This article speaks wise words into the muddle and mayhem of the post referendum situation in which we find ourselves in these islands.
In brief, the five lessons are:
- The UK's media is a huge problem
- Myth-busting doesn't work
- 'Facts' are not a silver bullet
- Building a liberal culture is just as important as telling people facts
- There is still everything to play for
You need to read the full article to unpack each of those headings, and ponder them crticially if they are to become anything more then yet more rhetoric.
After the referdendum on Scottish Independence a lot of great stuff was written full of ideas about engaging with those who had felt voiceless or disempowered or marginalised or demonised. There was talk of working with people in the north of England (a part of these islands frankly no-one seems to care about very much). Of trying to understand why people had voted as they did (either way). And so on. I have seen scant evidence of any of these things. That doesn't mean nothing has been done, it may just mean that I am unaware of it. And I can't honestly say I've done anything active either. I should note that people have moved forward together irrespective of how they felt about the result, and that has been hugely helpful.
It seems to me, though, that there is a sixth lesson here...
- Words without deeds are as good as dead
Yup, plagiarising the Bible verse that lies at the heart of all I try to be and do... and perhaps need to remind myself of. It's all fine and nice to nod sagely, to agree, even to bang on about stuff. But unless or until I , and we, don't just "talk the talk" but also "walk the walk" nothing much can change. Our part may be as a tiny as a drop of water in a bucket - but (as the slightly cheesy song says) "the bucket gets wetter, I know we'll fill it one day."