Don’t Knock Down The Community We Have Built

My heart feels heavy today. Because this is the day the wonderful sense of community that has built up over the last few months – the one really positive thing to come out of this whole stinking mess – has been knocked down with three simple words… ‘report your neighbours’.

Throughout lockdown, it was our neighbours who kept us going. It was our neighbours who were the smiling face across the road. The friendly voices through the fence. The funny messages on the new neighbourhood WhatsApp group.

They were the people who collected the needed item for you at the supermarket. The ones who shared their extra bags of pasta. Who swapped children’s reading books. Who lent tools, fixed cars, swept pathways. They were the ones who helped us all feel safe, and not so alone.

And now this awful government of ours is asking us to report each other?! To check up on each other. To turn against each other. They are snatching away this new sense of community we have built, this feeling of safety in our streets, and replacing it with mistrust.

And I say SHAME ON THEM. Shame on them for undoing all the good that has come from such an awful time. Shame on them for pitching neighbours against neighbours. Friends against friends. Shame on them.

And I won’t do do it. I will not report my neighbours. My community means more to me than that. This is not a playground. We are not children who need to report things to our teacher. We are free thinking, mature adults. And I trust my neighbours to do what is right. And if not, I will talk to them, not to the police.

Because I am their neighbour and this is OUR community. And you can’t take that away.

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