Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Wednesday - I just can't get the hang of Wednesdays ....

I play golf on Wednesdays, a bunch of us crumbly golfers take over the course in our buggies, electric caddies, GPS (which we do not know how to use) from 0930 and proceed to serially abuse one or more golf balls for the best part of three and a half hours as we saunter round, taking in the magnificent views our golf course gives us (and dog walkers) of the surrounding hills, estuary and sea of the Stewarty of Kirkcudbright. We will routinely see all sorts of wild life, marvel at the aerobatics of the red kites, the antics of red legged partridges as they scurry across the fairways from one area of rough to another with their families trailing behind, the occasional deer or hare and the beef cattle the area is famed for. All in all - apart from the occasional poor 'expletive deleted' golf shot - it is a period of harmony, fun and good humour; the humour routinely directed at the deliverer of the 'expletive deleted' golf shot's expense. Sometimes we amaze and stun ourselves by producing golf shots that a Luke Donald or a Tom Watson would be proud but there is always this sense of a world in balance, at ease with itself and who and what it is made up of; from Republicans to Royalists, Socialists to Tories and Better Together or us separatist 'Independistas'.

Around 1500 on a Wednesday I return home, boot up the computer, turn on the radio and am suddenly faced with anger and frustration coming at me from all directions. This overriding sense of a community at odds with itself, seeking people to blame and lash out at, of scapegoating, unable to accept responsibility for its own acts or omissions, the very antithesis of the previous five hours experienced amongst a similar cross section from the same apparently 'angry community' who turn out for golf with me, of a Wednesday morning. It feels like some schoolyard bully sticking their rigid index finger repeatedly into my rib cage and asking, 'Just what are you going to do about it? Eh! Just what?'

Maybe it is this 'Just What?' incessant barrage from the media both mainstream and on line that I find so threatening, disturbing and so unnecessary. There are a lot of 'Just Whatters?' around at the current time whether it is to do with the independence referendum in Scotland or the serial destruction of the NHS and Welfare state in England, all jabbing their bullying, index finger in others ribs leaving a lingering sense of imminent violence that always gathers behind 'Just what are you going to do about it?' if you do not immediately respond in the style the self same bully expects. You have to be for or against, there is no balance allowed. Yet we intuitively understand in our communities that such a stance is destructive and mitigates against any opportunity to move forward. Every 'Just What?' style of argument ends in driving the community back on itself, splitting, insular and becoming increasingly ineffective in addressing the very problems the 'Just Whatters?' rigid index finger, jammed in your ribs is supposedly seeking to resolve.

It is clear the Better Together campaign is run by 'Just Whatters?' It is equally clear there are folk on the 'Yes' side who want to go out and bash ten bells o' hell out of the finger jabbing, 'Just Whatting?' bullies they perceive in 'Better Together' campaign. We need to fight fire with fire, use the same tactics of deceit and deliberate misinformation, start 'Just Whatting?' back at 'Better Together' which will only confirm in the non involved electorate's mind, exactly what Better Together are trying to establish: there is no real difference between the two campaigns, so why change anything.

Maybe this is why I just can not get the hang of Wednesdays; the game of golf requires you to hold your temper and your nerve to be successful, to be able to stay calm to succeed, to focus on being accurate and consistent, the complete and utter opposite of what passes for informed comment in much of the MSM, on line and from the current generation of Westminster politicians and their parties. Wednesday mornings are the complete opposite of what assails my ears and eyes when I return to what is laughingly called 'the real world' and the index finger jabbing of all those 'Just Whatters?'

I can already see the words forming in reader's heads, 'So, just what is he going to do about it?' The answer is I have already done something - I have, hopefully, raised awareness of 'Just Whatting?' so folk can start asking themselves 'Just what can I do about it?' and maybe start coming up with the same answers I have, simply do not be a finger jabbing, 'Just what?' bully, ever, because anger never, ever works in getting someone to listen to your view point and most certainly sets people against you.

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