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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Minding your own damned business is a dying virtue.

A letter a day to number 10. No 700.

Wednesday 02 April 2014. Minding your own damned business is a dying virtue.

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Dear Mr Cameron,

I left the church many years ago now, one of my better decisions in a long and chequered life. It is a decision I have had no cause to regret and yet the bible remain a remarkable book with much to offer any traveller and I'd like to share something from the book of proverbs today that you would do well to read.

'It is not for kings, Lemuel - it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.'

When the dismal Osborne said, 'Where is the fairness, we ask, for the shift-worker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits?' Implicit in this was that people on benefits lead dissolute lives and the hate that has since come to dominate the welfare debate can be firmly laid at the door of your Party and the corporate media.

People who think that the state should control how welfare payments are spent are now in the majority and the cry of, 'Why should I pay for them?' is an unpleasantly familiar one. The vehemence and hate with which this is frequently expressed is astonishing; that those who are less fortunate should be hung out to dry or die for want of aid.

I grew up in a time when nosy parkers and busy bodies were almost universally disliked. People who could not mind their own business were avoided (often unsuccessfully) on street corners because tittle tattle was seen as an assault on human dignity and on our ears. Self righteous indignation, a speciality of rags like the Daily Mail, is an ugly business precisely because it is fuelled by presumption, assumption and ignorance. Indeed, it is more than enough to drive anyone to drink.

Anyone who is struggling, or who has struggled, with addiction, which is a classless issue, knows that it is a battle royal and like many problems in life it cannot be dealt with effectively until the sufferer, often at rock bottom, decides to seek help for themselves. It is a mark of courageous maturity to take such a step which no amount of interference will foster. Indeed interference is usually counter productive. Those who seek to remove choice from others commit a crime against humanity, and is a great moral failing in which busy bodies display a relentless addiction to interfering in other peoples lives. A lesson that you and your government and much of the public have clearly yet to learn.


 — in Peasedown Saint John.

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