Sunday 26 July 2015

It's All In The Mind

On the web there are sites that should be avoided at all costs because they lead you on to others that persons of a nervous disposition will find raise terrors in the mind and memory.

I ought to have known better which is why I woke in the night shaking, clammy and in terror. Yes, the ghost of Edward Heath, some time Tory Prime Minister, was walking and he was there because I had been reading online speeches of Margaret Thatcher from the period 1970 to 1974.

The darkest fear that entered the mind was the idea that David Cameron is Edward Heath returned cackling and wringing his hands as he leads us to another 1970's doom.

This decade is now being freely mentioned because the contest for Leader of the Labour Party has the lefties scrapping with the neo-libs with old Soc Dem's wondering where to go and new brands of sundry ideas floating around the mix.

But the troubles of the 1970's were not just our home grown Left.  Heath, Barber and Maudling left such a mess behind them in 1974 that the Tories went for their equivalent of Mother Teresa, another tough cookie.

But for Margaret Hilda Thatcher charity began at Grantham.  In order to win votes she had to bash The Left and in order to stay Leader she also had to bash the Heath Men.  They were as bad if not worse when it came to economics and discipline.  She left problems behind her in turn.

All this is ancient history.  Because we are beguiled by all the archive screen footage we are prone to think it is an era close to us.  Our ancestors over a hundred years ago did not have this, they could not avoid the reality of rapid change.  But even they could not imagine where it might or would lead.

A very great deal has changed in many ways since then, not just in our small scattered set of islands off the coast of Europe but almost everywhere so any ideas from the past are tested against what is the present and seem to be failing.

When testing the ideas of the now against what we think might be they seem likely to fail and against the what will be probably are bound to.  We don't know where we are going, who goes with us is open to question and where we finish up is anybody's guess.

We have political parties that tell us what they intend to do not mentioning that apparently we now have in the order of 14,000 obligations to international organisations to take into account.  The conflicts between some of them never mind our intentions can be impossible to resolve.

The fiasco this month over the crucial route from Dover to Calais is a vivid illustration of both the idiocy and incapacity of our rulers.  There are two issues here.  One is the rights of trade unions, in this case French, the other is the migration issue.

That they have collided in Calais and that the French cannot deal with either without it conflicting with one absolute obligation against another is at the root of the problems.  But this is relatively small scale and immediate.

It is also happening on a larger scale and unfolding over a period of time in a way that escapes media notice.  No set of ideas from either the present or the past can deal with them.  So when we try to apply those ideas it is making matters worse.

The idea that those expensive people in their offices and institutions are essentially dreamers and demagogues hell bent on a future that will not happen as they wish or hope is not one that is comforting in a dangerous world.

1 comment:

  1. To learn the lessons of history we have to retain some capacity to see the world as others once saw it and learn from their mistakes. If we cut ourselves off from the past we cannot learn those lessons and our mistakes could be even worse than theirs.