The Ambler

Amble's Community Newspaper: News & events from Amble in Northumberland – The Kindliest Port.

Age of insecurity. How much is true?

Harry McQuillen

There have been many disturbing reports from around the world recently.

The most harrowing stories come from areas of conflict, especially in the Middle East. But we don’t have far to look for troubles nearer home. In no particular order of severity I can point to Brexit and its potential repercussions; football sex abuse scandals; immigration; problems in prisons; urban sprawl in our area; withdrawal of care for the elderly; and our ‘stretched’ NHS. That’s just a start.

Of course we can turn the telescope round and look at things through the other end. Brexit may work out fine; football and other sports people do great work with youngsters; we need lots of workers (homegrown or from elsewhere); some prisons help some of their inmates; we really do need lots of housing; our NHS does a lot of great work (like my recent eye treatment). Who was it who said: ‘There are no heavens on this earth?’

I find myself looking at reports of all sorts and wondering how much is true. We live in an age of Fabricated News, so how do we sort out the wheat from the chaff? Look at some of the headlines in our newspapers and some of their editorial comment. How much of it is accurate, honest, sincere or unbiased?

Am I wearing rose-tinted glasses when I think about the things I like? How about our libraries, refuse collectors, public transport, charities, volunteers, neighbourly acts and local organisations of all sorts? How about our Puffin Club, a dementia-friendly group at St. Mark’s Hall?

Recently, we heard about JAMs, those who are Just About Managing. The biggest expense for most people is housing. For a long time we haven’t built enough houses, especially in the public sector. I seem to recall that we built more council houses under Harold MacMillan than under any other prime minister. Can we afford to pull up the drawbridge and deny our young people what most of us have had?

As an afterthought, my feeling is that we may just be returning to some of the attitudes of the 1930s. Am I alone in my view? Answers on a post card, please*!!

Harry McQuillen

*editor@theambler.co.uk

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