So... there's already been a few things on the news this morning that have made me stop and think.
1. 20 people have died in Syria as they protested on the streets.
2. There will be protests across the UK today against the cuts.
3. Strikes on Libya are continuing and Gaddafi is preparing to arm civilians in the fight.
One of those three items from the news really sticks out like a sore thumb doesn't it?
This is another one of those blogs where I'm not sure I have a point and I suppose we'll find out whether I do or not as we go on! I think of myself as fairly ill informed when it comes to Government policy and the details of current events - I am in that dangerous bracket of people who have a little information but not nearly as much as I should have. For that reason I'm not suggesting here that the British public should not be exercising their right to protest against changes to their country that they think are damaging.
What I do think, is that it flares up some seriously interesting points for consideration -
1. Despite the fact that everybody in this country with a brain cell is fully aware of the atrocities and murder and brutal tyranny that exists in Libya at the moment, there are still anti-Tory protesters who will happily call David Cameron a cunt. Now, I hesitated over whether to type the word properly there, such is the strength of the word for the vast majority of people - it's a pretty strong condemnation. And we're willing to go there for David Cameron.
Does this mean we simply don't have a vast enough array of words for proper accuracy on the level of accusation? I don't think so... does it mean we might be a little OTT on our dislike of political figures? Perhaps...
Again, I reiterate my point that I don't object to the protests against the budget cuts in any way... but, I do find it a difficult contrast that in this country we are moved to the streets to protect a library so that a child has the right to not use it. In Libya, the public are moved to the streets so that a child has the right to democracy. Have we any words left for David Cameron should he decide to become dictator?
I feel there'll be some people wishing they hadn't used their C*bomb so early.
2. 20 people have died in Syria during protesting. In the last strikes, there was a huge uproar when police footage showed a young protester being dragged from their wheel chair by police. And it was shocking, and unacceptable, and not something that should ever happen again. If anyone dies today in the protests, there will be an absolute media storm - and so there should be. It would be a disgrace. But 20 people have died in Syria doing absolutely the same thing people from the UK are going to do today... and it's just become a standard news item.
Is it distance that makes it acceptable? They're far away, we can deal with death from a distance...?
Is it that they're Syrian? Do we still have that subconscious racist layer that demotes a death if it's from a country we know is less prosperous than ours?
Is it because they were protesting something a little more intense than budget cuts? Is death acceptable for some protests, but not for ours?
For all that the world is an international entity thanks to worldwide media, we're very good at pulling our collective consciousness back within our borders when it suits us.
3. Perhaps Britain is just uppity? Is that why we insist on voting the Tories in every decade or so? Gaddafi has been a dictator for 40+ years, and his people have finally had enough now. People born into his regime, knowing nothing else, are now rising up and fighting to get out of it. We've had David Cameron for a year or so now... we're pretty annoyed with him. Did we like Blair better? When's the next election? When can we get rid of him? Which colour shall we vote for next?
It just strikes me as being a totally different standard of life where we're moved to the streets and using the strongest language possible, and literally furious over what would be a pebble in the ocean to people in other lives. And we can't claim ignorance, we can't say we don't know about it so we must only focus on our own lives. We know about it. We can't claim there's nothing we can do - if we believed that we wouldn't be protesting over budget cuts and University fees (please don't get me started on the idiocy of saying people shouldn't have to pay for their own education).
So, there we go - perhaps that's my point. Whether or not you like the Government and believe it's doing the right thing with the deficit. Please, bear in mind our Government are unlikely to kill you, or starve you, or use rape as a weapon to stay in power. You're unlikely to starve.
Even with our country as "inhospitable" as we seem to be finding it right now, it's still heaven to the scores of immigrants who would die to live here. Protest away, protest at the top of your voice - but can you say thank you at the same time?