Our Ages of Insecurity
Many years ago, I asked my younger daughter, then at primary school, what she thought about newspapers. Her answer was straight, “I’ll read them when they talk about GOOD THINGS!”
I’ve been thinking about her answer recently, and the constant stream of bad news. We hear about Food Banks, Payday Loans, homelessness (are there really rough sleepers in Ashington Woods?),
sanctions on vulnerable benefit claimants, toothlessness (is this a return to the thirties?). We hear of dangerous climate change, and international conflicts. In a recent discussion with a politician, a lady of a certain age talked of Public Squalor and Private Affluence in the USA – the richest country on earth.
My thoughts turned to our own infrastructure. We have clean water, sewage, gas, electricity, refuse collection, libraries, leisure centres, swimming pools, our NHS, and our Welfare State. Some of us remember when things were very different. I remember a remark by a social commentator about “a felicific calculus”. I think that he meant the balance between good and bad.
People have always had problems, some more than others. We’ll never solve all of them for everybody. Most of the things we do are well-intentioned.
A perfect illustration of this is our recently introduced one-way road system near the harbour. I’ve just watched a number of cars turn left from Newburgh Street into Leazes Street. The answer will be new, clear “signage” and the time it takes for everybody to get used to it!
Management of Change is the modern watchword. We’ll ALL have to get used to whatever comes along. It will all work so much better if we HELP ONE ANOTHER!