Thursday, December 01, 2011

Thought for the Day
Good Morning Scotland
BBC Radio Scotland
December 1st, 2011

Many of our parents here in Penicuik and West Linton shuffled their schedules yesterday to accommodate children who were not in school because of the strikes. Some folks had to go in to work anyway, while others were on reduced duties. Many didn't go in at all. Still others braved the blustery weather to take their places on picket lines.

Well-informed and good-hearted people might disagree on some of the issues surrounding
this strike action. It seems clear, though, is that there's no reason to suppose that life simply is the way it is with nothing more to be said on the matter.

We've had a good solid dose these last few years of being told that things are the way they must be and that there's nothing else really to be said or done. It's the way the economy is, it's what the climate of finance nowadays dictates. From men in yellow jackets reminding us what the rules are or computers generating lists of what we owe the bank one would be forgiven for thinking that we were nothing but leaves blown about in the breeze.

Our society depends greatly on what is called, in French, a "rapport des forces" - a balance between strong individuals or groups which is held in tension but which nonetheless produces stability. That rapport can fall apart. Unhappy conflict can develop when one side attempting to exercise total victory over the other.

Most of the time, however, and what has developed over the generations - is a painfully won agreement about the nature and stability of our work, This is based, in part, on the belief that everything is negotiable. Life is more fluid than we think. One of the canticles - taken from the opening chapters of Luke's Gospel - describes the work of God as "putting down the mighty from their seat and exalting the humble".

Ordinary working people have a voice - and a role in deciding how they want to work and live.

an audio link is available for a limited time HERE. TFTD begins at 1:23.38 - halfway along the audio bar.