There have been two large difficulties in our nearby news this week, and while they may well seem unrelated, they each show up some thing very disturbing in our democratic processes.
Unless you have slept for the final twenty years, you will be familiar with the word, ‘interconnector’ (no, do not switch off) – the subsea cable that will unlock the renewables prospective of our islands. It emerged lately, following weeks of rumour, that Ofgem is minded not to consent a 600mw cable, even though it may well however agree to a 450mw version. The hand-wringing which ensued from different quarters is understandable, since 450 would not leave considerably spare capacity for neighborhood schemes.
The other story, which has been rumbling on for a although now, is about Bethesda Hospice’s funding shortfall. I do not thoughts telling you that the initially time a MacMillan nurse talked about the spot to me, I shuddered and wept, since of what I felt it symbolised. Reality, even though, was so diverse: my husband spent the final week of his life there, and I with him, under no circumstances getting to leave his side. Hunting on, I saw him nursed, not only with dignity and respect, but as even though he was each bit as valuable to the employees as he was to me. Their care of him, and of me, is some thing which contributed to the blessing that I felt although walking by way of the valley of the shadow of death with Donnie.
These nurses didn’t know a lot about the man they have been caring for. He could possibly have been a tyrant, or a wife-beater, or a bully. They didn’t know his beautiful nature. But it didn’t matter, since they minister to all in their care just the exact same.
Is it all down to superior education? The employees are evidently hand-picked to make certain their suitability for the quiet, dignified and loving atmosphere that the hospice gives. Nonetheless, I think that there is some thing a lot more at perform right here – there is that essence of God which inclines in sympathy towards the human. Each and every one particular of us is created in the image of our creator that, if practically nothing else, really should inspire mutual respect in us, one particular for the other.
And, if this is achievable in the underfunded environs of Bethesda, exactly where some folks are living out the hardest moments of their lives, why is it not achievable in the neighborhood at big?
What is missing in our midst, that we speak so viciously to one particular one more more than difficulties that may well be crucial, yes, but fall far quick of becoming life or death?
The news of the interconnector – which is by no signifies a final selection, incidentally – has had the opposite impact in some quarters, to what you could possibly anticipate. Whilst the Comhairle, the Stornoway Trust and our elected representatives at Holyrood and Westminster are all calling for unity in order to increase the nearby case, there remains one particular dissenting voice. Playing out their personal peninsular war, the folks of Point and Sandwick Trust look determined only to prove that they have had the ideal answer all along.
In a bizarre move, their honorary president, and former chair, claimed that he had been speaking up for neighborhood renewables as a councillor for ‘considerable years’, and had received no assistance from his thirty colleagues. On closer examination, it appears that he has been saying this for 3 or so years, but not in the council chamber. It reminds me of that time I practically missed an internal flight from Cairo, since the announcement was created by a lady mumbling ‘Luxor’ in the corner of a noisy departure lounge.
So, you have a councillor who eschews the regular mechanisms of nearby government. This will not surprise any one who was privy to the current Facebook discussion of the Bethesda funding shortfall, in which the councillor intervened in an try to silence us. He loftily informed the participants that discussion of the matter in open forum was unhelpful, and that negotiations have been taking spot behind closed doors.
If that was not adequate of a canary down the mine, the manager of Point and Sandwick Trust supplied me with one more one particular this week, when he disparagingly referred to my superior self as a ‘token woman’. Now, I couldn’t care significantly less about his opinion of me since, apart from something else, we are unacquainted. His ignorance of who I am, having said that, is relatively eclipsed by his disrespect for the ballot box. Maybe this is understandable, seeing he has been a victim of its vagaries himself in the previous, but that does not entitle him to ride roughshod more than what the majority desires. These speaking up for unity – the Comhairle, the Trust, the MSP, the MP – have all been returned by democratic election. They, and not a handful of folks in 4 crofting townships, represent the majority.
It is tough to modify position, even when you know it is for the higher superior. I realize why these who ruthlessly banged the drum against developer-led projects will discover it so challenging to place that crusade aside now. They will, possibly, see it as surrender. But it would be a lot more in the order of a dignified truce.
For my element, I will publicly modify position on some thing also, as a pledge of superior faith. This time final year, one particular of our elders shocked me by suggesting it would be superior to have a lady – even one particular – on the Trust since it would ‘stop daft wee cliques forming, like you usually get on all-male committees’.
Whilst I am nevertheless of the opinion that gender alone is no explanation to vote for any one, I do see the will need for some feminine input. We strategy the procedure differently. And I do not know if it is since I’m a lady, or a naïve fool, but I like to consider that nearby politics could find out a factor or two from the employees of the hospice: treat folks with respect acknowledge their equal ideal to an opinion do not demean oneself by sinking to a level you will regret later.
Bear in mind, we are all in this collectively.