The moments ticked by at a snail’s pace, time slowed down by the weight of realisation as we all saw the truth in what Philip had just said. It was still hanging there;

“You don’t have any rights, you fools. You’re all here trying to find a way to improve education and you haven’t realised that the people who really own our country do not want the vast majority to be educated, or liberated in any way. Who would run the machines, do the boring clerical work? Don’t you children realise that there is no power-block currently in the world that could survive an entire generation thinking for itself?”

We were all looking at each other, and then at the floor or desks or our hands, desperate to not make eye contact and find acceptance in the eyes that we met. It was too hard to imagine; surely none of us were prepared to be that cynical?

I looked up and allowed my gaze to find Amy’s. She was crying, silently. I let her see my own pain, hoping that this small act of solidarity, in hope, might in some way touch her soul.