Indignation seems to confer moral authority these days. Then the "Liverpool Care Pathway", originally conceived to allow the withdrawal of redundant treatments from dying patients, used by nurses, etc., to justify withholding water from thirsty (terminally ill) patients. Nurses who were 'only following orders' (if that phrase still has its resonance) in order to clear beds more quickly. The response? A new, but oddly familiar, oversight regime designed to measure whether hospitals have adequate resources. No mention of whether or not nurses have the empathy, or emotional intelligence, or whatever, to give a dying person a glass of water.
The two women were face-to-face over a supermarket check-out. No big deal. Hot day, maybe, end of a long shift, important call? But the rights and wrongs ended up being debated nationally. The alias thing: the identities were used not long after first publication of The Day of the Jackal (younger readers: it was a book first, and the Edward Fox film was better than the Bruce Willis one), in which the same trick was used by the Jackal himself. Comment at the time: how very ingenious. Capital J. No moral indignation. Memo to those mps: the past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. And by the way, do you publish your expenses these days? Just curious.
And the Pathway - perhaps somebody needs to invent the term "peace criminals", as in "war criminals", to describe people who have the empathy/emotional intelligence/common sense trained and/or managed out of them. Maybe we should acknowledge that the way we do things - often doesn't work. Not for measurable, fixable reasons - it just doesn't.
Or whatever. The real thing is, it strikes me that we've all become very judgmental, very touchy, very defensive, very aggressive, without becoming remotely self-critical. It's as if - with the sun shining and crime falling and the internet giving me the opportunity to share this with you - it's as if we're getting down to what a therapist might call the "core hurt", or the "core shame", in our collective consciousness.
Is it "crisis" next, or some kind of enlightenment? When do we finally get to rebuild?