Passivity and the betrayal of trust

“The population in the United States is angry, frustrated and full of fear and irrational hatreds. And the folks not far from you on Wall Street are just doing fine. They’re the ones who created the current crisis. They’re the ones who were called upon to deal with it. They’re coming out stronger and richer than ever. But everything’s fine – as long as the population is passive.” A recent comment from Noam Chomsky, which illustrates all too well how ‘they’ are able to get away with anything.  

When trust is betrayed it is almost impossible to restore. Like our American cousins, we have been betrayed by our so-called leaders, by our politicians, by bankers, by the fortunate who have demonstrated a degree of selfishness and disinterest in the plight of their fellow Britons that is shameful. Yet we find it hard to articulate our frustration or to find an avenue that will deliver the changes so many of us crave.

Since I wrote my blog ‘It couldn’t happen here, could it?, I’ve been struck by how many people I have spoken to who are happy to consider ‘rising up’ and making their views heard: not impetuous youth, but paid–up members of the (until now?) ‘silent majority’. They feel a real affinity with the Arabs’ cause, a real admiration for their bravery and seem to have taken strength from it. They too feel that their trust has been betrayed.

How a rising up of the British silent majority might manifest itself is difficult to imagine, but I sense that there may be surprises ahead for those who believe that they can rely on Mr and Mrs Brit remaining passive while they greedily sup at the bowl of plenty whilst selling them down the river, or who through lack of proper consideration, demonstrate a detached carelessness towards the plight of the less fortunate in our society. Interesting times ahead.

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