I have worked in each of the sectors of the economy from dogsbody to Director and, along the way, have met thousands of people. In my last incarnation but one, I worked in the voluntary sector for 30 years and, in that time, helped people who were, shall we say, not in the most ideal of circumstances. Indeed most of them were unemployed and many were homeless. In the main, I found them not to be a class apart from the rest of us. They were, first and foremost, people; they just happened to be in the situations that they found themselves in. And, just like the rest of us, they had hopes and fears, dreams and aspirations. Some built new homes for themselves and their families so they certainly weren’t shirkers. Which brings me to my point.
You see, whenever I hear politicians, mainly those on the right of the spectrum, speak, it’s usually with a punitive attitude towards those less fortunate than themselves. Moreover any problems, that those that they are talking about have, are considered to be largely of their own making. This being the other side of the coin to the argument that those who are at the top of the pyramid got their through an innate talent and sheer hard work without any consideration of their family circumstances. If only life was that simple. Still, it’s always easier to blame others because that absolves decision makers from having to do anything constructive about the situation.
In the case of many who seem to believe such nonsense, this is reinforced by the similar views of those that they mix with. It’s called “group think” and it’s something that I’ve written about in my book, “The Real Big Society and my part in it”. Used to justify why, for example, there are few women in board rooms, it is self serving nonsense. Which brings me back to the title of this blog and the question, “After the shenanigans of the past few weeks, would you want any of them as your friends?”