I fell in love with Doctor Who before I started school, hiding behind the sofa when it became too scary and reveling in the world of possibilities it showed a young imagination eager for excitement.
I may be a lot older, but aged 47 I firmly believe we can learn a lot about morality and how to treat others from how the Doctor solves dilemmas. Too simplistic? Let me try to persaude you, using an example closer to home, against the current issue of (some) Scottish Independence supporters rejecting Tory converts.
The episode is the two partner, of The Empty Child & The Doctor Dances.
The story is set in a time of conflict, when Britain is under attack both physically and culturally from an enemy outwith. Some of the population have reacted badly in the pressure of war, behaving unkindly to their fellow citizens, attacking strangers, not helping others and being very self centred and fomenting hatred. Sound familiar?
Yes, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Tommy Robinson, I’m looking at you.
Truth is, we pretty much are in a war situation, but the root cause is ideological and not physical. Even the war is a good setting, not because of the physical conflict, but because of the meme that infects one side in the current conflict; that Britain was at its best when at war with Nazi Germany.
Let me deal with this myth first. This is complete bollocks.
People came together and helped each other to help themselves. Faced between a choice of giving in and accepting death and conquest or being inventive, resourceful and fighting back … well there isnt really much of a choice. The human instict for survival kicks in. It’s easy to be nostalgic and remember the good times, especially when that’s what you see in British and Hollywood movies, but the wars were a very dark period in human history, even in Blighty.
One small snippet from this 2016 BBC article, “Despite the Blitz spirit of World War Two, crime rose from 303,771 offences in 1939 to 478,000 in 1945”. It details looting, murder, ration abuse, blackout breaches and civil disobedience. Unlike peoples of other European nations, we weren’t imprisoned, killed and terrorised en masse.
A true test and example of humanity and Britain at it’s best would be when we came together for purely altruistic and egalitarian reasons, when we didn’t have huge external impetus forcing us to.
I’d prefer to use the example of the Olympic games in London in 2012. That was The Isles of Wonder in its truest form, with the UK welcoming strangers from all over the world, opening its arms to competitors and spectators alike from all 4 corners of the globe. How distant does that seem now.
Second point and really, my main thrust of why I thought to write this – The Empty Child character.
Children can be characterised by a lack of maturity, being motivated more by self interest and self gain and having a different perspective on the world than grown ups. They tend to think that everything is about them and for them, from their perspective, they are the most important thing in the universe. They can be curiously detached from the realities of life and believe that they deserve everything. Also, when things dont go their way, they can get very upset. None of this is meant as criticism, they are after all, just children, still learning and growing and it’s our job to help them reach their potential.
Wow, doesn’t your average Tory sound a lot like a child?
Which bringe me to Tory councillor, Ashley Graczyk. As detailed in this scotsman article, Ms Graczyk has come around to believing that Scottish Independence is the right option, in an interesting and very honest article. I commend Ashley on her journey and her honesty in speaking her truth, but the reaction from some parts of the political spectrum have me shaking my head.
Many in the #Indyref movement have tweeted that they don’t want Torys joining … that they don’t trust them, that a leopard can’t change it’s spots, etc. Shouldn’t we be delighted that a person has seen the light, had their Damascene conversion moment and is joining the good fight?
Isn’t everyone capable of being saved, of changing their mind and realising they were wrong?
In the Doctor Who series, an alien nano bot is infecting people, turning them into zombies. It strikes me that Brexit and the current hatred of immigrants and of the EU is like this science fiction infectional infection. It’s taking good people and turning them bad and fear is spreading like WIldfire.
‘Dont touch the child! You’ll become like him” wails one of the characters, ironically the child’s mother.
In the plot, one option is to destroy everything, contain the plague and protect the population. Of course, the Doctor figures out the root cause, reprograms the nano bots and gets everyone back to their former selves.
People are saved from the infection and reclaimed as human beings, to become better and more productive members of society.
If we manage to save a Tory and they see the light and can turned from being an Empty Child, shouldn’t we welcome that? 😉
Just a thought.