Saturday, 14 August 2010

The fear of fear

Tony Benn was on Any Questions yesterday. He has been appearing on any Question since 1951 and is still going well. One of the things he said in answer to a question about the retention of Trident was that if you keep people frightened thay are easier to control. I am sure he is right. If you have confidence you will act and if you are fearful you will comply.

Earlier in the day I was taking money from a cash machine and there were two other machines nearby. One was broken and I commented to someone who was in the queue that I wouldn't use that one. When I took my money out she told me that thieves put cameras above the keypad and that is why we get the advice to shield our numbers. Maybe thieves could target us if they saw our PIN number but this lady not only fears anyone near her but also fears cameras that may or may not be there and then presumably fears the prospect of having her card stolen. Where does she put her hand? Where is that camera?

In the 1930s FDR told us we have nothing to fear but fear itself and for the vast majority of us he words are still true. Yes be careful with all your possessions but we shouldn't live our lives as if we are victims.

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