A Party for No Seasons
The lessons to be learnt from the British Government’s quagmire of un-governance are many. Perhaps the most important one is that if you lie to the voters for long enough they will begin to believe you. Tell them you will cut taxes while maintaining, or even increasing, public spending and they will vote for you. Maths is said to be not tremendously strong among the UK citizens. Proof, if proof were needed. The end point is ‘everything free and no taxes’.
Now look at the amount spent on UK education. It is a considerable sum. Enough, one would think, to be able to work out that more spending demands more income – and less income necessitates less spending. This is blurred by the tendency, promulgated in the last decade, to believe that debt is the answer. Debt, in small quantities over predictable times and with cast-iron certainty of repayment, is a good way of flexing one’s financial muscles. But Debt has now become a charge that people think doesn’t need repaying – even the US government says so and is just about to prove it, as it does every year at this time.
Anyway, who cares? Debt if not repaid will become the problem of the next and subsequent generations. They’ll probably have invented another app to cancel it by then. Come to think of it, why can’t they just print the money – it’s what they did to tide us over Covid? It is a frightening admission that many people of middle- to late-middle-age have no provision at all for the years when they will find work a great deal harder to obtain and to do and when their medical costs, however ‘free’ the service, will rise greatly, if they are to live out their lives.
Do I blame the politicians for this? Partly, certainly. Truth in politics has never been a shining example to the voters. Now it is considered a fool’s errand. And as so many follow the example of their leaders it is inevitable that truth is widely regarded as pointless and naive. The concept that if you lie to people enough they will begin to believe you is manifest beyond figures. Social media confirm it. Yes, politicians have much responsibility, almost as much as you and I. We are mostly parents and therefore intended to equip our children to handle the world. We sent them to school, possibly paid hefty school and university fees to do so, and thought that constituted education. We bore them through the Teenage Terror years and thought that was enough to launch them into the Sea of Survival. It calls for a lot more than that.
The part of education that school accounts for needs fundamental change. What used to be information input must today be sensible output. Bringing children up to contribute to, rather than take from, life on earth is the parents responsibility. When you see fine children making their way and helping others to do so, admire their mothers and fathers. Children who stand on their own feet are the best recognition a parent can have of work well done. Government has influence in this too. The recent catastrophic suggestion that children as young as four or five should be helped to start considering their careers is almost as far out of line as you can get. The happiest and most adjusted people I know have had a fun and thoughtful childhood and make life a diligent experience of give and take.
“I’m not interested in politics” we hear more than a dozen times a week from people leading distressing and uncomfortable lives. Well, now that you contribute to the political scene with such regularity via the plethora of media at your disposal isn’t it about time you were? If you don’t know the character, integrity and values of the man or woman you vote for, how can you possibly make a responsible vote? And you certainly have no right to criticise their decisions. Understanding the vote is everyone’s duty in the 21st Century.
Politics can no longer remain the art of the possible.
It must become the discipline of the responsible.
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27 January 2023