When a Meme Doesn't Cut It

I posted this meme on facebook earlier, ironically prompting some further badenage on the subject of who is right or wrong in this whole debacle. I have, you will not be surprised to hear, strong opinions on this subject, but the closer we get to what seems a climax in this constitutional craziness, the less I feel that my or anyone else's contributions on social media are actually helping...  There has to be another way, hence this past Friday's Thought for the Day... reproduced below in a slightly amended form, or here as an audio clip for those who would prefer to hear my dulcet tones. 

A week is a long time in politics... Never has Harold Wilson’s now clich├ęd comment been truer than the past week. Indeed I wrote this on Thursday afternoon for approval by the BBC Radio Ulster producer’s approval, wary of what may happen between then and the broadcast the next morning...
The only thing that has become clearer in this past week is how many of my friends and associates on social media are constitutional experts. Somehow I missed that subject at school, but of course it doesn’t stop me from voicing my own ill formed opinions... and I suspect that might just be true for others too... 
It’s a bit like me shouting at sports on TV, proffering my advice regarding the ineptitude of certain members of Ireland’s backline, or referees’ inability to see the most obvious of offences in all sports... Such advice is rarely listened to when I bellow it from the terraces, such as at Ravenhill yesterday (I still refuse to call it by its “new” name...), but it is even more pointless when I roar it at the TV in my living room, or post it, with the appropriate hashtag, on twitter... 
But in how much of life have we reduced our engagement to being mere spectators, at best shouting from the sidelines or into our own domestic or virtual bubbles? Earlier in this whole political mess one of the key players said that we have had enough of experts... I don’t believe that for a moment, but I do believe that we don’t need more armchair experts, whilst the activities of the keyboard commentariat like myself are not really helping things.
During the week I was watching the most recent Avengers movie again with my son now that it has been released on DVD... And just like in the cinema, I found myself shamelessly weeping, not only at the demise of favourite characters (no spoilers), but also when the groups of individual heroes from all across the world (and beyond) banded together for the climactic showdown, and particularly when a group of disparate female characters came to the fore (achieving the added bonus of winding up misogynists...) 
And what I realised in retrospect is that it was the heroic common purpose in both of those scenes that touched me... indeed frequently does in movies and plays... Where sometimes seeming enemies, or at least competitors come together in the face of a common foe, and frequently in the face of daunting odds. And although I was never the most able or athletic of sportsmen, having had to give up team sport due to age and decrepitude, I miss being part of a team striving together to a common goal, rather than simply cheering on from the sidelines... 
And I suppose I believe that is what is needed at present. Few of us are in a position to directly influence the actions of those at the centre of the Westminster whirlwind... But we will all be affected by the outcome, whatever it is, unless we are particularly well insulated because of wealth and circumstance... Both the result and the way we will have gotten there will have repercussions on relationships and communities for a long time to come.  And as such we need to find ways to get engaged at local levels to work together across our myriad dividing lines, not just for us and ours, but for the common good, whatever the next crazy week of politics may bring...

Shalom

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