Friday, 9 January 2015

Voltaire and Edmund Burke ...

What a few days this has been. Whilst we were wrapped in self-pity because we have had a few very wet, cold days, the news from France and other places has brought into focus the intolerance of modern society. Religion has been at the heart of so many conflicts throughout history, although religious extremism often has little to do with religion.

The suffering across the Middle East, the killings and the sadness and misery of the displaced from Syria and Iraq, and the feeling that the western world has made matters worse rather than better by its actions (and ironically by its lack of action at times) has resulted in 2015 being a bleak place to live in.

To see UK politicians jockeying for position in what must have been the longest election campaign in living memory, and the nonsense about convicted rapists wanting to pursue a professional football career, the increasing support for UKIP (surely a disaster waiting to happen) back "home" makes for uncomfortable reading. 

When Voltaire wrote "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it" he could have been writing about 2015 and the French journalists and cartoonists who were murdered in Paris. And we then have the BBC, in its pseudo-liberal, apologist, tones not covering the origins of the story in depth for fear of offending the lunatic, religious extremists who carried out this atrocity. Where has the integrity and courage of what was once the greatest news organisation in the developed world gone? 

I feel at the moment as if I could be  writing a letter to The Times from "disgusted of Tunbridge Wells", instead of my blog.

As Edmund Burke wrote a long time ago, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." So where are the good men and what are they going to do?

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