Public perception

Saturday 11th February 2012

3,500 employees of the Royal Bank of Scotland are facing redundancy. According to chief executive Stephen Hester, this is to ensure that the bank is ‘at the front of the pack in pursuing a strategy that reflects the environment we expect to operate in’ – which leads me to wonder why he never appeared on Call My Bluff.

Presumably those who lose their jobs will then become ‘benefit scroungers’, for isn’t that the simplistic term used to describe all the unemployed?

Many years ago I was confronted by an end-of-year quiz. Having no television, I couldn’t answer any questions about celebrities or identify public figures from their photographs.

“And I thought you were well-informed,” teased the quiz-setter.

Many people rely upon newspapers and the broadcast media for knowledge and understanding of what is happening in the world. There are also those, however, who choose not to… for precisely the same reasons.

Today, there have been a number of arrests of Sun journalists ‘over alleged corrupt payments to police and public servants’.

If I offer you, dear reader, a large sum of money in return for information, how do I know that what you are telling me is any more accurate than the information you gave me yesterday, for nothing?

Moreover, if – as we are led to believe – money really does talk, would it not be more appropriate to offer large sums of it to those arrested in order to determine what’s actually been going on? Which is the more attractive proposition to an accused: a pot of gold or the possibility of being found guilty of a crime?

“What is truth?” asked Pontius Pilate, who later washed his hands. Some say he dried them on the hair of a slave, but the press photographer was too busy trying to get a wide-angle shot of the crowd, so I guess we’ll never know.

Incidentally, only one country has ever attacked another with nuclear weapons. Should the United Nations not, therefore, have passed a series of resolutions imposing sanctions against that country? Discuss.







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2 Responses to Public perception

  1. The UN imposing sanctions would not be appropriate, what would it achieve? The USA holds the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world, consisting of thousands of bombs each capable of destroying cities and in combination pretty much the whole world. Paranoia is a terrible thing and the US suffers it, so we are made to live with this risk. While such an arsenal remains, there is always the risk of an accident. It is a very big elephant in the room, one who has never left the room since the Cold War, we just forgot it was there.

  2. Some interesting points Marcus – your blog in general is a refreshing read and full of insight. You’re very right, America is the only country to have used nukes against another country – and it is therefore no wonder that other countries that don’t always see eye-to-eye with them have built their own, not that I think they should have them either. Someone take the sticks and stones off the kids and leave us responsible grown ups to run the world. Here’s a thought – should military action in the name of a country require the support of more than 50% of the electorate?

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