Like many, whose beliefs are to the left-of-centre I have often wondered about the split in attitudes in relation to government. I say those on the left, as it is my impression that those on the right generally believe their views are correct and others are wrong, in their world-view they spend less time worrying out why those who don’t think the same way as them and more time expressing their thoughts.
Let’s take it as a given that in most democracies there is the left and the right. Over time those sitting in the centre, if savvy, have managed to adopt the best of both ideologies and frequently led their countries to success. (e.g. Angela Merkel) (Occasionally described as a pragmatist).
When one or another of these extremes dominates, dialogue tends to cease and things go wrong.
The United Kingdom is an example of where it has gone terribly wrong. Within the UK, by comparison, Scotland, with its left-leaning devolved government, has in many respects got it right.
I had better explain my interpretation of left and right (I haven’t capitalised, apols if that is upsetting you, NK). People with a leftward stance on politics, culture, life, tend, IMHO to view the world as one in which the ruling principles are those of equality and fairness, individuals, families and societies looking out for one another and in particular those who are less fortunate, considering a goal to be aiding those living in poverty to increase their opportunities and living conditions through education and social support.
I should say, before moving-on, in a spirit of transparency, that I see myself as sitting to the left. Probably more to the centre of left than when I was younger (when my older brother suggested I was a communist) although still in the camp, of, let’s do better by helping others; by helping, we help ourselves.
The right stance is that the world, is not great but it would be worse if there is change, particularly change that helps those who are best placed to help themselves. Their opinion is that if life is hard, you should work harder and achieve the riches they enjoy (even if those richest are paltry); it is not their role or responsibility to help anyone else, and indeed, given the rules of competition, they are inclined, after climbing the ladder to pull it up after themselves, ‘If you want to do as well as me, build your own ladder!’ mentality.
Now that I have established where I am coming from, I’d like to return to my original premise, that not all bad news is the same.
Without minimising or trivialising my argument, let’s agree that in the UK the Guardian is the most left-leaning source of establishment news and the, at first I was going to say, Daily Mail, then reconsidered, let’s roll with The Telegraph as the one those who see themselves as true-blue read at the breakfast table (I’m thinking retired old Englishmen who still read newspapers and have breakfast at the table). You might disagree, that is OK.
Well, both newspapers report bad news.
As Steven King in a recent novella suggested, ‘If it bleeds it leads’ in other words, if there is are two tragedies and one comes with lots of graphic images, it is this latter that will grab bigger headlines.
Let’s face it, we as humans are salacious. We rubberneck. We are inquisitive souls.
If you took a set of scales and weighed the good or the bad in each newspaper, they would be I suspect equivalent (I have not done this experiment which would require my obtaining a newspaper and scissors).
It is the nature of the bad that is different.
The Guardian reports about the bad things that are happening or might happen if we don’t… As example, here are the top bad headlines: (14/8/22)
- Salman Rushdie, ‘It was an attack on who we are’ (Chautauqua Institution)
- Heatwave, ‘More wildfires across UK feared’
- Cost of living crisis, ‘Kier demands ban on rising prices’
- Amazon, ‘How the cost of living crisis triggered walkouts’
- Afghanistan, ‘I was a policewoman, now I beg on the street’
- Salman Rushdie, ‘JK Rowling told ‘you are next’ after Salman Rushdie attack’
- Business, ‘Inside the crazy decisions that left Britain with no gas storage’
- Health, ‘Family ‘betrayed’ after son’s cause of death not discovered’
- Health, ‘Tens of thousands living with undiagnosed dementia’
- History is at risk of being lost forever amid rise in heritage crime
And, OK, the Mail,
- Salman Rushdie, ‘Awake… while cops hired to guard event watched’
- Jerry Sadowitz, ‘CANCELLED after he got his genitals out on stage and made a racial slur about Rishi’
- Climate, ‘Water leads DOUBLE during heatwave’
- Work, ‘Working from home DOES damage your mental health’
- ‘Quadriplegic bed-bound man, 62, is issued an eviction noticed by his landlord’
- ‘Hero British father-of-three, 35, restrains woman… shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’
- A third of hospitals now use woke terms like ‘pregnant people’
- Nicola Sturgeon says women who prioritise their career over having children are seen as ‘cold-hearted bi**hes’
- Could ‘Great Boris Canal’ fix Britain’s water woes?
- Rishi’s a snake, Liz is a lioness
I’ll tell you my intention, then I will tell you what I think, now.
My intention had been to argue that the Left tend to report news about all the bad things that are happening and why we must do this or that to prevent disaster, using tactics that scare people to behave differently, perhaps, ‘The planet is dying, buy an electric car,’ or, ‘The NHS is failing, vote Labour.’
Versus, the Right, ‘The planet is dying, limited resources used by too many refugees in the South of England, send them to Rwanda now,’ or, ‘I can’t get my hip replacement, charge those abusing A&E’
Having sat here for an hour and written, and also, having read, possibly for the first time in a very long time (if ever) the front page of the Daily Mail, I have two assertions, first, the Mail has a lot more news than the Guardian or the Telegraph, which likely makes for a more entertaining experience and secondly, the Mail uses lots of CAPITALS. Unsure why the need to shout ‘CANCELLED’ or ‘DOES’.
Is the news different? Is there an interpretation that emphasises the Right perspective more than the Left? I am not sure.
I haven’t really touched on fake-news with is the word of the decade. The ultimate rubbisher, the Knight’s move of modern argument.
Perhaps I have said too much.
What do you read? Do you read the news? Do you listen to it on the radio or watch on TV? Does this influence the way you think? Subliminally or otherwise? Why/how do people look at either Rishi or Liz and express a positive opinion? How do they not see the awfulness of them and their party? Why is it not black and white? We, that is humans don’t seem to have the same problem with gravity or air, there isn’t a dispute, ‘Oh, no, there is no gravity in this part of Shropshire.’
Maybe it is the self-evident nature of our reality.
We open our eyes and see, and what we see is what we perceive and what we believe.
‘They can wear a few more jumpers in the winter,’ versus, ‘Let’s use our wealth to support better insulation and solar power,’ or whatever.
It is no fantasy that it was Norman Tebbit, Thatcherite darling who told people to, ‘get on your bike’ and find a job.
‘I can’t work, I have depression/cancer/quadriplegia/a sick husband/wife/son/daughter’
‘I can’t heat my home,’
‘15 hours in A&E’
‘Call 111/your GP/self-care/stop smoking/get a job’
It is sunny today.
I’ve already been round Langold Lake. Still opting not to swim. Have a good weekend.
I am on my holidays for the next two weeks, which might mean more blogs will follow. Apologies if I overload your inbox. What can I do?