Anyone else tired of the big beasts? Across news bulletins and headlines and tweets we are continually confronted by them. Stories are reported through the ‘he said – he said’ (not so often she said) of big beasts grappling over polarised issues. Apparently Westminster is a wilderness full of isolated big beasts lunging at one another while their natural habitat shrinks around them.
The terminology is odd because the politcal ‘heavyweights’ being described are generally dull men in ill fitting suits (however bad their tailoring, the macho moniker fits them even worse). They are inadequate and we are suffering from feelings of inadequacy through our portrayal of them.
Big beasts, mythological and zoological, aren’t known for their democracy, for their listening skills, for their powers of reasoning. Why do we reduce our political representatives to thugs, playing a game of bones? Jostling with one another, throwing their weight around. The bones they play with are our bones. A beastly spectacle makes us spectators and the worst kind of spectators.
What we need, and therefore what we need to describe, are timorous wee beasties. Being brave is not being without fear, it’s overcoming fear. The timorous wee beastie is scared of the plough, and for good reason, but that doesn’t keep her out the field. Brave, clever, adaptable, aware of her fears and responsibilities. We want our represtantives to feel the fear, they were fearfully and wonderfully elected, what power they have was given to them by us. We don’t need hulking beasts charging at each other.
We need timorous wee beasties.