Opinion: sort out the pickle with Peace

Stephen Hinton 2016
Photo: Maj-Lis Koivisto

I come from the Islands of Britain where we find ourselves in a major pickle.

We have a few short years to solve defossilisation, food security, reformation of the economic system and to redress a lot of badwill being stirred up by our Brexit and all the austerity our Island peoples suffer from.

We can fix this if we remember what we have and why we are here. We ave a great place to live. We are Peace-loving and pragmatic. Let’s focus on what we want and from that take responsibility for our communities and our Islands. Starting with where we live.

We people of the Islands of Britain are up to our ears in a pickle. It’s not just Brexit, but it’s a crisis of neoliberalism, crisis of leadership and a crisis of sustainability. We are staring at the end of abundant fossil fuel use, a limited number of harvests left in our soils and at an economic system long past its upgrade date. And, looking at how close the Brexit vote was, we can’t seem to agree on anything. Pickle.

Before you delve further into the extent of this pickle let’s not forget what we already have. We Islanders have experience; we’ve been in many sticky pickles before. We have resolve. We have character when really forced to get going. We have a truly good neighbourly spirit. We have a wonderful set of islands with beautiful scenery and abundant nature. We have a lot of really clever, competent professionals in all fields. And, we all like a good debate. Let’s have that debate. Let’s enjoy it. It’s long overdue.

Before we get talking I’d like to offer one starting point: Peace. With all the turmoil and rhetoric and negatives flying round during the run-up to the vote it is too easy to forget what we came here for. These are our Islands in the sense that we live here or have lived here. We who live here want Peace and we want to take care of the place responsibly for future generations.

I’m not going to define Peace, just going to remind fellow Islanders that we carry it with us and feel it when we give it a chance. We have probably been feeling fear, anger, frustration and more with our situation. That’s natural, but it is no place to frame the future from.  Remembering what we came here for is better.

Where does place – our Islands – come into Peace? Firstly, basic security is conducive to Peace. If you are scared, hungry, threatened you are more likely to be aggressive and selfish. It is incumbent on we who identify with these islands to set things up to provide basic security. Let’s not get bogged down in the “how”. Let’s focus on the “what” of basic security because it is  one foundation of Peace. Let’s agree that we want it for ourselves and other Islanders. Thereafter can we solve the “how”.

When America won independence from the UK they started working on the constitution, in local town hall meeting after meeting they sat and talked and discussed. The new constitution was to be the foundation of a new, free  and prosperous society. Now we Islanders need some of that gumption. We need to take the lead away from politicians and financial engineers. We need to gather locally, look at each other, promise that we will fix the pickle looking out for each other as we go and then get down to it.


We can meet and talk about how to transition our place. And we can meet and talk about Peace. We can have a nice cup of tea while we do it.

Moving on




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