With the all that is going on in the world at the moment (including but not confined to France going all Freedom of Speech is everything and then arresting people for freedom of speech..) – here’s a little thought experiment, why do we worry so much about physical fitness but we don’t apparently give a gnats kneecap about the well-being of our minds?
In the UK we educate most kids up till they’re 16, many until they are 21 (roughly 38% of school leavers go to university), this is by no means untypical although obviously its better by far than many third world nations. Most first world adults survive until they are in their late 70’s or early 80’s which means that for the majority of your life you are not educated – you get a decent grounding perhaps (although this is disputable) and then you’re left to your own devices. If you are woefully dumb at 16 and leave without any qualifications, you can opt to stay that way. Never mind that your work and life prospects will be seriously hampered until you shuffle off this mortal coil and never mind that poverty is almost certainly a good indicator of poor health and earlier than average mortality.
In the meanwhile we worry continuously (or the press/media worry for us at the behest of government agencies) about our health. Five a day, exercise, no smoking, no drinking, no drugs etc etc. You can be as stupid as a plank, and if you are fit, slim, and devoid of vices we are more than happy for you to live out your span (although if you are all the above and dumb then your income will be lower – see above. Unless of course Mumsie was a Sloane Ranger and Dadsie went to Eton, earn a great deal of money and/or inherited it and then passed a lot of it to a private school to educate you. In which case you could be the next Tory chancellor of the UK).
If we had a continuing programme of education, slow starters could be picked up and their prospects could be improved, people could appreciate the fun that education can be, you could help people come to terms with changes in their employment status (if they are part of an industry that is changing and needs new skills), you could improve social discourse (explaining that immigration is not to blame for society going to hell in a hand cart fore example) and allow people to consider the risks of their lifestyles and make considered changes if necessary (rather than making them feel badgered and put upon). We can perhaps help people to understand their society better and become an informed electorate………….oh, ah. I see. Never mind then.
…at least 13 people have died in Paris in the last two days at the hands of men with guns. These men are motivated by hatred and feel that their religious fervour justifies their actions – they are wrong. A belief, no matter how strongly held, does not justify murder. This is true of anyone with a gun and righteous anger. Put the gun down – and then tell us what you think and feel, then we can listen, and possibly we can change. If we, your enemies, are dead, we cannot hear you and we cannot make the changes you think you want. And now you, my friend, are simply a murdering madman with a gun.
The actions of these angry men in Paris have horrified the western world, and the perpetrators are now being rounded up. They will face long sentences in French jails and their viewpoints will be incarcerated along with them. In the meanwhile the only effect will be to make peaceful Muslims frightened for their futures in increasingly hostile European nations, and polarise communities more and more. See how Pegida has captured the imagination of angry whites?
I guess that western cameras will capture stupid men and women somewhere apparently celebrating the deaths in Paris. These people would be wise not to clap too heartily. 12 people who worked for Charlie Hebdo died yesterday, a policeman died today, peace dies a little every day and that is bad news for all of us.
Je suis Charlie.
Germany is either all for Islam or becoming seriously against it depending upon whether you are optimistic or damned grumpy about the future. Pegida is a German movement protesting at an imagined ‘Islamisation’ of Europe. Happily for my faith in Germany, more people are protesting against Pegida than are (seem to be) supporting it, but I remain worried for the future.
In the UK you can vote for UKIP (which despite Farage’s lukewarm denials seems to be all about racism and keeping immigrants out of the UK) and various other nasty little groups that proclaim their love of the UK but are actually all about white people and their xenophobia. And what do we do as a nation? Engage the bigots and call them out? Demand that racist claptrap gains the short shrift it deserves? Stand with those who need our sanctuary or want to make a better life for themselves in our country? Regard Islam as one of the many religions that people have the freedom to follow? Nope, we allow the ‘debate’ about ‘immigration’ to get more and more airtime, we say that ‘genuine concerns’ about migrants are ‘not racist’ (when they clearly are – the ‘concerns’ are based on prejudice and fear rather than evidence based information) and we engage in battles against Islamic states overseas and persecute Muslim people in our own country.
Hopefully when the UK branch of Pegida starts up, our citizens will also see the harm that the current narrative is doing and will rise up in support of Islamic residents and immigrants. What do you think?