Today I’ve been mainly reading the talkboards on the Guardian website, which are filled with accusations and willful misunderstanding, then various political blogs, the writers of which are piling out essays with opinions by the bucketload. It always goes the same way – one person accuses the government of being partially responsible, then another accuses the first of making excuses for the terrorists, and so on. In these days of branding everyone has their position and makes no attempt to try to understand the other, when it’s apparently easier to spend the whole day googling for statistics to back up their existing ideas.
This particular debate highlights this more than anything. Those saying the government have responsibility for this don’t seem to realise that the time has not yet come for that – not while they’re still digging out bodies. The fans of the ‘war on terror’ on the other hand accuse the first lot of ‘making excuses’ for the terrorists, which is (to say the least) a loaded term, perhaps understandable under the circumstances, but wrong nevertheless.
To dismiss analysis out of hand by calling it ‘excuses’ is to reduce any genuine debate to the level of an emotional screaming match. If we have a problem, and I’d say we do, then the first step should be to find the reason for it. Not fixing an agenda to it, not jumping into blaming everyone, but trying to understand why this has happened so we can try to stop it happening again.
I’d say this view is fairly reasonable, a moderate position that nobody could possibly react violently to, but just to say this in emotive cases is to be labeled a ‘bleeding heart’ or worse. Well too bad.
Being obviously just some guy who works in a stupid call-centre in the later part of the great western civilization of the 19-21st centuries, I don’t have time to be a political journalist in my spare time, would prefer to go to the pub, watch the telly, whatever. I look forward to writing in detail about the pub quiz on Monday, and I might complain about my job some more. I’ve got a whole pile of new complaints for you. You just wait.
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