Britain 2017. What’s missing is Empathy

I’ve been thinking about the awful state of Britain at the moment. Why are we in such a sad state of affairs? I read a headline this morning – ‘Broken Britain’ – and it struck such a dreadfully sad chord with me.

On Friday I watched a video of our PM, Theresa May, being interviewed about the appalling fire at Grenfell Tower on Tuesday night this week. She was asked again and again about the victims of the fire and why nothing was yet in place to help the survivors. She avoided giving any direct answers. In fact, she basically ignored the questions and just kept reiterating what she wanted to say. It was an eight min interview, but to be honest it might as well have been one minute because all she just kept doing was repeating herself.

What I was staggered at was the total lack of compassion she showed, there was, sadly, zero empathy for the loved ones, the friends, the neighbours of those involved and for the people who had so horrifically lost their lives. Her words sounded hollow. Right adjectives but spoken with no conviction. At times you would have thought she was reading a shopping list for all the emotion in what she was saying. There was no sincerity whatsoever.

Today I was reading statements from various Tory MPs regarding cuts to fire services and their opinions on health and safety within buildings. I was also looking at their voting records. It was obvious they all share a common thread. No empathy for anyone. I do wonder what there motives are for pursuing a career in public service. It certainly doesn’t seem to be to uphold the needs of their electorate, more to do with what they can get out of the system for themselves.

By complete contrast I saw a video of Jeremy Corbyn meeting the victims at Grenfell Tower. It was natural for him to put his arm around someone in distress. If you read his voting record he has consistently voted for the interests of the ordinary people. One of his fellow MP’s, Owen Smith, who had previously lost a leadership challenge against him, was recently asked whether it was Jeremy or Labour’s policies that were so popular, he said: “It has to be both. I don’t know what Jeremy’s got but if we could bottle it and drink it we’d all be doing very well.”

I know what Jeremy has, he has a passion to make the world a better place. He tirelessly works to help and support normal people, but most of all, above everything else, he has genuine compassion, understanding and empathy.

If throughout our country there could be a real sense of compassion there would never be children going hungry, no-one would ever consider risking our National Health Service, everyone would want the elderly looked after. Housing would be a priority. There would be support for the disabled and vulnerable.

Who can go to work as a public servant and vote against the needs of ordinary people? We often hear people asking MP’s who have voted in their own interests ‘How do you sleep at night?’ The problem is that the people asking that question have empathy. They care about other people. The councillors/MPs who only vote for their own gains do not care. They can’t possibly. What they seriously lack is even the slightest compassion, an ounce of empathy for those in need.