The Cork Board

When two, or more, tribes go to war

There seems to have been a polarising of labels in recent days. You are either in one camp or another and depending upon who is using the term its probably being used in a derogatory sense.    This only goes to entrench the perspectives which will do nobody any good. Remoaners – Leavers: Alt-right – alt-left: Black – White: Muslim – Everyone else, it seems. And so it goes on. You can bet that if the far-left form a government anywhere then the far-right will oppose it. If the centre ground form a government then both left and right will oppose it.

That was once a good thing. Opposition was once an integral part of governing – a foil to counter any bias. Recent events however, seem to be isolating factions into corners where the hymn sheet is unified and the choir sing with one voice but no ears for the tune.

The Labour Party is split into degrees of “leftism” and if you dare mention the forbidden word (Blairite) then that’s your career over. The Conservative Party have their degrees of “rightism”, some scarily feudal some not so much.

In the middle are those who don’t see a polarisation of self-aggrandisement, just a hope and a notion that in a peaceful world there are good guys and bad guys but everyone has equal rights regardless of etc…

So as the middle ground comes under fire………..what’s wrong with rejecting polarisation ?

Human beings have been tribal since the dawn of man. We have learned a lot in millennia and even controlled our tribalism to a great extent. The Vandals and the Monguls or the Alans no longer maraud across Europe. History tells us that when one tribe has the upper hand too much it never ends happily. But somehow we’ve managed to push humanity forward.

The halt in political and social progress can usually be boiled down to that basest of human instincts – greed – wealth seen as a mark of achievement, hierarchy and respect. Politicians of any persuasion tarnish their chosen mantra, ultimately, by their association with greed. Tony Blair (centrist, remember the third way?)— how much is he worth? – David Cameron (right)- call me Panama Papers, Dave – Donald Trump  (how far right?)- probably the wealthiest of them all. (Those not included should not feel righteous.) All, in their own way, resemble the evil cat-stroking villain.


Some years ago, whilst in India, I bought a t-shirt which simply had Ghandi’s famous glasses on the front and the words “They don’t make them like him anymore”. And whilst Ghandi had his detractors, of course, greed was not a characteristic he possessed.

“The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed.” – MG

…. and that’s where we fall down.

So, yes, if you have a skill, a passion, an academic bent, use it, provide for your family, make them comfortable against the slings and arrows, pay your taxes. You are fortunate. Then look to your fellow man regardless of etc….  Centrist if you like.

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