What a topsy-turvy world

They work tirelessly, giving of themselves for the sake of others

Maybe I’m getting just a bit long in the tooth, but the longer I live the more I despair of the lack of respect and appreciation for those most deserving.

The dreadful scenes of terrorism and destruction we have witnessed in our country over the past few weeks have highlighted who are the real heroes in our society.

In recent years I have watched the rise of the ‘celebrity’ status of, on the whole, and to be frank, ‘nobody’s’. The television channels are full of reality programmes that appear to encourage behaviour that lacks any kind of morals, the glorification of a ‘perfect’ body (whatever that is?) and pure selfishness and greed. The more outrageous someone behaves, the more outlandish their attitude, the greater the publicity and the more wealth is bestowed upon them.

For a long time now we have seen the rise of the sporting legends. Those men who kick around a football and earn more in a month than the majority earn in almost ten years. The sport drivers who earn multiple millions of pounds to race around laps in super charged cars.

Then the entertainers. Sure, it’s great to be ‘entertained’ but again these people are put on pedestals for their acting abilities or their voices. Singers/songwriters often just write one or two songs that are then played for years and years and pay the artist per play. They sit back and live on their royalties, often in comparative luxury, for the remainder of their lives. Somehow, in the celebrity world, writing a good song suddenly makes you a wise person. The reverence shown to song writers always staggers me. Be cast in a popular TV programme or be lucky enough to be offered a role in a successful movie and you’re a ‘star’.

You see, to me, the heroes of our society, those who really should be revered and respected are those that care for others. The nurses, the doctors, the ambulance drivers, the paramedics, the fire fighters and the police, for starters. The less obvious, the carers who are paid a pittance to look after our loved ones. The teachers who go the extra mile to encourage disadvantaged children. The many charity and volunteer workers who keep communities together. Lifeboatmen who risk their lives to save strangers in our waters. The unpaid family members caring for their own less fortunate brothers, sisters, children, husbands, wives and parents. I apologise if I’ve missed anyone out, it is not intentional.

These are the people who should receive decent incomes and well funded working environments. The stresses they often face are beyond most of us. These should be our ‘celebrities’. Real heroes. They work tirelessly, giving of themselves for the sake of others.

Conflict of interest – another term for corruption?

The awful truth is that corruption can take many forms.  In the classic sense I am sure that most of us think of countries where corruption is rife.  Where whole communities are run by people in power who only work because of the gains they can make through their corrupting regimes. More locally, in the UK, I am sure you’ve heard in the news where planning permission has been granted because of some financial gain for the planner from the builder.  I believe it is called colloquially, a back hander. It brings to mind so many negative ideas about the people in power.  Thats the whole crux of the matter. Power.  Give anyone a little power and for some they will use it wisely, for the betterment of others, but the weaker characters, and I do firmly believe they are weak, use that power to gain control and use  people to give themselves an advantage.

In June 2017 we have so many news items where there are definite conflicts of interest between those who are elected to work in the publics interest, for example, Members of Parliament, local councillors etc and the businesses they or their families are involved in. So many issues have come to light recently where good legislation hasn’t stood a chance becoming law due to the elected person/groups business interests.

This might not, in the face of it, be seen as corruption per se, but it is an insidious form of using power for the increase of their wealth and not for the greater good. We have, for example, Tory politicians telling us downright lies concerning our NHS. They publically announce that they will invest in the NHS, but behind closed doors they are stripping the assets. See The Naylor report. It does not make for a comfortable read. The planned ‘secret’ privatisation of the health service has thankfully become public knowledge. The tangled web of lies and deceit are almost unimaginable. The public lose out and the wealthy, in the know, make a fortune.

The same has to be said for the privatisation of public services. How on earth can it ever make sense to sell off something which is nationally owned to profit making companies whose boards of directors are often linked to those publically elected to ensure the safe delivery of those services? ‘Consultants’ are paid vast amounts and it then transpires that they are again linked to yet more publically elected officials. The ‘system’ allows for this coercive, and quite possibly, corrupt behaviour. It is, sadly, rife.

So how do we, how does anyone stop this? The only way we can challenge and undermine this is to publically out these individuals use our democratic votes to admonish them from service.

Sadly, very sadly, I think there always will be greedy people.  People who think that they have found a way to make easy money, no matter the cost to others. People who want their own way, to go against laws and legislation by offering to pay officials.

The only hope we can ever have is to call out the perpetrators and insist that rigorous investigations are made. There has to be more transparency, more collective agreements within institutions, more stringent legal actions and penalties for those who are culpable.