Saturday, 31 October 2009

None so blind

Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.” (Jeremiah 5:21)

Three stories in today’s Telegraph. Spot what they have in common.

1. Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, the highest ranking British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan, told the Ministry of Defence, in an email sent less than a month before his death, that troops would be killed because there were not enough helicopters. “The leaked email is at odds with Gordon Brown's claims that helicopter shortages have not caused the deaths of troops fighting the Taliban.”

The government was repeatedly told by top officers that there was a serious shortage of army helicopters in Afghanistan. It didn’t want to hear. It didn’t want to know.

2. Mr. Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, has sacked his chief drugs adviser, Professor David Nutt, after he criticised the reclassification of cannabis and said alcohol and cigarettes were more dangerous than ecstasy. Professor Nutt’s comment? "I think most scientists will see this as a further example of the Luddite attitude of this government, and possible future governments, towards science."

A top scientist has spoken about what the scientific evidence seems to be saying. Mr. Johnson didn’t want to hear. He didn’t want to know.

3. Poland’s Chief Rabbi, Michael Schudrich, is reported as saying of Mr. Michael Kaminski of the Polish Law and Justice Party, '''I cannot check a person's heart, but what I have heard from Mr Kaminski publicly and privately, I certainly see him as a man that today - today - is against anti-Semitism. Mr Kaminski as a teenager did join an organisation known as NOP which is, unfortunately, openly anti-Semitic and neo-nazi. He also quit that organisation as a teenager. Since that time he has become a strong ally of the State of Israel and on other occasions has condemned anti-Semitism. So what we have here is a complicated person and we need to be able, in order to understand him, to understand him in a fuller context, not taking one thing that he said, but taking a look at what he said over the past 20 years. . . . No one here in Poland would consider the Law and Justice Party as a fringe right party.' Mr. David Milliband, who has characterised Mr. Kaminiski’s party as an anti-Semitic fringe right party is not about to apologise.

The Chief Rabbi of Poland has basically said that Mr. Milliband was wrong. But Mr. Milliband didn’t want to hear what the Chief Rabbi of Poland said. He didn’t want to know.

Experts - army officers, scientists, chief Rabbis - are sometimes wrong, of course. But these three stories together suggest something about our current government. It doesn't want to hear. It doesn't want to know.

It's not just the current government, though. It's a common disease of politicians, and a common disease of the human race.

Let the reader understand and beware.

1 comment:

patently said...

Well, yeah, but no, but, yeah, but....

::[quietly sneaks off for a bout of introspection]::