Cyclical Amnesia? (Or The Rats Are Fleeing the Sinking Ship)

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When the rats start fleeing a sinking ship it is time to start looking for the nearest lifeboat!

According to Labour MP Tom Harris: (See here and here) “I remember scoffing when John Major said we should understand a bit less and condemn a bit more, but he was right.”

No he wasn’t. It was wrong then and it’s equally wrong now. Understanding should be an essential prerequisite to condemnation. For example you wouldn’t want a jury to find the defendant in a criminal trial guilty without a thorough understanding of the facts of the case. Or would you?

And, if I recall correctly, John Major made that comment at a time when members of his own government were falling far short of the standards of morality they were attempting to impose on others. Did he make that remark before, during or after his affair with Edwina Currie? Or is adultery acceptable in his moral universe?  (Addendum: It was after but he only expressed public regret when the charming Ms. Currie ‘exposed’ him in her execrably written diaries. Am I the only person on the planet who believes that those who claim to be superior should actually be superior? I love the caption beneath the picture of what looks like Edwina Currie admonishing the then PM for some perceived wrongdoing: ‘Currie said she felt ‘forgotten’ when Major was premier’.  Oh boo hoo! Diddums etcetera! Could somebody please remind me again why I should take advice on morality from an adulterer?  Here is yet another blogger who seems to think we should. What is it with all this selective amnesia?  Are they putting something in the water?  I knew there was a perfectly sensible reason why I only drink diet coke! It is not, I suspect, that the Tories et al want us to lead morally flawless lives but that, like them, we should be seen to be living morally flawless lives while doing exactly what we please when we are off stage.)

John Major presided over a bunch of toe-sucking, duplicitous, avaricious, hypocritical adulterers but they were, at the very least, entertaining.

Mr. Harris proceeds to assert that: ‘Common sense dictates that, in general, children benefit from having the love of a mother and a father.’ Interestingly though, according to this wikipedia entry, he himself is divorced.  One rule for him, another for everyone else.

According to a commenter in The Daily Mail (yes, like Lot’s wife I looked back) ‘Scummy mummies have been on Nu-Lab agenda since taking office, I’m of the opinion many blinkered Nu-Lab MPs are appalled at the speed a which Nu-Lying-Labour has destroyed our way of life and family values. ‘ My response (which was never published): ‘I think you’ll find that the number of single mothers rose exponentially under the Tories, as did the practice of shunting the jobless onto incapacity benefit in order to massage the unemployment figures. The major political parties seem to believe that the population of this country suffer from a kind of cyclical amnesia and I fear they may be right.’  Actually I’d go so far as to say that the population of this great nation have the collective memory of a retarded goldfish.

And we don’t really want to eradicate poverty, do we?  The children of the impoverished (intellectually, spiritually and relatively) have traditionally made rather good cannon fodder and God knows we need some of that right now. And middle class parents should remember that the success of their children depends on the failure of the children of their social inferiors. If they don’t tolerate this then their children won’t be next.

Now more than ever before we are measured solely by the amount of money we earn. This means that, in the UK, the average footballer is of more worth to society than the average doctor or the average teacher. There are many people on low incomes who work very hard and make a valuable contribution to society. One example that springs to mind is an acquaintance of mine who is a care assistant who works in a retirement home. She receives tax credits and she deserves them too. Her low income is part of the reason people can afford to send their elderly relatives to these places.

It may also be useful to look at history. Many writers, artists etc who made lasting contributions to our cultural history were not particularly economically productive in their own lifetimes (examples include Emily Dickinson, Vincent Van Gogh, Jane Austen, the Brontes).

It is a barren, depressing world indeed if the only measure of our worth is our economic productivity.

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One Response to “Cyclical Amnesia? (Or The Rats Are Fleeing the Sinking Ship)”

  1. David Duff Says:

    I understand the point you make concerning the difficulty of taking advice, or listening to injunctions, on morality from people who are themselves immoral. However, it’s worth remembering that there is a difference between the ‘message’ and the ‘messenger’. If we could only accept moral teachings from saints there would even less morality about than there is!

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