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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Watching the news

It has been a hectic last two weeks in the cathedral: the ordination of a new bishop and the civic service for Commonwealth Sunday. Yet alongside these considerable occasions the regular business of the cathedral trundles along, together with those additional activities associated with Lent.

Watching the news, two things have struck me. First, in our local scene, the local Health Board is declaring that rest home occupancy is too high and must be reduced. Simultaneously, the same Board is trying to cut back on the home support services that assist elderly folk remain in their own homes and stay out of rest homes. The coherence and logic of these apparently contradictory policies escapes me. It may of course be that there is no concern about coherence or logic, but merely the determination to trim the spending no matter what the consequences. I feel grim and despondent about where this seems to be heading.

Second, on the national news, I was staggered by informal political commentary (mainly Paul Henry) regarding the government's foreshadowed job losses through merging ministries. Neither Paul nor the others on the news seemed at all concerned about the job losses. I'm finding this widespread indifference to job losses quite alarming - and a sickening sign of the times. A darwinian survival of the fittest mentality has set in and seems to have replaced our social conscience. Our national life seems occasionally to resemble one of those appalling TV reality shows. I'd far rather jobs were shared rather than shed - but no one seems to propose that.