of the letters page in the Guardian, it was the start of something special.  They saw, and responded positively to, a cry of rejection towards a world in which  militarism and abject poverty were accepted.  The letter asked for responses without promising any action would come of the responses. After receiving, over 10,000 postcards later it was clear the author was onto something.

That something became War on Want - one of Britain's premier campaigning charities. Now, sixty years after the founding letter, it pushes, prods, reveals and challenges the root-causes of inequality around the world.  In the latest issue of Red Pepper magazine you can read an impassioned explanation of the organisation's history, it's many successes and its experience of George Galloway.  While there have been many controversies is clear it holds a commitment not to shy away from tough situations and always advocating on the side of justice.

Looking back at that one letter I cannot help but be amazed and inspired by the continued idealism of the movement. It was established in hope that 'swords may be turned into ploughshares' and it still acts to challenge the establishment of inequality.   From challenging the power of supermarkets to highlighting the place of private contractors in Iraq it now carries out a wide range of campaigns that all take us one step closer to a more just world.

Every day when anyone picks up a newspaper it can feel like clowns on the left, jokers on the right with the reader stuck in the middle, shocked at all they see bit unable to do a thing.  Thankfully there are organisations like War on Want who take us behind the scenes to enable us all to challenge the reason we view policies as clowns or jokers, and pushing us all to build that better world.

Happy Birthday War-On-Want - I'm very thankful for that letter being published.