An Attempt at Objectivity

As George Osborne’s first Conservative only Government budget was being delivered yesterday my Twitter and Facebook feeds began to be filled with anger, pain and scorn, with an undercurrentbudget_portal__7_2856733b of a deep sense of helplessness.

And I agreed with everything people were saying.  I agreed with the sentiments and my emotions resonated.  There was not a single post in support of the budget, in support of the Government, in support of the direction this country is being led.  It really got me wondering, why is it this way?  If the Conservative Party were voted into power last year in such a huge swing where are all the Conservative supporters now?  I pondered a few thoughts, maybe there is some truth in the 7 statements below:

  1. Lots of people say they don’t like what is happening to the poor but when it comes down to it they will put their own interests first and vote for what they perceive will make them better off.
  2. Lots of people like what the Government are doing but don’t feel confident to express this for fear of being heckled, or even abused, by others.
  3. There are many who benefit a little from current Government policies.  This means they enjoy a little extra comfort and security.  In comparison to the significant life changes that are imposed on many of the most vulnerable this raises no emotional response and therefore there is no impulse to express anything on social media.
  4. Nobody feels inclined to support the Government policies because they are self-seeking, income gap widening, dangerous and loathsome.
  5. Those who feel upset by the political situation have got it wrong and are caught up in a deluded whirlwind of conspiratorial negativity.
  6. It is cool to bash authority.
  7. By my own conscious and sub-conscious choosing my Facebook friends and those I follow on Twitter are skewed towards my own fairly socialist, left leaning political views.

I asked my Facebook friends and Twitter followers if there were any views that supported Osborne or the Government.  There was silence for quite a while and then a few people gave helpful responses.  The comments  ranged from factual to mildly pleased and were certainly void of any of the emotion that was featuring in my feeds.  Also, I know that those who helpfully commented also have strong misgivings about other aspects of Government policy.

I am pondering all this because my thought processes always take me down the line of anger and a desire for action.  Yet, I don’t want to indulge anger or take action for a meaningless cause.  I want to ensure I am objective in what I expend my emotion, energy and time on.

However, nobody seems to be able to come up with a strong and passionate reason for supporting the Government.  The budget and Government policies may offer small financial gains for many but these benefits are, in my opinion, woeful in comparison to the destruction that I see meted out on our communities.

I can only conclude that the anger is necessary and the need for change is critical.  If we care about our communities, and especially those who are vulnerable, then we must spend ourselves to see justice.   Action will look different for different people but I believe passively continuing with the status quo will lead to generations blighted by poverty and social exclusion.






Do not fear the Paris attacks

Please, understand that what happened in Paris in the last few days was not:

  • Muslims attacking non-Muslims
  • Islam against the West
  • Anti-semitic
  • An attack on free speech
  • War

What happened was evil.  It was carried out by people who have most likely been exposed to evil themselves but have chosen to allow that evil to take root and bear horrible and terrible fruit.

Living in Western Europe is no more dangerous today than it was at the start of the week.  You are many more times likely to be killed driving your car than you are at the hands of a random murderer.  We have nothing to fear.

Sadly, and dangerously, the media seem to be loving it.  The coverage has been relentless, speculative and sensationalised.  The attacks were horrific but if they had not been reported, or at least not been hyped up, then the strange stirring of fear would not have been provoked in our communities.

Every day across the world similar and worse things happen but we do not hear about them.  Today 16 people have been killed in a bomb attack in a Nigerian marketplace.  You, I, and even someone sitting in a Paris suburb, have as much to fear from the attack in Nigeria as we do the attacks in Paris.  If you allow the Paris attacks to settle bitterness, fear, suspicion or hatred in you then you could be at the top of the slippery slope of allowing evil to bear fruit in your own life.  If you spread or indulge the scaremongering in conversation or on social media then you are actively helping evil spread like a deadly virus.

We all have so much in common.  To hate or fear other humans quite simply robs you of your own identity.  Do your bit – love your neighbour and love the stranger.