THE TIDE IS TURNING 21 March 2002People are a funny lot. We are all a bit odd aren't we? Many of us lie to ourselves & mysteriously convince our minds that black really is white or that by believing a different story things are easier to live with. It's more comfortable that way. Sort of a massive comfort blanket wrapped around us in an effort to deflect those awful and uncomfortable FACTS. I doubt if any of you do not recognise this phenomenon. I remember once when I had witnessed the most awful death of a friend, many years ago. He died in abject agony. However, I convinced myself that he didn't really suffer, it was over really quickly and that he was better off now. What rubbish. How could anyone be better off dead? Leaving behind a loving family, good job, honest friends and a huge love of life?
So, why do we lie to ourselves? Well I suppose, in this case it was to protect myself from a potentially dangerous psychologically damaging situation. By convincing my mind that it wasn't really that bad eased the pain and suffering, allowing myself to come to terms more easily with what had happened. Perhaps selfish, but nevertheless it happens. What does not always happen is that individuals admit that they have, subconsciously, taken this protective insurance. By....... yes that's right, lying to themselves. A positively increasing feedback loop whereby the only way to break out is self assessment; honesty with oneself. A hard thing to do and very often painful.
If you are still reading this and I wouldn't blame you if you have deleted me by now, my point of this slightly laboured pre-amble is simply that the phenomenon I recalled is happening all around us now and as a result of FMD. I believe that many ministers and senior civil servants, vets, slaughter men and others have "conveniently" lied to themselves to surround themselves with a protective wrapper. I saw recently, despite all the facts now available, a MAFF Field Officer lie to herself. She had convinced herself that the massacre of healthy animals, the human suffering and the bullying subjected to our County by people of her ilk was in fact justified in the name of science and had to be conducted to stop this terrible disease. All that despite the FACTS that are now available and which she will no doubt avoid studiously. After all this person had to eat, pay the mortgage, survive. But at what cost?
I am pleased that so many Vets are now condemning the overall policy. The horrific culling, the mass bullying the incompetence that was perpetrated by MAFF and its scandalously arrogant killing machine. BUT, and there is always a but, why do these individuals wait until now to report in graphic detail these scandals? If it is suddenly wrong that they had to oversee the consecutive slaughter of ten farms alone, then why not stand up and be counted at the time? Now is a bit too late. Why be bullied by Page Street to sign A Forms illegally? Why take part in a policy that was so clearly unscientific and and condemned by so many eminent Veterinary Surgeons and scientists? Each individual will know his or her reasons. It is never too late to stop lying to oneself and this is what, in some cases we are seeing now. I applaud these individuals.
Do I seriously believe that all people can be excused their actions just because of an automatic "self-protection process"? The answer is NO. I believe, very firmly, that not all people behave in this manner. It is my opinion that many people, often in positions of great influence know exactly what they are doing. In their cases, they are "self-protecting" their careers, their reputations and their jobs by callously doing anything that will achieve these aims. For most of us, the "self-protection" process is automatic. For these people it has become an art form, centred on deceit, lying and bullying; in fact anything to save their skins.
The fact that Blair will not give way to demands for an open and independent Public Enquiry is proof of his cowardice and his ability to do anything to protect himself and his government; at any cost to the nation as a whole. His method of "self-protection" is a ruthless, calculated process. This method has other great practitioners such as Morley, Whitty, Beckett and others. All self-protecting bullies.
There are still some "good" people out there that need to "come clean" to themselves, own up and take action; it is not too late. One such person is someone whom I believe holds all, or many of the answers. That person is Dr Paul Kitching. Currently residing in Canada in a very well paid job. Did you know that Dr Kitching was SECONDED at very short notice to his current job? Did you know that Pirbright and presumably our government were very, very concerned that Dr Kitching may "spill the beans"? Best get rid of him across the water for a while. Yes these are all facts. I believe that Dr Kitching is an honourable person. I know of certain facts that reinforce this belief. So, will Dr Kitching ever release himself from his "protective barrier" and tell us the truth? Possibly, but I am sure he would like to come back to England, to draw his pension and to live happily ever after. Who would blame him? Much easier to lie to oneself.
Meanwhile the majority of the lies concerning FMD remain deep rooted amongst those "in the know". But, and, yes you know, there is always a BUT. There are some people out there, for varying reasons that are willing to risk all in the name of the truth.
You see Mr Blair, no matter how long it takes; there will always be some people who will continue to dig, dig deep, to uncover every unturned stone and to expose the TRUTH. Mr Blair, do you remember back in late 2000? You know, when an abattoir in Cinderford, Gloucestershire had FMD "covered" up? Oh and do you remember when the MAFF Official's wife called a journalist to report that FMD had been covered up in another abattoir in North Yorkshire? Yes you know and so do others.
The tide is turning.
People really are a funny old lot.
NICK GREEN Heart of Cumbria
"Campaigning for the Truth."