This, from Arnie Graf, is heartwarming. Blinking time, of course – not thinking time at all. But all the same it’s worth your time, and worth your thoughts too, in such difficult moments as these clearly are.
And so to Ed Miliband’s “basic goodness and compassion”. Not bad reasons to go into public service at all. And if one day such a couplet could be an epitaph to a long and honourable career, even better.
A suggestion then: let’s begin to rename politics. At least, rename the politics we want to do. Not call it politics any more but, instead, public service.
WDYT? Could it convince? Could we one day rescue the belief in and reality of public service from the battering they’ve received – in particular at the hands of our self-interested, money-grubbing political and media classes?
As my dear mother would say, with compassion and love anything’s possible. Sounds weird to be talking of such ideas in the same breath as politics. But perhaps that’s what public life really is missing right now. Not the private scandals between the bedsheets so beloved of tawdry newspapers. No. Rather, the emotion and appreciation which all of us behind our net curtains and roller blinds are capable of showing to our fellow men and women. We need to be as kind in public as we are behind our front doors.
Only then may public service regain its wondrous lustre.
Only then may our societies relearn how to care.