‘The smiles and quick words acknowledged that we were all involved in something very important.’

Peace of work: Malcolm Evans attends a QPSW Zoom course

'The online ‘Introduction to Peace Education’ course from Quaker Peace & Social Witness was an oasis of sanity – pure oxygen.' | Photo: Marcel Strauss on Unsplash

You could have been forgiven, during lockdown, for thinking we were facing a war. The language (of front lines, heroic sacrifice, ‘We’ll Meet Again’, ‘the invisible enemy’ and, where PPE was concerned, ‘make do and mend’) showed how official public discourse is more attuned to military strategy and rhetoric than metaphors of caring, healing and cooperation. Instead of celebrating May Day and our keyworkers, we had VE Day complete with Spitfires and Churchillian nostalgia.

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