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From the editor's desk 12 Jan

A comment from the editor's desk on people who are treated as outcasts

Poverty, abuse of power and prejudice are prevalent in the UK today

DID you hear the people sing in the first two episodes of BBC One’s Sunday night drama Les Misérables?

Unless you include scenes such as the one showing a peasant boy singing to himself as he made his way along a country lane, the answer will be a resounding ‘no’. The drama is not a serialisation of the long-running musical. Instead it sticks more closely to the original novel by Victor Hugo published in 1862. Initially, there was a certain amount of incredulity among some of the viewing public who missed the musical’s well-known numbers including ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ and ‘Master of the House’.

The drama has concentrated on telling the story of life in 19th-century France and, as we report in this week’s War Cry, the struggles so many people of that time faced as they were confronted by poverty, abuse at the hands of those in power, and prejudice based on social class.

Les Misérables is set in another country about 200 years ago, but poverty, abuse of power and prejudice are prevalent in the UK today.

Sean Stillman has worked for many years in Swansea as a pastor ministering to people he describes as outcasts, or people ‘at the wrong end of negative judgment’. That includes people who are experiencing homelessness or are hungry, as well as people who, Sean explains in this week’s issue, don’t go ‘anywhere near a church’.

Among those people are members of biking communities. They are often the subject of negative public perceptions, but Sean says of them: ‘I don’t know that the bike subculture is worse than any other.’

What Sean says about the bike subculture is true in many other areas as well. Often prejudices can be misplaced. Not everyone fits neatly into a certain social class, but that does not make them a lesser person. Everybody is of worth and value – regardless of what others might think.

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