Most people think that they question everything, they really do, but that fact of the matter is that everyone has a pretty substantial blind spot regarding whatever they personally believe. We can see countless examples of this, from the religious fundamentalists constant skepticism of modernity to the conspiracy theorists outright rejection of self-evident truths, to the bloody-minded, dogmatic rhetoric of the radical identity politico. Willing to flagrantly deny the role evolution plays in the development of society while having the audacity to call themselves “enlightened: or “progressive.”
It is the age old question which will have a variety of answers. “Money is the root of all evil.” “Money can’t buy you happiness.” But if money is what makes us so unhappy then why we end up muttering under our breath “If I won the lottery….”
Thirty years ago, my country was classed as war-torn. Soldiers marched the streets, bombs exploded, and people lived in fear. You could be pulled from a busy street and shot for being the wrong religion. Schools were targeted and places of worship were blown up. But I didn’t grow up in Syria or Iraq. It was Northern Ireland. Within the last thirty years, the entire country has done a u-turn and is finally at peace with itself. Today anyone can walk the streets freely, without fearing for their safety. We hosted the MTV awards, pop stars make music videos in our fields, and it provides the back drop for “Game of Thrones” TV series. Now it is the place to be. Religious extremism was the back bone of Northern Irish society, making it no different from other countries like Iraq or any other nation where religion is the excuse for killing.
I was so excited to hear that you are taking such a pro-active approach to fix “Broken Britain”, especially seeing as you want to make children spend time with their absent parents. I wish you could hear the sarcasm in voice because that is by far the stupidest idea I have ever heard. Let me explain the harsh simple truth behind this problem- most of these “absent parents” are absent for a reason, because their kids don’t want to see them. For most people it has nothing to do with denying access, sure it happens, but if you ask most of these children why they don’t see the other parent, it boils down to not wanting to see them. And now you want to force children like my daughter to spend “quality time” with someone they hate. Nice one.
I had a shocking thought last week about how I say NO to everything. I say no to my kids, my partner, myself. I was driving along when my three year old starting asking me for juice.
“Juice mummy! I need juice!”
“No, you don’t need juice and mummy is driving.”
Wait, what? Did I just tell a three year old that they aren’t thirsty? How the hell would I know? I’m not him, he is the only one who knows that he is thirsty. So how dare I tell him that he wasn’t thirsty!
Before Christmas when I hopped on to the laptop and logged on to my social media sites, my various news feeds were filled with the news from Ferguson. First of all, I will admit, being in Northern Ireland, I don’t really keep up to date with American news like this. I knew a little bit about it, a teenager was shot by a cop. That was it. It wasn’t until the verdict was announced and the riots started that I became fully aware of the situation, or as informed as you can be with digging through Facebook, Twitter and the various news sites. All the information which I had access to had been regurgitated repeatedly, the information was in the form of twisted opinion and hearsay of what happened, there was very little in the way of facts. But a few things became to light. An 18 year old boy who was unarmed was shot 6 times by a police officer and his dead body was left in the street for hours. That is beyond scary.
First of all, everyone online had an opinion, an ill informed opinion. My news feeds were filled with anger and rage despite people not having the full facts of what happened. We will never know exactly what happened and we will never have all the facts. Was there any footage of the incident? Security cameras or mobile phone footage? Not that I’ve seen, so we will never know exactly what happened. To assume what happened was based on race or someones prejudice of another human is a dangerous game to play.
Second, the fact that race is even part of the conversation is scary. People, we live in the 21st century. Race, religion, gender, or sexual preference should not be an issue to society any more. Personally I couldn’t care if you are a gay purple man with boobs, if you are nice to me then I’ll be nice to you. I never judge a person in the first instance, I’ll get to know before I decide if you are an asshole or not. If these things are still issues in this day and age, then something needs to be done about it. And screaming about it on the internet is not helping matters. If this offends you then you need to educate yourself and those around you rather than getting all hot and bothered on the otherside of your computer screen.
I’m no expert on this, not by a long shot but I do know this, if you can’t trust your police force then it needs to be changed. Police and civilians need to have the protection of the law. Police should wear body cameras so that things like this can’t happen. Video evidence is the only answer if a white cop has race issues and hides behind his badge and gun to dish out his own version of justice. And guns are never the answer. There are so many other ways, non-lethal ways for crowd control and to take a suspect into custody, guns are not necessary anymore. But tonight, just think of Michael Brown and hope that something positive can come of this. Lets challenge that race card, ask more from the police, and hope that some day news like this will be a distance memory but the victims are never forgotten.
I don’t know about anyone else but I find hoovering my house very therapeutic. The drone of the motor, the motion of moving slowing across the floor, seeing the cat fluff spin around the hoover drum. Yes, I’m easily amused like that but it lets my brain calm down and allow some clarity. Today I had no intention of doing a blog post but as I moved the hoover around the floor I realised something really awful. I don’t want to dump on everyone’s good intentions but it is something we all need to be aware of.
In both America and Britain there is a something brewing. The people are fed up of being dumped on by those in power, that’s the simple way of looking at. In America there are protests at what has happened in Ferguson. In Britain social media is blowing up to have the Prime Minister removed because he’s an idiot. There are those out there who know more about all of this than me and I’m not ashamed to admit that, so why should you read the ramblings of a woman who finds hoovering amusing? Because I have though of something which you might not have realised. At this moment in time we are walking the fine line between democracy and anarchy.
So what? Well, just stop and think about what has happened in the last 15 years. 9/11, the war on terror, suicide bombings just to name a few things. Let me put this into context of what could happen. In 1916 while the world was at war, a group of Irish rebels decided to storm Dublin in order to force the British out of Ireland. It was designed this way. While the British were busy, there was a terrorist attack. Now ask yourself, while everyone is out protesting and stretching the man-power of the forces, who is to say that a bunch of terrorists don’t plan an attack? It’s all over social media, they would know all the good places to get people. And law enforcement is trying deal with the protests, who is to say that something doesn’t slip through the cracks?
While the protests have been peaceful there is always an element of our own societies which use this type of unrest to further their own gains. Small groups of “freedom fighters” find themselves able to recruit vast numbers of people to their cause. But the problem with these people is that their answer to social problems is violence, guns, bombs. Got a problem with the government? Let’s blow it up. Is that not the very thing that we have been trying to protect ourselves from? Is that not what the terrorists are trying to do anyway?
We have the power to change this. Yes, we may have voted these people in but if we think they aren’t doing a good enough job, we have the power to remove them. And to those smug b*****ds who think they have won just because they have tricked us into voting for something we don’t want, here’s another history lesson. Hitler was voted into power too and when the world realised what he was up to, the people kicked his ass as well.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, far from it, but this is what I’m asking. Lets stop and think for a minute how we can change this before the situation escalates into violence and anarchy. That’s not what we want. What we want is better politicians, less taxes, freedom to express ourselves, and to live without fear. We want world peace and to end poverty, not to become a police state with Big Brother watching our every move. I’m sure some of you brilliant people will be able to think of a way that we can achieve this. Meanwhile I’ll go back to hoovering and see if I can come up with any better ideas.