The Common Sense of Kindness


A long time ago, I began an Open University degree and was allocated to do a Social Sciences foundation course. For everything, the writers claimed, there is “…a common-sense explanation and a social sciences explanation.” As the course progressed, I was flabbergasted to learn that Common Sense solutions were always to be rejected in favour of answers derived from Social Sciences.

This baffled me at the time, but now it is one explanation for society itself. While we have been worrying about who is next going to attack us with a machete, the concept of common sense has too often been wiped from the mind-tanks of those who run what should be our caring services.

Something else which has too often been side-lined is kindness. Considering that with high levels of common sense and kindness, a society can’t go wrong, this is a tragedy.

In a caring society – the sort which the middle-classes rave about discovering when they wander off the beaten track in Mediterranean countries, for example – love and duty between young and old is a way of life. This isn’t just endearing – it provides hands-on care without depleting the state. It’s common sense, and those seeing it warm to the kindness of it. But when they get home, those tourists resume their habitual disparagement of the elderly and package their parents off to nursing homes out of sight.

Age is experience, wisdom, roots, witness. There is no kindly motive for eradicating those things, and it makes no sense. Eradicating accrued knowledge from society is like trying to run a factory with apprentices only.

How do we improve Society?

We’re unlikely to restore common sense or kindness while the establishment employs the BBC as a mouthpiece. Last week, the BBC – so dedicated to the extermination of the British working class that one wonders whether some BBC apparatchiks dream of cruising around council estates with hand-guns taking pot-shots – broadcast a documentary about the poor of such blistering cruelty that it almost broke my heart. If the target were any other section of society – a belief or ethnicity – it could not have been screened. But the target was the poor, and the poor, unprotected by notions of Hate Speech, seem the accepted scapegoat for the rage which dare not speak its name. Panorama – The Benefits Cap: is it working? was little more than a crude hatchet job on people reduced from working class to sub-class.

The children the poor produce didn’t ask to be born, and must be fed, housed and clothed, which is apparently an affront to precisely the kind of people most likely to squeal in horror at the idea of Third World parents being given condoms and contraceptive implants.

In truth, there are not many jobs for unskilled people in the UK. Work which once created dignity and stability is often first advertised in EU countries where unemployment is at atrocious levels. This is both unkind to Brits and nonsensical. People who get a kick out of being served coffee or waited on by desperate foreign graduates have no right to complain when people who should be doing those jobs draw benefits.

Of those in the BBC hate-fest, a single mother of seven children was targeted for particular hatred. With benefits caps now applying, a poor person is effectively only allowed to keep two children. The rest are taken into ‘care’, which almost routinely enables abuse, and is more expensive than allowing a mother to bring up her own children. Removing them is senseless cruelty – merely a punishment for being poor, along the lines of the workhouse.

In the programme, this woman was told to choose which of her children she would keep or discard.

Ever watched ‘Sophie’s Choice’, the devastating film about the woman forced by an SS death-camp guard to choose between her children? Well, life has now imitated art in town halls across the UK.

95% of women arraigned for witch-craft during the 17th century were single mothers. The 17th century puritans who (like the current crop) were obsessed with sin in thought, word and deed, ended the centuries-old support of parish poor because the poor must have led imprudent lives and deserved to be fair game for a baying mob.

Centuries on, the single mother triggered a Twitter mob, largely comprised of childless men and ‘kept’ women, none appearing to realise that nurturing a new generation for peanuts is a more essential contribution to society than most of them are making. Many are personally diminished by giving their frenzied assent to cruelty.

We are living through a time when the lunatics seem too often to be running the asylum. Hopefully the phase will pass soon, but meanwhile we must make sure there are as few casualties as possible.

For that we must push hard for a restoration of common sense and kindness, because nothing else will do, unless we are all to fly over the cuckoo’s nest.

Mandy Baldwin is a freelance writer/Kindle author, born near Heathrow airport.  She has lived in Buckinghamshire, Cornwall and France, returning to England in 2013.  She has variously made a living – enough to support three children, solo – by working as a film-extra, selling fish and chips, running an art-group, tutoring home-schooled children, giving piano-lessons and selling her own paintings.