Up lit – and how the ostrich hid its head

You’ve all heard of Up lit, the book trend with kindness at its core. Apparently, the last couple of years have been so grim with political and economic uncertainty, terrorism and tragedy that the snowflake generation and their followers need to hide from reality.

Up lit is also affecting non-fiction. To satisfy a certain section of the nation in need of therapy. Oh please. Where’s the backbone gone that got us through two World Wars? Or even the Fifties, when I was a young boy. They weren’t a barrel of laughs either, but we had to get on with it.

Pick up any newspaper, watch any TV news bulletin and you will see the result of hiding your head in the sand. The police are ineffectual. The justice system is flawed. Prisons have become little more than holiday camps. Criminals from every corner of Europe know how easy it is to commit crimes in the UK, with little fear of getting caught. They arrive on day trips to carry out robberies and return home in the evenings. The spread of organised crime across the UK is more rampant than the dreaded Japanese knotweed.

Rather than developing an appetite for ‘everyday heroism, human connection and love’ wouldn’t they be better spending time reading more domestic noir and dark, gritty thrillers about sexual exploitation and organised crime?
No they are encouraged to bury their heads in books that ignore all the nasty things in the world.

I’m appalled by the situation in this country. I’ve tried in my humble way to highlight the problems through my books. I want to provoke discussion, engineer change, foster improvement. When I wrote the first book in The Phoenix Series four years ago, things were bad. I had no idea they would deteriorate so much, so quickly.

In my latest book I quoted Benjamin Franklin – “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

We need the ostrich to get its head out of the sand and stand shoulder to shoulder with those who want to confront evil, because ‘When unpalatable decisions are not taken, evil smiles and continues to flourish’ (The Phoenix).

Change will only occur when everyone says, ‘enough is enough’. I dread to think how horrific an event that will be, but when it does occur, remember this – there have been hundreds of opportunities in the past when you could have joined forces with those that have spoken out against the evil we see around us.

So, please read everything you can about serial killers, the drug trade, corruption in high places. Be disgusted by it. Ask yourself, how the hell did we let things get this bad? There are thousands of writers out there to choose from. Hundreds of TV shows and films. Immerse yourself in the grime until you can’t wash it away.

It would be a shame if ‘enough is enough’ was delayed by those who prefer to bury their heads in the sand.

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