This month, the collective lens of Britain’s media has been turned to the party political conferences. Yet as the country’s commentators queued up to scrutinise whatever Nigel Farage dared say and whatever Ed Miliband failed to say, and opine over what it all might mean for the future of British politics, little did they realise that from a soapbox in a quiet corner of Hyde Park, in Speaker’s Corner in fact, a new voice spoke up that hoped to change the face of that politics forever.
Or at least for five minutes.
I may not have the sonorous tones of a Churchill. Or the turn of phrase of a Lincoln. Or the infectious passion of a Dr King. I may not even have a soapbox – I had to make do with the best substitute I could find.
But I do have opinions, I enjoy a rant and I’m blessed with a disposition of righteous indignation which means I can be relied upon to identify the injustice of my situation, no matter what that situation may be. I also have a genuine conviction. My speech on the political, economic and social discrimination of single people is not just empty words strung together for a stunt. I really do think adults living alone – whether they be spinsters, divorcees or widows – are too often overlooked or misunderstood, and are certainly expected to pay out more pennies than their coupled-up neighbours.
Above all though I have remarkable friends. Friends who respond with enthusiastic encouragement to the idea that I do not confine my moaning to them, but go down to Hyde Park and hurl rhetoric at passers-by. Friends who are prepared to accompany me thereto, video camera in hand, to film my first foray into oratory.
I like to think the resultant speech had a little more substance than Ed’s and a whole lot more sense than Nigel’s; but I’ll leave that to you to judge.
The above video was produced by Ekaterina Botziou: friend, writer, actress, film-maker, Greek wife, real-life Greek goddess and blogger on all these things at the wonderful Ekaterina Botziou: It’s all Greek to me! Be sure to check out more of her recent videos on her site.