Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Where's our community spirit gone?

In today's Belfast Telegraph I wonder whether the social cohesion which saw Britain through previous crises has gone for good.
Are people today unwilling to make sacrifices for the greater good? It can certainly seem that way. The debt crisis has not been greeted universally by steely determination to sort out our collective financial woes.
Although most people accept that the deficit should be cut, or everyone will suffer the consequences, the blame and the buck are too often passed elsewhere. The attitude is that someone else, anyone else, can take our share of the pain.
Don't touch my water rates, my pension, my pay rise or the services my family use. Another sector, another department or another region can foot more of the bill. Even modest economies are fiercely contested. The message that a little restraint today will ensure a brighter future tomorrow cuts little ice.
It's a trite comparison, but one wonders how the United Kingdom would have defended itself had the current crop of Britons been responsible for keeping the home fires burning in the 1940s. The current Government has responded quickly to a crisis it inherited but, despite warning about cuts ahead, there's been little to inspire citizens to do their bit willingly. David Cameron and Nick Clegg speak about society sharing the pain, but their rhetoric is hardly Churchillian.


rutherford said...

An interesting point.

A large part of the blame should rest with a media who time and again have proven unwilling to prevent themselves from dumbing down the extraordinary economic strains we face into the knee-jerk panic inducing 'Tory Cuts' headlines.

Phil Larkin said...

I realise that this blog article may not be the best place to mention it, but there is an excellent article by Professor Henry Patterson in today's News Letter (June 8th) about the intellectual tasks facing unionism.
It chimes largely with what other commentators on this blog have been asserting about what unionism needs to face up to in the coming years.

Chekov said...

The piece hasn't made it online Phil, and I missed the NL yesterday. Hopefully it will appear soon.