PERSON OF THE YEAR 2019: KATE TEMPEST & GRETA THUNBERG



Every year at SUFFOLK PUNCH, as its multitude of readers know, I give out an entirely meaningless and unprofitable award to the person who I think has distinguished himself or herself in the previous twelve months. Last year the winner was clear for me. It had to be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This year the choice is a little harder. There are two clear winners, each of whom have moved and inspired me tremendously in their way. So I have decided to declare 2019's Person of the Year award a tie and give out absolutely nothing except my thanks to two separate people.

Kate Tempest (above) has been around for a few years now but I only became aware of her at the end of last year. When I bought her album 'Let Them Eat Chaos' it had an effect on me emotionally like nothing had since 1982 when I first heard Bob Dylan sing 'The Ballad of Hollis Brown'. I actually cried real, hot tears. And I still feel that way every time I listen to her. The poems she recites over music are intense, profound and beautifully written. 

The other winner of my award has won just about every other award as well this year. It's climate change activist Greta Thunberg (below):



Greta has inspired a generation of young people to believe in something other than the accumulation of property, white goods and knick-knacks. That alone is a miracle. In her epic quest to convince the old and the powerful that their greed and rapaciousness is going to kill us all, she has also given hope and a renewed sense of commitment and determination to those of us who have been to the barricades before and lost too many times. We may lose again. But Greta has made us realise that if we do, the planet dies. So staying at home warmed by our own cynicism is no longer an option. (Bruce)

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