One of the programmes I enjoy in television, when I get to see it, is The Last Leg which combines great humour with serious reflection. If you can handle colourful language, it's always worth a watch.
Last night was a two hour special remembering MP Jo Cox who was murdered a year ago, and celebrating diversity, recognising the truth that we have #moreincommon
The logo, choose love, combines Manchester worker bees and a heart-shaped London tube sign, honouring those affected by recent tragedies in each of these proud cities.
The programme was great, in places really funny, as it brought together politicians of most parties in good humoured exchanges (best for me was Nicola Sturgeon and Ruth Davidson, which combined a gentle challenge to Scottish stereotyping and some much needed smiles).
This weekend, across the UK, many places are holding #thegreatgettogether street parties to celebrate diversity, and this is good.
Today is also Edinburgh Pride, combining celebration of the diversity that is LGBTQI+ with protest about ongoing injustices.
This morning, I went into Glasgow and, as I emerged from the railway station, heard the unmistakeable sound of an Orange Order fife band, as they marched through the city centre. The overt sectarianism represented by such an event seems to contradict the #moreincommon flavour of this weekend, but I have to concede that diversity means making space for that which troubles or offends me. I can express my disquiet, but if we claim to permit relgious and political freedom, and to promote tolerance, then it has to include those whose views I reject.
Tonight I am helping to marshall a huge charity event in Glasgow, which will see people clad in pink teeshirts (and bunny ears and tiaras and leg warmers and tutus and goodness knows what) walking 5, 10 or 20 miles around this city to raise money to support people affected by breast cancer. United by a common cause, people will encourage each other to walk to raise money, people who otherwise might have nothing in common.
In my personal utopia, there will be no need for groups who feel marginalised to take to the streets, because marginaliation will be no more. In my personal utopia, there will be no religious or political parades, because respect and peace will negate them. In my personal utopia, there will be no need to raise money for charities, whatever the cause, becuase the cuases will all be gone. But until then, I will continue to do my best to celebrate diversity, to focus on the #moreincommon and to #chooselove.
Now it's time for a catnap before the all-nighter!!