Division bells

Image: Fewerton/Shutterstock.com

IT seems appropriate that in Parliament the alarm that goes off when a vote is called in the House of Commons is named the ‘division bell’.

From slanging matches at Prime Ministers Questions to battles on Question Time, we know that politicians are normally divided on… well pretty much everything.

What we’re not so used to though is the public being quite so politically at odds with itself.

From old to young, rich to poor, Brexiteers to remainers, and pro to anti vaxxers (and don’t even get us started on the immigration issue), I can genuinely say I’ve never seen us this… divided.

Apart from being simply wearing though, history tells us that internal fighting is an ultimately fruitless task.

Surely then the answer is something we can all get behind. A new national holiday (I suggest something both heartwarming and totally uncontroversial; ‘Hug a grandma day’ or similar), or a particularly good Richard Curtis film.

In seriousness though, while we all so busy pointing fingers at each other we’re less likely to be focusing on what we could all be doing to fix, well almost everything.

Perhaps that’s because it’s far easier to tear down than it is to build, and at least criticism makes us feel like we’re doing something in an increasingly chaotic world.

While we’re busy fighting each other too though, we’re also less aware of the bigger issues.

And when we’re refusing to listen to each other properly we’re less likely to share the ideas and discoveries that transform our worlds.

After all, if Alexander Fleming had left pencillin in the petri dish exactly where he’d found it- only occasionally syphoning some off for personal use- where would we be now?

If the result of embracing each other’s view points and ideas then has the potential to genuinely make the world a better place, roll on the next Richard Curtis rom com.

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