I have been known to complain that there is nothing new being reported in the news. I have little interest in celebrity gossip or rehashes of minor, political spats, and I have no interest at all in sport. News that generates interest is dissected and repeated ad nauseam; trustworthy investigative journalism is rare. I understand that columns must be filled and clicks encouraged, but much of what is written has been taken directly from official press releases making it, in effect, advertising. The media has a tendency towards self importance and builds the profiles of it’s own people and events affecting itself. Its London centric approach can be irritating to those of us living away from the capital where life and attitudes can be very different.
These past couple of weeks, however, have provided more newsworthy events than may be wanted. First we had Margaret Thatcher’s death and then yesterday, the bombing of the Boston Marathon. What a difference in tone have been the reactions to these two events. With one coming so soon after the other it has highlighted to me how worryingly hypocritical some people’s way of thinking can be.
Margaret Thatchers death and the official eulogising that followed brought to the surface feelings of extreme hate in rather too many people. There has been some talk of peaceful protest at her funeral but also a great deal of despair at the inability of her detractors to effect the change that these vocal agitators want to see. These people seem to be so sure that their way is right and they want to force it on everyone else, using violence if necessary. It seems to be their view that, if democracy has allowed Thatcherism to flourish, then an alternative is required. I find this attitude disturbing. Isn’t it exactly the way that terrorist extremists think?
And then we had the awful events of the Boston bombings. It is too early to say who caused this senseless atrocity but it is likely to have been done as a protest; as a means of gaining publicity for a cause that does not have sufficient public support in America for the perpetrator’s liking. Hurting people to force change has long been used by those who cannot get their way through the ballot box.
I read this excellent blog post today: Boston Bombing: Hoax Reports, Racial Assaults and Hope | Scriptonite Daily. I follow this site as it often argues against my point of view and I like to check my thinking by looking at issues from both sides. I see some of the author’s reasoning on other issues as flawed and factually selective, but on these initial thoughts about the bombings in Boston we concur. We should reflect on our reaction to what has happened in Boston and consider carefully how we wish to act and the effect it may have.
There are those in this country who would like to use the political discussion that has occurred following Margaret Thatcher’s death as a catalyst for change; they would like to see active protests at her funeral tomorrow. I do so hope that caution will be exercised by all sides. The language of hate leads too quickly to lives being damaged; those who wish to see change may campaign and build support, but as soon as they try to use force they are putting their own wishes above and beyond the rights of the many. If they believe that they have enough support then violence will not be needed. Trying to force a belief system or a way of life on people through violence is going to result in the killing and maiming of innocents.
‘A revolution is not successful or complete until a new set of oppressors consolidate their power.’ If we wish to live in a free country then we cannot condone gaining power through acts of hate and terror.