MY Tipping Point

>> Tuesday, 7 June 2011

As a rule, I don't write contentious posts, at least - I don't think I do. The reason for that is simple, and it's not that I don't have any contentious thoughts and opinions. Of course I do, just like everyone else. Normally, however, I keep them to myself and keep the content on this blog 'U' rated, especially since I moved here. Don't rock the boat, keep your head below the parapet, don't -whatever you do - call attention to yourself from parties you would prefer not be looking at what you write. That's my mantra, and whilst it's sometimes stifling I stick to it for the good of my family.

Funny though; it's the unexpected stories which can be the ones that cause you to reach the tipping point.

In this instance, it's The Case of the Killer Cucumbers*. Forgive me; I am not mocking the hundreds of people who are currently suffering from E.Coli or the families of those who have died, it's just that - as you'll see - the way it's been handled here (and by 'here' I'm hoping you'll understand I am referring to my current place of residence without actually naming it) - is so farcical as to require a ridiculous title.

The outright ban of all fresh produce from the EC that is currently in force here is a complete nonsense, and it appears that the local populace know it. Nevertheless, it will remain in force for the moment. Why? Because this situation ticks so many boxes.

It panders to the fear that many people here have of 'Elsewhere'. ('We TOLD you they were all out to get us!' Don't mock; this a widely-held view about other nations, born of 70 years of paranoia-inducing propaganda). It allows the government to throw it's weight around on the world stage (as if it needs another opportunity), in an arena that is being watched closely by potential voters still making their mind up about who to support in future elections. It gives the government levers to use in attaining their own ends in various on-going negotiations with the EC (did somebody mention Visas? Not me...).

And it gives local suppliers the opportunity to reap the rewards of a market temporarily free of European competition. Funny how the decision to put the ban in place was taken by a government minister who just happens to have substantial interests in a company that holds the lion-share of the market in locally-grown fresh produce, isn't it?

But it's none of those things that have driven me to write a post I may well take down after I've given it considered thought. I mean, things like this happen all the time, all over the world, as my husband will no doubt tell me (as he asks me to delete this); this is not a country alone in such situations.

No, what makes me really mad about this is that of all the local people I've spoken to (and admittedly, I haven't stood on a street corner with a clipboard, but there are limits to what even I will do for my blog), every single person knows all - ALL - of the above about the way their country works. And, whilst they may regret it, and wish that things didn't work that way, not one of them really expects anything different.

They throw up their hands, smile apologetically, and say "It's just the way things work, here."

And that's what makes me mad. Because they deserve better.

*And I know, it's probably not cucumbers that are the root of th problem...


I'm So Fancy 7 June 2011 at 10:13  

For contentious that was pretty mild. Leave it up. Let us all spend out nights thinking of scary cucumbers and beaten down Ruskies. It's good food for thought. Pun intended. x

TheMadHouse 7 June 2011 at 10:55  

Change will never happen until the people want it. it must be so frustrating to see this first hand

Potty Mummy 7 June 2011 at 13:31  

Fancy, of course the pun was intended - of COURSE!

MH, it can be...

nappy valley girl 7 June 2011 at 13:38  

That must be so frustrating.

(On a lesser scale, I find there is an American expression that is just as defeatist: "it is what it is". Basically means it stinks, but they can't be bothered to do anything about it.)

Expat mum 7 June 2011 at 13:39  

Same as Chicago. Everyone complains about the political corruption here, but when faced with it head on in their local communities, it's almost like no one expects the little guys to win so they don't even point it out.

Iota 7 June 2011 at 14:08  

Interesting to hear about the place you live from the inside.

dulwich divorcee 7 June 2011 at 14:15  

The thing I find frustrating about that attitude is the way that people are actually secretly quite proud of the way things work, or don't work ... that's why things don't change. I agree with Iota, fascinating to hear about it from your perspective x

PantsWithNames 7 June 2011 at 20:06  

It's what drove me mad about Bosnia. What really got to me in the end was the students - exactly those people who should be passionate about changing things - who just said 'you can't do anything about it' and didn't even try to change anything.

Activism. It is so important.

Great post.

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