Blame and Fault

by Peter Rose about a year ago in opinion

Solutions matter, not blame.

Blame and Fault

It has always been considered the best policy, that when things go wrong, to try to deal with any situation by first trying to minimise any harm or damage, second by preventing an immediate repeat, and third by finding a way to rectify and repair any damage done. Next, consideration is long-term prevention of repeats. Finding who was at fault or who could be blamed does not appear on this list. This can often end up in frustration, especially when the reaction of people further up the food change is firstly to ask who is to blame, and secondly to assure everyone they personally were not involved in any way. By the time they get around to rectifying things, it has all got worse than need have been.

Modern politics seems to be centred around this blame-based thinking. The media, including social media, does not help. The referendum on Britain leaving the EU is an example—not the only one, but an example. When the vote result was announced, those who lost should have immediately set about working to minimise any harmful consequences. Instead, they tried find some one, or some section of society, to blame for what they saw as a mistake. Then some tried to prevent a rational and sensible course of action. Some denied the votes legitimacy, some tried to overturn it, and some resorted to insulting the leave voters; not one tried to work with the negotiators to get the best leaving agreement.

Blame is defined as: Responsibility for something that is wrong.

Fault is defined as: Failing or defect; mistake or error.

Why the remaining faction resorted to blame, rather than constructive cooperation, is possibly due to the fact that in Britain we have forsaken justice for the rule of law. It is still called the justice system, but the courts, who decide on guilt or innocence, only rely on the interpretations of the law. Interpretations provided by professional lawyers. They only consider the law and how to interpret it to the benefit of the person paying them. We have an adversarial system, one side against the other and the lawyer who wins the argument to get a decision for the person paying them. At no time, does the notion of rectification or repair come into the debates. At no time, is there concerted effort to find truth; both side are encouraged by their lawyers to obscure truth from the other side. Blame is the only objective.

This attitude is bad in the courts of law, but it is worse in governments who control the policy that can affect the whole population for several generations. History shows that if an aggressor starts a physical invasion of another state, the governing body of that state has to immediately mobilise a physical defence. It is no good holding a protracted debate about who's fault the invasion is. By the time this debate reaches a conclusion, they will be ruled by the invading force. How would anyone like a situation where a paramedic would not start treating an injured person until they had established who was to blame for the damage? These seem like silly examples, since it is obvious that you treat the immediate situation first, but in the wider and potentially more important politics of government, modern trends indicate that we try to establish blame before treating the suffering.

Opposition parties—those ideologically opposed the the government of the time—have a right to oppose, but in a crisis, they should work with the government to rectify a situation, not seek political point scoring and blame laying. This can wait until the situation is resolved. Opposition just for the sake of opposing and blame giving does not help any of the population.

All elected politicians need to remember they are elected to govern all the indigenous people of the nation. Their first and most important consideration, in any and every situation, has to be: How can we make the best of this for the future of our nation? Throwing accusation of blame at opponents has no place in the immediate resolution of a problem. They have to understand and work from the reality they are in and not confuse things by saying they would not be in this place. This is like the old story of a traveller stopping a local rural inhabitant to ask the way to London and getting the reply. "If I wanted to go to London I would not start from here."

Politicians need to remember they owe a first and primary duty to the nation, and not to their personal egos, or even their political party.

Peter Rose
Peter Rose
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Peter Rose

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