2017: We Were Many, They Were Few
Thursday, 18 January 2018 08:08

2017: We Were Many, They Were Few

Published in Cultural Commentary

Mark Perryman introduces Philosophy Football's visual review of 2017. The image is of Saffiya Khan defiantly smiling at an EDL leader.

Wow! 2017, twelve months of surprises, mostly unpleasant, but some not so. At its core all things Trump, who since his presidential inauguration at the start of the year has managed to fulfil all our worst fears of what his time in the White House would come to represent.

#ToryBrexit more or less achieved the same mix of reaction and risk yet June came close to ending May, and giving us the hope that a very different outcome may yet prove possible. Jeremy Corbyn's Labour 'For the Many not the Few', summing up the possibility of an alternative to the austerity we witness daily with the growth of foodbanks, and the spread of a low-wage casualised economy. The consequences of putting profit over people, the human tragedy of Grenfell.

But it doesn't have to be like this. Trump's racism was rejected by the 'take a knee' movement, #MeToo turned one man's horrific treatment of women into a movement to resist and transform, and although Corbyn's Labour was written off at the start of #GE2017, now it is a serious contender for government.

The continuing impact of climate change could mean us having nothing much to look forward to, but every time we prove that we are many, they are few there is hope. If one image of 2017 captured this it was the calm, courageous dignity with which Saffiya Khan stood up to the hateful EDL when they came to her city. With that spirit shared by we, the many, in 2018, neoliberalism won't just be broken, it will be replaced by something better.

Happy New Year!

Philosophy Football, aka ‘ sporting outfitters of intellectual distinction’, can be found here.