Who needs apathy?

All looks yellow to the jaundiced eye. Alexander Pope

Apathy.jpg

How does ignorance and apathy help us tackle problems and dilemmas which make us terrified and furious.

Fear, tragedy and anger sells papers whilst enraging people and justifying factions. Some of our politicians and commentators fan the flames with their polarising: let’s-throw-untrue-and-emotional-hand-grenades attitude?

What elephant needs a power station?

What projects are essential with the NHS wobbling, 21% of the UK population living in low income households and government cuts leading to endemic failures in safety – even (according to the linked article, on the day of the Grenfell fire). What about these five factors?:

  1. avoidable deaths?
  2. cost overruns?
  3. failed and unneeded projects?
  4. alternative ‘facts’?
  5. bank bailouts?

Leadership

How discredited the economic debate is in the House of Commons at the moment. It’s actually of a very low grade and we should be ashamed of our politicians for making  these sorts of comparisons … Ann Pettifor, economist, reflecting on Prime Ministers Question Time. BBC Radio 4: PM news, 5 July 2017

leadersOn the grand stage, at the moment, it’s hard to avoid the incompetence, arrogance and stubborn instability of many political leaders. We see them for what they are with stunning clarity in the face of national tragedy and international negotiations.

Shameless attitudes, unsubstantiated beliefs, constant conflicts and avoidance/unawareness of facts mean destructive at best and potentially cataclysmic consequences.

No money … (DUP aside)

The money’s gone, they say. We need more austerity. What don’t we need to spend? For example: the HS2 budget doubled in under 4 months. Up from £24bn quoted by ministers on 27 December 2016 to £48.7bn (exculding rolling stock) in 3 April 2017.

There is £8.7bn for Civil Engineering works in the budget which could mean jobs. How about sorting broken aspects of our infrastructure. How much of the other £40bn can we save? Where might we spend it – public sector pay?

Oh God if you’d the gift tae gi’e us …

When we get close to a tragedy, we see ourselves for what we are … people who care, who love one another. Poor, rich, disabled, elderly, official, unofficial, it’s all there: concern, empathy, generosity and a willingness to go the extra mile. And all backed by wonderful, if often extended emergency services.

Failure at large

Where are the weaknesses? Where the incendiary stimulus fuelling a bonfire of the UK? Who is responsible?

I can tell

It’s hard not to point the finger at our leaders as their weaknesses are exposed, time and again. People, needy for redemption, lost in their own tribal conflicts.

We read about corruption, incompetence and dishonesty. And, we all face huge challenges at the moment:

  • Brexit splits our government. The lies and dishonesty presented as truth by different factions persuade angry citizens to vote for a suicide pact, some gift for the next generations.
  • Grenfell provides stark clarity about serial political ineffectiveness in setting and monitoring standards to protect our citizens from harm. Stark proof of how ideology serves no one.
  • Terror attacks punctuate our lives with raging, cruel, ideological terrorists who found their voice in the vacuum of  ill-conceived wars, some of our making.

 

Citizen reality

In stark contrast to the Establishment lunacy we observe daily. Please pause and think for a moment. What did ordinary folk do when terrorists struck?

  • Some stood and faced the evil. Some died doing it.
  • Many, hands covered in blood, supported the victims and cared for them.
  • All put in huge efforts and stood strong. They know what matters.

The Grenfell fire again showed the willingness of people to risk their lives, give love and support, demand answers and stand up to the Establishment.

The Strong Voice of Honesty and Decency

He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help. Abraham Lincoln

Once found, can a strong caring honest voice ever be silenced? As a people can we clarify and face the facts in front of us — even if they challenge our angry feelings?

In future, can we avoid the ideological, dishonest, emotional and destructive modes of thought that permit the calamities we face?

Change or no change?

Ideology is a poor substitute for kindness … it’s our actions that define us, not our beliefs

I think we can. Some of my thinking needs to change. We need true information, compassion and conciliation. Are we willing to look under the stone of the UK’s failings and fix what’s broken?

Can we, any longer, have our country’s agenda decided in a few short weeks by people who are weak, unstable, dishonest and incompetent? I don’t care what a person’s politics are, what your politics are. Let’s face up to reality together and ensure that what needs to be done will be delivered, audited and honestly reported by competent people.

We face big decisions that prejudice and factlessness can’t solve. Are we strong enough to direct our leaders?

Anybody need a hug?

© Mac Logan