Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Is it just my age?

The other day a few of us were chatting. Two of us were sounding off about the way things were going these days. We both felt that the people who were running the country (local government as well as central government) didn’t seem to know what they were doing, with far too many new initiatives and rules coming out, most of which seemed ill-considered. And we were both pretty annoyed.

I asked “Do you think it’s our age?” We were both born about half a century ago. He laughed and said “Actually, some of us were discussing that the other day, and we came to the conclusion that it probably was partly my age.”

Later, I asked my wife what she thought. Her opinion was that it was possible - after all, at our age we knew a bit about the world, and were in a position to identify nonsense when we encountered it.

I’m still not completely convinced. I’ve been annoyed at governments in the past. I felt that John Major’s administration in the early 1990s had no other aim than to remain in power. And in the early 1980s I (along with many people of my generation) thought that Margaret Thatcher’s administration was terrible. Being appalled at the way the country is run is not the perseve of those who know something about the world we live in. Nor is it the preserve of the middle-aged.

Looking back, I now believe that I was largely wrong about Margaret Thatcher, and that much of what she was doing in her first term was right for the country. My views on the Major government on the other hand, have not changed much.

I do believe, however, that what followed Major has been worse - much worse. It is far, far better to have a government that is only interested in holding onto power and that achieves very little, than to have one which pours forth a torrent of ill thought out legislation which seriously messes up the country.

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