Thursday, 11 December 2008

DO WE REALLY GIVE A TOSS?








I received a comment yesterday from Christina in Greece, asking if I had seen what was going on in her Country.

My reply was- “Oh yes, I have been watching the news.

My slant on it, I don't think it would happen in the UK today, maybe 10 or fifteen years ago but not now. Since Thatcher, greed, self-need, and sod you I'm all right is the order of the day.Or in other words nobody gives a toss anymore, they wait for someone else to sort it out, and that includes the Government- they rely on the EU to fix the problems, because they can't or won't do what is necessary.Take to the streets! Good god that would entail actually getting involved!Not very likely I'm afraid.”

It was an off the cuff reply, but now I have had the chance to think about it, I stick by what I said.

And it makes me feel guilty.

I would fight to the death to protect someone dear to me, as we all would, but not for someone else.

We don’t as a society really give a toss, we all have our own problems, especially now, and other peoples problems seem remote and insignificant.

There are some-a lot of bloggers and campaigners that do, but they tend to “specialise” or focus on the “big” things.

Would we “get involved” if a teenager was shot dead by the Police in this country?

Did “we” after the Mendes shooting?

I certainly don’t think we would take to the streets, maybe write some letters to the “appropriate people” or sign a petition, but actually join a crowd of people in protest, and throw bricks and petrol bombs: No. We would I think expect justice: We would expect the perpetrators to be punished, and if that didn’t happen we would depend on the Media to highlight the injustice of it.



But actually get involved? Would I take to the streets: No. I wouldn’t because like most people I am law abiding and would expect the “authorities” to deal with it so that I could get on with my life.

A lot of people “complained” about the “Woss” thing, but he is still in a job, did we do enough ?

Have we become so insular in our lives that other peoples’ problems are no longer our problems?

If someone broke into our houses while we were there we would defend our property as best we could. But if someone broke into our neighbour’s house while they were not there we would call the Police. That is human nature, self-preservation is probably THE most basic thing to us, the second is the urge to procreate, and “other people” come a long way down the list.

I, like most people care about others, but would I “get involved”? Would I actually prove that I care? I sit in my nice warm room and write (when I can afford to have the heating on), and think I am “doing my bit” and maybe I am in my own way.

I have fought battles with the “Powers That Be”, intellectual battles, but I wouldn’t physically “get involved”, not because I am a coward but because I have seen the repercussions of such behaviour.

As I said to someone yesterday “I have learned that it doesn’t do to piss people off in those sort of circumstances”.

I have seen the damage it causes, not only to property, but to people as well. I have learned that in this country, the way to change things is from within, bit by bit, in a way that “they” don’t notice. Using the power of words, and opinion.

And don’t forget there will a general election before too long.

Perhaps we have evolved past the point of “demonstrations” and violence, or perhaps it is as I said at the beginning- As a society-Nobody Gives a Toss anymore.
If you want to delve into the Greek problems take a look at http://newcitizenship.blogspot.com/2008/12/riots-in-greece-what-is-not-reported.html

Angus

5 comments:

James Higham said...

The Greek situation is quite complicated and goes back in history. In one way, it is a good thing and makes the government fear for their lives but in another, it is dangerous for citizens.

christina said...

The fact that poor Alexandros got shot was just the tip of the iceberg....There is a lot of rage and here noone believes to petitions anymore because noone gives a damn about them....People are angry, hungry and we reached a critical point, way past the point of 'not giving a toss anymore'....
we all say that we do not trust the politicians, but here this has a direct effecto on everybody's everyday life....
some people are slaves, cannot take it anymore...they have nothing to lose...
it is so sad that all these people started believing in complete anarchy and chaos....thet night, they tried to burn the Parliament! But mass media hid this to us....
They want to burn everything down because htey believe that evertyhing is rotten...They have no anwers but they hope that some answers will rise from the ashes...and this is going on in every town in greece...beleive it or not...although I live in a small town, it is difficult for me to find an ATM which is not broken!
Of course this is dangerous for everyone, but noone from the goverment feels the need to resign...how can you explain that??????? noone after all these money scandals, church scandals....
I am a part of our education system, often counselling students who fail their exams...who have no motives to study...how can I look them in the eyes and promise them that they should beleive and trust our educational system when their is so much uunemployemnt...what should they study for??? young people in greece are overqualified, speak 3-4 languages, have M.A.'s and Phd and yes htey earn 700 euros max!!!!!!!!! It is unbelievable, right? Iti is our reality!!!!!!!!!!!!!

angus said...

Christina

your comments are very valid, and it seems Politicians are the same the world over.

I really feel for you and your people, they have obviously reached breaking point, but I still don't think that "burning down" the country is going to solve much, apart from making the protesters "feel" better.

Because when it is over, the country is going to have to be rebuilt, the Government will use the destruction as an excuse.

I don't know how to solve your problems, even here it is a against the law to protest within a mile of Parliament without Police permission.

I understand your frustration, and I am not patronising you, Perhaps when the furore dies down, people will stand back and reflect, and maybe some good will come out of it.

I realy don't know.

christina said...

Υοu are so right...burning down everything doesn't solve anything really but it was maybe the only means for some people to be heard...it is not my problem in a direct way because I have a nice living standard but I started to realise that it is everybody's problem...even yours everywhere in europe because the results of the crisis aren't obvious yet...
I don;t feel at all that you are patronizing me and I like the clarity of your thought....and I can perfectly well see oyur point....
I also hope that this might make things change a bit and some politicians to start thinking....although I am sure that as you note "when it is over, the country is going to have to be rebuilt, the Government will use the destruction as an excuse."
have a nice day and thanks a lot for everything...I enjoy reading your blog

angus said...

PAX