What really matters?
I must admit to getting a bit bored recently. Bored, that is, with last week’s focus on the topless picture of the Duchess of Cambridge and this week’s rolling story of MP Andrew Mitchell’s mouthing off at the police. Are we not in danger of focusing too much attention and expense (there are cries for inquiries left right and centre) on these things? I’m not saying they are trivial issues. It’s easy to sympathise with the Royal Family and to be concerned by the lack of respect attributed to the police. But, proportionately, this occupies too many column inches and too much TV reporting.
Parliament is in recess, so in theory there is less news to pursue. However, would this not be a great opportunity to focus on some good news stories? Our heads are turned by the media, who bear a large role in deciding what we see and hear. I remember that in the early 90’s much attention was being paid to the Maastricht Treaty, what constituted a sausage and how straight a cucumber should be, whilst very little was said about the horrific civil war in Sierra Leone. It turns out that a relatively brief involvement of British forces, in a form of modern-day ‘gun-boat diplomacy’, made a significant and swift change to the situation when Robin Cook’s ethical foreign policy took hold.
So while we are taken up with what a minister did or didn’t say to the police, what else are we missing? What is going on in Sudan or Zimbabwe, for example? How about the places where there is no oil or natural resources – the places where people cannot get attention?
This is where Faith plays such a key role; in so many areas, both in the UK and elsewhere, people of faith are the first in and the last out!