Sense Of Humour Failure?

Jeremy ClarksonJeremy ‘Much Loved (by some) Buffoon’ Clarkson has put his brogue shod foot in his mouth once again. Having said on last night’s BBC One Show, that Public Sector strikers should all be taken out and shot, he is being pilloried by the unions and has offered a public apology. But is this really yet another case of political correctness gone mad?

Mr Clarkson, the popular presenter of the BBC’s hit show Top Gear, is renowned for his jokey outspoken views on everything from US cowboys to global warming. He comes out with outlandish statements all the time, but they are always said ‘tongue in cheek’ and need to be seen in that light.

Whilst neither I, nor Clarkson himself, believe that the strikers should actually be shot, I do believe that he is stating an opinion, held by many private sector workers, that pensions in the public sector do need to be made more sustainable and brought in line with those delivered by private pension schemes, and should not be treated as some sacrosanct right.

Much of the dissatisfaction caused by yesterday’s strike could have been avoided, maybe even the strike itself could have been avoided, if the Government had gone about the necessary changes in pay and conditions in a fairer manner. They could easily have phased in changes for new joiners to the public sector, whilst maintaining pay and conditions for existing staff.

At the end of the day, this country, in live with most of the rest of the world, has been living beyond it’s means for many years. The chickens have come home to roost and we all have to take our part in helping get the economy back on track. Nobody wants to see their standard of living drop, but we actually have little or no choice.

So rather than taking umbrage at a foolish comment on an entertainment show, let’s start working together to get ourselves out of this terrible mess.

One Out, All Out?

Public Sector StrikeSo we are all bracing ourselves for tomorrow’s strike. Even the lifting bridge in Poole is going to be closed, whatever next? And it’s understandable that people are angry about a drop in their living standards. But we can all take a step back and look at our situation compared to others, and be honest enough to see that there are other people in much worse circumstances.

In Buddhist terms, the effects in our lives are caused by the causes we make along our way, it’s called Karma. Whilst it is difficult sometimes, to reconcile ourselves with the fact that we have, in some way caused our own problems, it is important to remember that we are not being punished. So when you have had enough of your troubles, and are ready to throw in the towel, just take time to look around and realise that there is always someone worse off somewhere.

Be grateful for what you have, and concentrate on making causes for the effects you need to improve the situation. To do anything else is to lack Courage and Wisdom and that doesn’t help anyone, least of all yourself.

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