Tuesday, 19 March 2019

What Is It We Should Value?


Dear Reader,

Journalist Ian Birrell, in his lead article in the i newspaper yesterday about the plight of the Yazidis, begins his final paragraph with:
As we stand on the cusp of Brexit, we need to ask ourselves profound questions about national values. We have sent a message to the world that we are tearing down bridges and building walls. We have corroded our reputation as a sensible international player, diminished our global standing and demeaned the mother of parliaments with this humiliating debacle.
The key words (for the purpose of my article) are: "we need to ask ourselves profound questions about national values."

Of course, Ian Birrell is talking essentially of the subject of his topic (the Yezidis), but his final words broaden the conversation to include the role that the West has been playing around the world, and although we like to think that Britain's role is essentially humanitarian, it is we in the West (Britain included) that has largely created the mess. So if we subsequently go around with swathes of sticking plaster (i.e. aid, after the destruction) does it really make us so morally correct? Which is better - prevention or treatment? Was it necessary to go to war with Sadam Hussein way back in 2003 with no strategy on how to deal with its outcomes. And not only that but fight the war with such ferocity that it is thought that 400,000 civilians died. In fact the matter officially started not in 2003 but way back in 1917 as far as Britain is concerned, with the matter of the Balfour Plan.

All that kind of work does is to create hatred which subsequently finds its evil apotheosis in the shape of ISIS, which, in turn, generates more destruction and massacres, including the Yazidis.

So, "we need to ask ourselves profound questions about national values."

But this matter of values extends way beyond international issues such as the Middle East. It comes way back to our own backyard, where the disabled and the genuinely poor are now being hunted down to get into work as the government doesn't want to pay the welfare bills. You doubt this is happening? There are countless cases of this taking place and now to the extent that the government has been trying to stop doctors issuing sick notes. And please don't try applying for PIP as you face assessors with no heart.

Phil Hammond and Theresa May talk of the end of austerity but all that is happening is that they are colluding to create an even wider gap between rich and poor as the NHS appointments schedule whirls into decline.

Brexit is another matter that has created as many opinions, it sometimes seems, as the number of voters. We can't find a common attitude as we seem to have lost a sense of genuine values.

Meanwhile, one of the most urgent issues of all - climate change - is almost pushed to the background and our wild species are being decimated whilst sea creatures are being drowned by plastic.

Yet no-one wants to address the important matter of "values". What do we believe in these days? Do you know? Doesn't it concern you? How can we elect any government without really knowing what values we are basing our choice on, and not just what is best for our pockets? I'm afraid worrying about paying the bills is now a matter of lesser importance, because if we don't start addressing real issues there won't be anything to pay for. It's a harsh reality.

Love of the whole world needs to be thought of and not just towards our families.

Let's address real issues and the way they should be addressed. Now; based on unity and love.

Thank you for reading this.