I don’t think I’m likely to have much in common with many Conservative MP’s, so it was interesting some years ago, to have one such, Jesse Norman, say that he believed that there was a vast amount of untapped talent in this country. It’s a statement that I heartily concur with. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that I believe that most people probably hardly scratch at the surface of what they are capable of being. I know I didn’t until, approaching 40 and without realising it, I took those first steps. However, it wasn’t until 20 years later that I started doing what I should have done all my life; writing. Even then, it took me a few more years, when a friend said that I was an incredible writer, that I started to believe it. It has been a long journey during which, for most of it, life got in the way. Not, I have to say, any longer.
Now, if this situation was only of interest to the individuals themselves, you could argue that it was a personal problem and of little concern to anyone else. In this, however, you would be mistaken. First of all, those unrealised dreams are likely to lead to low expectations; something that can pass onto your children. Unfortunately, this scenario is compounded by the “barista” economy that is the government’s economic model of choice; a sad indictment of its views of the abilities of our young people who deserve so much better.
Yet you have only to look at the country’s history to see another model. One based on realising that untapped talent. Talent that has persisted over the years giving us, for example, the steam engine, the discovery of antibiotics, the telephone, television, the jet engine, the hovercraft, the folding buggy and, more recently, the world wide web; I could go on. So, this is a plea to work towards a different sort of society; one that operates on fairness and supports its people, such that they are able to develop their full potential. In this way the benefits are both individual and collective.
Finally, to end on the personal. Now, I may be someone who got waylaid by events, however, I don’t think I’m alone. Indeed I know I’m not, as evidenced by the people who were homeless and unemployed that I worked with when I was a charity Director. And secondly, one of the lovely things about being an author is that your books will outlive you. You could hardly ask for a better epitaph.