Yesterday I blogged on the Charles-Nigella contretemps at that fancy London restaurant. For several days before that I blogged on the G8 and partifularly on Obama and his drone-bomb-driven foreign policy which is resulting in the deaths of hundreds of innocents, including women and children. Guess which blog attracted between three and four times as many pageviews? You got it: the multi-millionaires nose tweak/throat grab. In the words of that compassionate and loving British PM, Margaret Thatcher: it’s a funny old world.
Let us move on. This morning on BBC Raidio Uladh/Radio Ulster, I heard Education Minister John O’Dowd accused of having an educational policy that was ‘ideology-driven’. O’Dowd is one man who’s capable of looking after himself and noted - quite rightly - that his accuser had his own ideology.
When did the notion of having an ideology become something shameful? Maybe from the idea that, if we try to see the world constructed in a certain way, or of being in need to be constructed in a certain way, we’re being naive. The real world demands either bits of a range of ideologies or no ideology at all. The second of those two is impossible: everyone has an ideology. It might be “Responding to events as they happen, without forethought or any system of beliefs, is best” or “I decide what to do in the light of how many votes it’ll bring me, nothing else”. But it’s still an ideology - a belief that this is the best way in which to conduct political business/personal affairs. The second of the two - that you form a ragbag of different philosophies and approach the world with its eclectic reach is equally daft, if for no other reason than that some ideologies directly contradict other ideologies.
What those who denigrate ideology want you to believe is that anyone who sees society and politics through the lens of a thought-out system of beliefs is offering pie-in-the-sky and is out of touch with the real world. They also want you to believe that their way of doing things is the natural, only sensible way of working. They want to present their approach as the way that’s unwarped by any of these sinister ideologies.
There’s a word that’s similar to ‘ideology’ which could be used about such people. It’s ‘idiots’.