I am trying to imagine a society devoid of judgement, condemnation, scandal, outrage, points scoring, catching out, tripping up, exposing, denunciation, denigration, briefing against, argument, criticism, polarisation, dogma, polemic, intransigence, fundamentalism and blame.
How would our politicians, commentators and journalists operate in such a world? Would they keep an open mind, agree, give a second chance, support, forgive, acknowledge extenuation or effort and achievement and allow time for matters to improve?
There are so many depressing examples of our full-blame mentality at work in our daily media. We are currently experiencing the wettest winter on record with many areas flooded. How could the environment agency possibly be adequately prepared for this eventually yet we feel the need to call them to account. In some kind of primitive communal frenzy, we crave a sacrifice to assuage our need for blood to purify our collective soul. We rub our hands in self-justification at the news of yet another high profile figure falling on their sword.
But really don’t we all want more or less the same things? – a better, more equitable world; consistency and improvements in our public services – politics, health, education, care, fire, police, transport etc. And don’t we think that everyone is trying to do their best?
So why don’t we trust each other? Why do we have to find someone to blame? Why can’t we agree to agree and agree to disagree?
The fight for Early Years care and education is currently being waged between ministers, civil servants, providers, Ofsted, local authorities, the media and oh yes, parents. We are all have a jolly good go at one another in the media (social and otherwise) – too much too soon, child minder agencies, adult to child ratios, 2 year olds in schools, malicious complaints to Ofsted, the downgrading of inspection judgements and the demonisation of Michael Gove and Elizabeth Truss.
I am an optimist. Somewhere in the current mess there must be some common ground, something we can all agree on. Do we not all love our children? Do we not all want the best for them? Do we not believe that everyone is trying to do their best, even if we believe their ideologies to be flawed? Can we not agree on and be honest about the challenges and the economic realities we all face?
Is there not another way? Consensus politics, support and encouragement not public mud slinging and blame?
Isn’t it time we all tried to see each other’s point of view? Maybe if we all played to one another’s strengths, there would be more energy focused in the right direction and our collective will might surprise us with what we can achieve together.
I want the best for our children, don’t you? Doesn’t everyone?