Health Warning: Bread is dangerous!

Poster from the United Kingdom reading "K...

Via Wikipedia

Reading various news items, and all the subsequent comments this week, I couldn’t help thinking… You’re sick? I’m bloody sick! 

Like many other people, I’m as sick as the next about the current financial impacts upon society, both here and abroad. However, whilst we worry about how we can afford mortgages, a second car and a couple of weeks holiday in Costa Del Pissup this year, in other parts of the world people are still killing each other over tribalism and dyeing for the want of bread. And here’s the rub, the common denominator in all this mess is in fact bread; that Americanism that means money.

It’s not so much the content of those news items causing my dismay, more the attitude of many within our society who really should be capable of more rounded and positive views, always assuming they actually understand the realities of that which they have views upon? As if it isn’t  bad enough listening to the views of the poorly educated and ill-informed but when you have similar views expressed by those who really should posses a more rounded outlook, it really does piss me off. Especially if that comes from someone actually in a position to implement real change.

I agree there is much to cause the angst in and about that society however; much of it has been brought about by our own liberalism, a couldn’t care less attitude about anything that (apparently) doesn’t impact upon us directly as individuals, and our love of bread. Much as we all like to blame others, we all need to shoulder some of the responsibility for the issues we currently face. Many of the problems that we have in today’s society are actually born out of a seemingly inherent individualism. It’s ok to have a little self belief, I’m a strong believer in myself and my worth to society however, many of us now take that self-belief to extremes, especially in leadership.

Vanity fair: Narcissism at work – An unerring sense of self-belief, sheer minded determination and high levels of ambition might seem like desirable leadership traits, but when taken too far they stray dangerously close to narcissism – which can be damaging both for teams and organisations…(Edge Online)

It should be the case that he older one gets the greater amount of information and experience you have to base your ‘informed’ assessment of current issues upon, unlike some of our younger generations. Unfortunately, today everything is all about ‘self’ before ‘others’ and those attitudes, coupled with our predominant love affair with money in our materialistic world, means we tend to judge people’s success by how well they’re doing at keeping up with the Joneses. These traits are no more prevalent than within the top echelons of our commercial and political management structures today.

…The problem everywhere is the rich, a bunch of thieving swine who are playing crooked games made legal…(Allcoppedout Blog)

Where cash is king and your value to society often equates to the size of your wad, is it any wonder we worship the monetary god? But the problem exists in different forms at both extremes of the wealth spectrum And, as we are also now inherently lazy in many respects, it’s even better if we can get that massive wad without having to work for it…

Tests claim few benefit claimants ‘unfit to work’: Only 7% of people claiming sickness benefits were unable to do any sort of work, new figures have shown…(bbc.co.uk)

Meanwhile, the alleged dishonesty that is currently being investigated in those ivory towers of leadership, both within commercial organisations such as News International and public services like the Metropolitan Police, starts at the bottom rungs of the ladder to high office.

1 in 3 employees admit lying to avoid work – A third of UK workers have lied to their employer in order to take time off, usually because they are disillusioned with their jobs, new research has found…(ILM – Edge online)

Simply throwing a sickie once in a while may now be something of a national pandemic but isn’t that just as dishonest (and selfish) as those individuals highlighted within the latest Most Wanted List?

UK’s most wanted fraudsters revealed by Crimestoppers – Charity releases pictures of 10 suspected criminals alleged to be responsible for a total of £200m of fraud..(guardian.co.uk)

The latest Crimestoppers campaign has been launched to locate ten of the most wanted fraudsters in the UK and includes four individuals from London accused of fraud totaling over £31 million. It is estimated that fraud cost the UK an estimated £38bn last year. As Lord Ashcroft, the founder and Crimestoppers chairman, said: “This is not a victimless crime. Every single one of us is paying higher taxes, bank charges and insurance fees because of fraud.”

“The amount of fraud against the public purse is around £27bn a year. This is equivalent to 30% of the estimated national education budget for 2011/2012.”

My fellow blogger (Allcoppedout) suggests that satire and the understanding of it may well help us get a better grasp on all the maladies of our social and economic framework. It would be nice if something did after all, many appear to have little or no real understanding of why we’re in the shit we’re in!

…the standard model of economics leaves us on the brink of wars more serious than Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan.  Satire might help set the context of our modern ignorance, but what we get is ‘Grumpy Old Men’.  Real satire is probably too serious for our doped brains… (Allcoppedout Blog)

We do however need to be guarded about simply viewing the past through rose-tinted spectacles. Always assuming we actually care about what is really happening to society around us? I often wonder as we tend to have limited understanding of the real issues in life.

I believe the following story also goes some way to illustrate what is wrong with much of our country today and fuels the fires of synthetic concern; It happened in an Underground station in London… There were some protesters on the concourse handing out pamphlets on the evils of Britain . One man politely declined to take one. An elderly woman  behind was getting off the escalator and a young (20-ish) female protester offered her a pamphlet,  which she also politely declined.

The young protester put her hand on the woman’s shoulder as a gesture of friendship and in a very soft voice said, ‘Madam, don’t you care about the children of Afghanistan and Africa?’ The elderly woman looked up at her and said in a quiet but matter of fact tone… 

‘My dear, my father died in France during World War II, I lost my husband in Korea and my grandson in Afghanistan . All three died so you could have the right to stand here and bad mouth our country. If you touch me again,  I’ll stick this umbrella up your arse and open it.’

Commenting upon one of my previous (unrelated) posts a reader made a comment which I also believe is relevant to the issues here.

…this modern-day society where people that have done nowt, lived nowt, seem to think that they are hard done to and proceed to bleat (like a sheep on the way to slaughter) when a minor inconvenience appears in their mediocre lives, yet are the very same that would run a mile and shout the house down to get someone else to clear up the debris of our every day existence. (Tam McKee)

I agree there is much to be concerned about in our society, I have written about most of it often enough however; I also have to echo the views of Stuart Hyde, the Deputy Chief Constable in Cumbria Police when he comments on the dire effects of government austerity measures, in particular the issues facing today’s British police service…

Our challenge both personal and professional is to remain calm and carry on. Not be diverted into personal attacks, shroud waving or instant screams of annoyance. Instead we will deliver. “Simple as”. (DCC Stuart Hyde)

God Bless Great Britain and those who serve it well; it would be nice to think there were actually a few more serving as opposed to shafting their country whilst helping themselves but I doubt it? I also doubt they have any difficulty sleeping at night but I can live in hope!

Advertisements

About Dave Hasney

National Coordinator for UK SMART Recovery - Previously a Recovery Worker and prior to that a Management Consultant and H&S Practitioner - Kept sane by Angling, Good Food, Real Ale & Wine - Cynical thoughts sometimes developed from others.

Posted on 04-08-2011, in Business Babble, Leadership & Management, Police, Public Service Babble, Society Babble. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: