Why I Like Brighton

Epiphany moments graced a full house at St. Cuthman's Retreat Centre, Sussex, UK. Afterwards I chilled out at Brighton before driving to our annual Voyagers Retreat near Stoke-on-Trent. 'Brighton?' sniffed a retired barrister. I'll tell you why I like it.  First, because I can get a bed by the sea for £25 without pre-booking. Second, because all races and ages walk, run, skate, play, swim  sit or eat along its miles of spacious promenade. Third, because Rip-tide, one of three waterfront gyms, offered me a free guest pass, and, discovering from my email that I was a rev., they extended it - so I could visit it at 8.0 am next day before departing (they knew the ordained can't afford their usual prices). Fourth, because my car had a fault, a Polish garage manager walked with me to my car, explained what I needed to do in order to avoid a repetition, and charged me nothing.  (Admittedly the place where I bedded which described itself as a hotel did not provide breakfast, nor internet as I had been told, nor water for shower or kettle or toilet after 8.00 am - but we are taught to forgive... )

Readers responses to my new book 'The Cowshed Revolution' concentrate  one's thinking. All our political leaders have to address the crisis of capitalism. If the goal of our societies should be 'Best Community', as I believe, one starts to test every place, product and policy by the 'Best Community' test. The gym and the garage and the Brighton Council who sustain the promenade do well by this test. Their profit was not the be-all and end-all - though it was necessary. Here is another example: today's newspaper tells me that a state school is being forcd by the Government to go independent. If too many schools are forced to do this, the Local Education Authority will not be financially viable. Yet the LEA is a vital sustainer of community in the world of education.

Bloggers, why not apply ''The Best Community Test' to lots of things this year?

Posted at 05:43am on 9th January 2012
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