5 April 2013 (Friday) - Blame
Another early start saw me scoffing my frooty-bix cereal and Fudge lapping up his bowl of milk well before 6am. I got my morning's fix of Babylon 5 and set off to work.
As I drove I had a wry smile at the news, and found myself pondering on the way that today's society assigns blame.
Take for example the Welsh measles epidemic. When the fruits of my loin were much smaller we had a dilemma. Should we give them the MMR vaccine to protect them against clear and present disease risks? Or should we not give them the vaccine because of vague unpsecified scaremongering? At the time the newspapers were rife with stories about how terrible the MMR vaccine was, and how dangerous it was. We ignored the scare-stories and got them jabbed. It would seem that at the time the local rag in Swansea ran a rather impressive campaign against the MMR vaccine and a generation grew up in south Wales un-immunised.
History has shown that we made the right decision. The residents of Swansea have all have found out that there is far more to measles than a few spots. The news pundits were saying that because the scare stories were so long ago no blame can now be assigned to the local newspaper. I found this rather odd - celebrities now in their eighties are being hounded about allegations of what they might or might not have done forty years ago. Why can't a journalist be held accountable for what they demonstrably did twenty years ago?
In a classic sign of our times the senior Welsh health officials being interviewed on the radio this morning tried to blame it all on the English. Apparently some Welsh kids mixed with some English kids and caught the disease. Perhaps I'm being thick (again), but I thought that passing diseases around each other was what kids do best.
Or consider the recent HBOS banking collapse. I don't realy understand what happened. I don't think anyone really foresaw what was going to happen. Whilst it was terrible, and whilst mistakes probably were made, is looking for scapegoats really a better way to proceed rather than trying to learn the lessons of what actually went wrong?
Mind you in both these cases I suppose it's easier to assign blame to someone than to try to make sense of something which is probably beyond most people's understanding. An obvious scapegoat is always useful to have. And it's also interesting that the media are in no way held accountable for the consequences of their actions.
Meanwhile my dog is incredibly quiet and has a very odd smell. I wonder if he's eaten something he shouldn't have..