I was listening to BBC Radio 5 Live the other day and there was an interview on there with an Australian author called Tim Winton.
Now, I don’t know whether it is ignorance on my part but I a don’t think I have heard of Tim Winton before. It was a striking interview with someone who seemed an interesting chap, in fact, interesting enough for me to download one of his books.
As the interview developed, he explained how he came to be an author after a serious road accident left him without very much to do but spend a long time in a state of convalescence, writing.
During this period, because of his physical condition, he found himself in a state which he described as ‘freed from the paralysis of too many choices’. One of the only things he could do was write, so as a consequence of having no other option, he became very good at it. Triumph over adversity is the oft used phrase.
“AAAH….THAT’S WHY I AM SO BLOODY ORDINARY AT EVERYTHING!” I shouted out loud at my unsuspecting dog as I drove along. My dog’s head then tilted to one side, expressing a confused look that I have come to know all too well when I talk to him in the hope he gets me. My dog must wonder how he ended up with me sometimes, but he seems generally content with being ill trained and generally chaotic in nature, a bit like me really.
This really was an hallelujah moment, as over the last few weeks I have been qute surprised how little people know about things whilst claiming they know a lot more. Whether it be about terrorist attacks or the political landscape, social media has been full of nonsense parroted straight from angry newspaper groups by people trying to look like intellectual voices of reason.
I now think that ‘paralysis of too many choices’ leaves people with so much information to take on board, they end up pretty useless and feel forced to pretend they know more than they do by copying into their brains little snippets of information that stand out loud and clear enough to register. Things like ‘CORBYN IS A TERRORIST’ or ‘JIHADI INVASION’.
I have spent my whole sporting life being distracted by other sports. I have always got sort of quite good at one sport, then distracted by another and then another and then another. What is interesting is the one sport I did start getting very good at was golf. However, I got bored of it and gave up, choosing instead to be inept at something else, that being cricket.
After 10 years, I am still the personification of ineptitude when it comes to cricket but the one great thing about amateur cricketers is that they are generally humble and don’t wear multi-coloured pringle jumpers that seem to make men behave like wankers.
“I’m off to golf now dear!”
“Ok darling, don’t forget your wanker jumper”.
Golf is a good fun game but I am not being too harsh when I state that it is also the ultimate wanker magnet.
Most able people in the First World suffer from a paralysis of too much information but are generally good at what they do to put bread on the table. Whether it be as a plumber, a solicitor or a salesman, the hours spent over days, weeks and years add up quickly and make them good at what they do. It’s the 10,000 hour rule of excellence fully justified.
In the short time between those hours some people try to be politicians, mainly around election time. They do this with a varying degree of knowledge, dependent on whether they study current affairs and news programmes or watch the X Factor and poverty porn programmes that turn them into seething racists. I have met people who would be good at politics and others, normally with a personalised beer tankard and bar stool, who make Donald Trump look like Mother Theresa and would oversee the end of the planet in roughly three weeks.
It is all good fun but we must remember that being a Member of a Parliament is also a job, so they are the real experts, not us. Like any profession, some are good, some are bad, and some (like Lord Benyon for instance) purely use it for self-serving purposes, rather than representing their constituency. It is then up to us to vote for them, increasingly on a presidential type basis (the leader not the constituent).
Who gets to be Prime Minister is more important to us than whether Sir Bertrand Roger-Mebackwards will begrudgingly turn up to the local fete to judge the best cucumber competition to a backdrop of a Wurzels cover band (Welcome to The Test Valley).
Government’s come and go every four or five years and as John Major said after his surprising election victory in 1992, it is not often one party can hold on for more than three terms because people will, ultimately, want a change of direction. It’s quite good that democracy works that way, I think.
So what we do is vote in the best candidate, who in our own opinion (or The Daily Mail’s) is fit for doing the job of being a Prime Minister. We then allow them to make critical decisions on our behalf, both at home and abroad. Health, education and the economy are at the forefront of our minds and so they should be. Without good health and education you might as well give up trying to have a strong economy.
So why then, in a state of ‘paralysis of too many choices’ were the British people asked, as complete amateurs, to vote on leaving the European Union? Why did MP’s get into such a state, they asked us to to what they are paid to do on a daily basis? They are supposed to know about the EU, not us, we can only pick up snippets when we have the time or inclination.
Come on, tell me why the population of Britain were asked to vote on a union that is based on thousands upon thousands of pages of intricate documentation? These documents are so complex and tedious you would need to give up work for 10 years and spend 12 hours a day reading them to start being anywhere near an expert?
Yet hundreds of thousands of people were allowed to vote on our future because they didn’t like the shape of bananas or the attitude of the Polish girl at the local coffee shop. Why on earth was this allowed to happen? I know we are supposed to be a nation of eccentrics but it is total madness that we let this happen.
As a result of this idiocy, Britain is starting, after to early economic resilience, to spiral out of control. We have a government being dictated to by a bunch of nutjobs with ancient religious ideologies and an unwanted leader who has spent the last month acting with all the confidence of a rabbit learning to play the violin whilst frozen by the oncoming headlights of a DAF truck.
Conspiracy theorists are even claiming that Theresa May deliberately messed up her campaign because she saw what was in front of her and came to the conclusion that even her non-existent best friend, God, could never work out a sensible route through the carnage where a minor catastrophe would be seen as a relief.
Since 2015 we have had three elections and the result is we now have a parliament without a majority hurtling into negotiations with no mandate, no credible leader and no hope of knowing what what they are doing and where they will end up. This was after the public were told to vote on something that 24 out of 30 cabinet ministers were vehemently against.
If you are sane, you have to admit that it is utter madness to plump for such a minority in such critical circumstances.
A referendum was given to a population ‘suffering with a paralysis too many choices’ leaving them with no knowledge what they were voting for. As a result idiots like Nigel Farage, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson got their way and ran for cover when they realised what they had done. We have ended up falling off a cliff and we’re still falling.
I might ask Theresa May or the DUP if God knows what is at the bottom of that cliff, because I don’t.