Hope In Our Hands

Photo: Keith Bache
Photo: Keith Bache

The feelings of both hope and fear that have been heightened by so much of late, both inside and outside of the present election campaign, make for a very strange mix as we await whatever tomorrow brings. I've seen so much cause to be optimistic as this election campaign has gathered pace. And if what is still (perhaps) most likely to happen happens, and Theresa May's Conservatives get in, then I still see much to be hopeful about because of the tide of opposition that has been swelling over the last few weeks to what, I believe, are their deeply damaging policies. (I thought I may as well be as upfront here as I am in song... I don't think I'm surprising anyone really, am I?) :)

We here in the UK each have the right and the opportunity to vote with our convictions tomorrow. We may have differing, even opposing, views of what we consider to be the right and best way to vote. But it seems to me that more than ever, we have a real choice available to us. In the past, I have bemoaned and even written songs about how there has been so little choice and how I felt so unrepresented. Some of you may have noticed that I've not played 'Abstention Song' now for quite some time. That's simply because I feel it has no place in current circumstances. Sure, aspects of it do and I could rework it, but what's the point? We've moved on, and there are plenty of things to decry, as well as celebrate, in June 2017. A bland, grey and non-progressive political landscape is not one of them however, and for that I am unspeakably grateful!

There is so much at stake, and there are so many reasons to find that person... that party, that we each believe will best serve the needs of the country and beyond. None of the choices available to us is perfect, but I long to see a party representing us all; with the interests of everyone at its heart. I actually believe we even have more than one choice in that regard! That said, I am more than happy to declare my support at this election for the Labour Party and for Jeremy Corbyn... for the reasons I have stated above. You may feel differently, of course. And this mail-out isn't about telling anyone else to do (what right do I have?!) but in light of so, so much, I did want to be open about things, and also upfront about something of why I intend to vote the way I do. I hardly need say that these are incredible times in which we find ourselves, and a friendly email with a couple of personal thoughts seemed no bad idea to me... I hope you'll not mind. And as I mentioned earlier, you may have already spotted something of my political affiliations creeping into some of the songs so I can't imagine anyone's especially shocked.

I'm convinced that whichever way we each vote tomorrow, it should be for the good of all; the support of our public services; the security and protection of our people and for the good of those beyond our borders. I believe it should be for justice and understanding; for the planet and for future generations. It should be for Love. It should be for Peace. Wherever we see these things, and in whomever we believe these qualities to be best displayed, surely there lies our responsibility and our allegiance. Whatever the outcome, I wish nothing but good for you and for us all. x

Very briefly, the recent gigs have been wonderful to play and I've been blown away by some of the feedback that has reached me. Thank you to everyone who has put me on and come along to the shows. I have one last gig to play this Spring! It will be on Saturday 17th June at one of my favourite venues: Pebbles Tavern in Watchet, Somerset. In fact it will be the last time I play the West Country for a while so if you can make it along, please do so. It will be quite a night, I feel sure. Beyond that, I'm playing a Live In The North East gig up in North Shields on Thursday 3rd August! I'm very much looking forward to returning there so please join me if you're able to. Also keep an eye out for the next edition of Shire Folk Magazine which includes an interview with yours truly and details of a very special event I'll be part of at Nettlebed Folk Club in September! You can pick a copy up for free across Oxfordshire and surrounding areas, or click here to order.

Steve Pledger, June 2017
Steve Pledger, June 2017

Regarding other significant events of late, there are times when words fall down. It's so hard to process let alone articulate. My last mail-out was after the Manchester attack, and now, writing again such a short time later, we're looking back on yet more tragedy. I hope you are safe and well. I hope this for your family and friends. I hope that we as a species can get our act together and find some way of making it work. We are both capable of doing this, and yet in part, seemingly unwilling. I hope that the spirit and courage that has been displayed by so many of late will come to dispel the intolerance and hatred which it so magnificently defies.

I suppose that's about all for now... anything else can wait. Thank you again for all the amazing support and encouragement in recent months. More news and the like will be winging its way to you in due course, and you can always keep up to date on Facebook and Twitter, of course.

Yes, the wind is blowing hard, but there are matches to be struck.

With much love...

Steve x

Posted by Steve on June 7th 2017

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