Thursday 4 October 2012

Preying on People

He circled the herd, staying low. Too easy. There's one, on her own at the edge of the group... A quick reconnaissance circuit to check for observers, then quickly pounce and retreat. It's what he does; it's in his blood. Nobody notices, but now everybody cares because five-year old April Jones is suddenly national news.

How long does it take to snatch a child? How determined does the predator have to be and how easy is it for parents and guardians to be distracted for that moment? Not long, not so and very easy indeed, I'd suggest.

The amateur psychologists (that is to say 'the psychologists' - there are no experts in psychology) are out in force. It's the fault of the parents it's the fault of society, it's the fault of the police... it's the fault of government, in all probability. "If only we'd..." "if only there'd been...", If only, if only, if only.

Despite the continued progress towards some Utopian vision of societal perfection, so-called civilised behaviour is a veneer we apply individually and laboriously to each and every human. It doesn't always work out as planned; instincts are deeply laid and occasionally the veneer comes unstuck, revealing the ugly substrate beneath.

Yes, yes, yes, there's stuff to be learned. Of course mistakes have been made, will be made and will continue to be made in the future. But there is no point in playing the blame game until all the facts are in and I have to tell you that much of the chatter in the newspapers, television and radio news and whatever is said in pubs and cafes throughout the land simply does not constitute 'the facts'.

So, you can speculate all you like, but unless you're on the spot there's nothing you can do to help, except just one thing. You want there to be a 'better' society? Can you honestly say that you do everything in your power to be part of that society? You're never selfish, or arrogant, or possessive or jealous or petty? You never point the finger of blame before the facts? You never lose your temper, irrationally lose your composure, react on pure instinct?

You don't? Oh, good. Then like me, you're perfect already.

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