Posts Tagged ‘enemy’

Who Do You Hate Now (that Michael Gove has gone)?

July 19, 2014

Hate is a powerful emotion, as powerful as love, possibly as destructive as love, but without the power to heal and redeem us. So, dear friends, what do you do when someone you hate is no longer there, when the figure of all your negativity, your anger and frustration with your world is gone? To wit, what do we do now Michael Gove is no longer running Education in the UK?

It’s easy to see why Cameron has removed him. In the end Gove was too divisive, too antagonistic, too easy to hate and blame. It was a powerful move, bust him down to Chief Whip, losing more money than many of us earn in a year from his salary, before he got locked in the loo. The Gove haters amongst us could not have hoped for more. If ever there was confirmation that Karma existed here it was.

The man who had spat vitriol and bile at teachers for the last four years, who had marched through his agenda for change with nary a thought for students, or parents, or schools or consequences had got his come-uppance. Indeed the viral world was full of rejoicing. Which was fair enough. And it was made even sweeter when his silly wife revealed how betrayed the Goves really were, how terribly ripped off they felt. Altogether now, ahhh…


But now, who do we hate? Gove may be gone but his policies remain alive and afloat, if only for now. We have a clean-skin replacement, a woman and a mother, Nicky Morgan. So a clear attempt to soften the voters, despite her stance on gay marriage and being a corporate lawyer, deep in the bosom of acquisitions and asset stripping (watch this space). But she talked about stopping all the Tory hate-speak. She seems to be the face of reconciliation – not someone teachers or unions or the Labour Party will be able to vent their spleens about. We can expect soft words and perhaps some lessening of the reforming zeal.

Cameron may be a fool and an idiot and an awful lot of other useless things but the removal of such a hate figure as Gove seems to be a very smart move: it takes the wind out of a flotilla of sails. It seems it will beach the opposition, as Tristram Hunt has done little but criticise Gove, not his policies.

We need to hate. Sadly it is one of mankind’s uglier traits, along with anger and jealousy – all emotions that do very little for you, as an individual or nation. Is not the Middle East conflict based on hatred going back years? Is not the current War on Terror between the West and Islam similarly about hate?

Do you remember when the Berlin Wall came down? I was in Alice Springs, it was my first appointment as Head of English, I was pregnant, young and saw the world as full of possibility. The Wall coming down seemed to be an act of hope: the end of the Cold War, the beginning of peace between the West and the Eastern Bloc, the end of the Red Terror.

But how long did we survive without an enemy, without someone to hate? 1990 when the Wall came down to 2001 when the Twin Towers came down (Albeit with the Gulf War in between). Just over ten years – not very long, not long at all. Once again we live in a world driven by hate, by the need to have an enemy.

Is there someone in your life you need to hate? Do you need to have an enemy, are you in a constant state of war? Are you spending your time and energy in negativity, in hating someone that probably doesn’t know or care? Yes, we hate our bosses, our parents, our partners, former lovers, devious friends. But do we need to? Is our hatred of them simply hatred of something in ourselves?

Life is too short to hate. Hatred has no up-side. It depletes you, makes you bitter, nasty, twisted. It takes time and effort to hate, time and effort you should be putting to better use. Rejoice that Gove has gone. Be pleased you no longer have to hate someone you didn’t know, who didn’t care, but who has got what he deserved. And you know what, he’d have got his Karmic punch without you (and me) hating him as much as we have. Now go and be positive somewhere else in your life and do not look for another object of hate to waste your life on.

But if you’re lost without Gove, remember there’s always Tony Abbott, equally offensive, arrogant and stupid. (Images: Michael Gove – The Guardian; Tony Abbott –


The Enemy: Without or Within?

May 30, 2013

It seems man’s natural state to be at war; after all, our history is one of conquest and battle, enemy and ally. But where do our enemies really lie? Sure we know globally at the moment it seems to be the West v Islam, just as it used to be the West v Communism and before that the Allies v Germany. We can infinitely recurse our way through history stopping at any number of legendary battles, where enemies faced off over vast fields, or many years, but are all our enemies faceless others?


History tells us that on the Western Front, Germany and the English famously called a halt to battle on Christmas Eve, 1914: stopped their war to sing carols, exchange gifts and souvenirs. While over on the beach in Gallipoli, the Anzac troops saw the enemy much more as the English officers, sat a mile away from the front-lines, calling the shots, sending young men to certain death: they were more enemies than the equally young and inexperienced Turkish soldiers.

We all have enemies, those who seek to harm us, do us down, damage us. Sometimes for good enough reasons, sometimes for no real reason at all, other than it seems they can get away with turning our lives into our very own personal and twisted war-zones. It is human to battle, to fight and to have enemies. It seems that to travel through life without causing others to feel strongly about us (for good or ill) is to leave no mark, make no impact on the world. So perhaps to have enemies is not so bad, providing we do not let them destroy us, or let our enmity of them destroy them (or us) either.

So, where are your enemies? Far off strangers, whom you hate because of their colour, race, religion or belief? Or closer in: were they once friends? Remember the adage: keep your friends close and your enemies closer… Remember too, that many have been killed by those closest to them. Philip of Macedon was killed by his own body-guard. His son, Alexander the Great, is also rumoured to have been poisoned by his inner-sanctum and we all know that Julius Cesar was stabbed by his closest mates, including Brutus.

julius c

But look closer still, right up close and intimately personal. Is your worst enemy actually you? Who is it that does the most damage to your life? Is it some nameless other, some adversary at work, some friend or lover? Or is it you?

Once you reach a certain age it is possible to look back, to look at repeating patterns of destruction. Are you fatally attracted to the same sort of lover, doomed to fall in love with the same bright beguiling surface only to find the same darkness beneath each succeeding partner? Do you repeat self-destruct actions and behaviours at work, finding yourself looking once again for a better place because this one has become utterly intolerable? Do you talk yourself down to the depths or up to the sky without a strong hook into reality that repeatedly leads you down false trails, costing you time, money, emotion, pride?

Being grown up means facing up to certain difficult truths about ourselves. Yes, the world can be a nasty, evil adversarial place, seemingly hell bent on destroying us. But are we helping the world too much, are we actually the architects of our own doom?


As you step away from your latest disaster it might be timely to consider where the enemy really is. Successful generals understand their opponents, seek intelligence about them, size them and then apply a range of strategies to defeat the enemy. Wars are not won by brute strength alone, by blundering on, losing men and resources, giving away too much ground. Wars are not won by superior numbers but by skill, strategy and then brute force.

If you are your own worse enemy it probably is time to stop and re-think how you are living your life. If your battles are leaving you too bruised and broken, too battle weary, then it is probably time to find another strategy, another way to live your life.

By now you will know what it is that trips you up but can you stop it? A frank appraisal of your repeating destructive patterns is called for. If you can’t do it alone ask someone you trust, someone who knows you well enough and is honest enough to tell you those things you don’t want to hear but need to be told. There maybe call for professional help – psychologists are excellent at helping people identify problems and find solutions. Of course, there are self-help books on everything.


Step away from your life for a while. Stand outside yourself and watch. Take note of what you see, how you feel, what you are doing, how that impacts on others and yourself. Take a deep breath and take another step away – away from the things that destroy, repeating patterns that damage and scar you. Do it today, stop now. Stop being your own worst enemy, be the you you really want to be, the better part of you, not the battling war-monger, the destroyer of your own happiness.

Be your own best friend not your worst enemy. (Images from Google Images)