I was going to leave it alone. But it’s become irresistible.
Throw a ball against a wall – it bounces back at you. Drop a brick on your toe – it hurts. That old adage, dictum, law – whatever – from the days of school physics – ‘For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction’ applies everywhere – not just in a laboratory. You will not, cannot escape the consequences of the things you do, be those consequences good, bad, wonderful or plain disastrous. If you’ve sought to avoid them – and who hasn’t? – that’s called turning your back on reality. For you can rest assured that at some time and in some place, often when you’re least expecting it and when it’s least welcome, they will catch up with you. Here in the Little Island, we’re seeing that big-time and everywhere at the moment – on TV, in the papers, radio, the chatter on street corners and in the pubs.
Though it makes for fertile gossiping, it is not elevating seeing grown men and one (so far) grown woman trying to extricate themselves and salvage some grain of personal integrity from a tangled cats-cradle of intrigue, half-truth, untruth and criminality – all of their own making. Did they think the proverbial would never hit the fan? So here they are now, looking a bit stunned and a bit lost as the crumbling ruins of their fabled city are washed out to sea along with their reputations. Humility and a drop of remorse would have been nice. Appropriate even. But, you see, it turned out to be none of their doing. No need to apologize. The whole shameful business, though carried on within their own walls in their own presence and over a number of years, was all the work of others unknown.
I suppose part of me sympathizes – sort of. We are all, after all, human beings – little people trying to act as grown-ups, some succeeding better than others. And whatever you’ve done and however you’ve behaved, this level of self-inflicted disaster must hurt. But life is what it is. Best face the fact. Life is not sentimental. It has no allegiances. But it has rules. Some of which are immutable. And if you break the latter and you suffer from the consequences, I think it’s incumbent upon you at the same time to find within yourself the grace and the stature to own up and apologize. But this is the time of the Little Men.
Perhaps they will learn. Perhaps they will mend their ways. Maybe the nationwide abhorrence that their reckless operation has engendered will be the instrument of others being treated better. Let’s hope so. At the same time however, let us not get too carried away with our condemnation. The others who need to take stock of themselves and maybe learn a lesson or two are our own selves – the great British public who have been more than willing spectators to this grotesque carnival. For had those who buy The Sun and the News of the World not gobbled up so avidly the routinely grubby, salacious and often downright immoral fare dished up by those tabloids, those who are now in the dock might be occupied in some honourable profession and those who’ve had their lives so badly mauled would be living in comparative peace. Like I said here once before – don’t judge. But we all do.