Friday, 5 January 2018

Citizens of Nowhere

This book will remain a favourite of mine for a long time, I think. Its sub-title is "stories of the global citizen".  Sound familiar? Yes, that's right, our dear Prime Minister claimed that people who declared themselves to be "global citizens" were in fact "citizens of nowhere".  Sorry, Madam May, I can't help but be a global citizen and perhaps ironically it was my Grammar School education and then my time at a Russell Group university that encouraged me to think that way. So what the heck is going on here? You educate me to be one way and then tell me that way is not valid? 

You see, I have too much of other cultures rubbed off on me to belong just to one. You'll find more about this in the introduction to the book. 

Madam May implies that the global citizen has no loyalty to a community. I argue that the global citizen is in fact loyal to a bigger community. That of the world or even the universe.  

I'm happy to have been one of two editors on this collection. I'm also pleased to have a story in the book. ' The Wedding Next Door' is inspired by some things I noticed  when I was a teenager. It isn't a true story but it is a true reflection of how life was in the 1960s in the West Midlands. 

We approached some writers we knew who we thought might feel the same way as we did. Some stories just made their way to us. Thus we have stories from Ea Anderson, Jenifer Burkinshaw, Sarah Dobbs, Vanessa Gebbie, Alan Gibbons, Vanessa Harbour, Debz Hobbs-Wyatt, Matevž Hönn, Gill James (that’s me), Karen Kendrick and Jenny Palmer.  

There's a great deal of interpretation of what the global citizen is and they all beat May's idea.

I'm happy to give you one at my own expense to throw at your MP. Just contact me if you'd like that. 

Not that we're being political. We're just doing what writers have always done: showing our readers what the world looks like to us. We see it as full of global citizens.       

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