Jack Straw was banned from the university union where he’d studied. He was a Labour government politician at the time, and his crime was formulating an immigration policy. Straw had been a radical Marxist at the university in his youth. This fact introduces a mirror poem and poetic philosophy about the dilemmas of decision-making.
The Problem with Decisions
The problem with being in a decision-making job like being a politician is that your decision is usually going to please somebody or one group of people, and displease somebody else or another group of people.
It’s easier to hold on to your opinions if you never become a decision-maker. Protest groups on the right or left, or specialist issue groups, can often remain focused on their objectives without making decisions. This is even largely true for political opposition parties.
It’s usually only when politicians get into power that the trouble begins, as they have to try and please everybody, or at least look as if they are doing this.
Usually this means helping your core support while hoping that the benefits also spill over into the wider community.
Has the Conservatives-Democrats coalition helped the rich too much, and have their policies helped or hindered the U.K. economic recovery, which this week escaped recession?
Will the British environment survive right-wing neglect (remember the Conservatives tree?) or left-wing immigration; or maybe a better question would be: which will provide its slower choking?
These are questions the British populace will be deciding on next year in the general election. Will they decide from personal circumstances, or how they view the country as a whole? Or from historic allegiance versus new dynamics? The local versus the world? Only time will tell…
Returning to the opening paragraph of this blog post, another old socialist hated ambiguity according to Jorge Castaneda’s Companero biography. Che Guevara stuck to his Marxist youth, but became disillusioned after upsetting most of his Cuban comrades before suffering a spectacular lonely fall… near his Argentina homeland… but rose again in death to become an icon for eternity.
Jack Straw had a less spectacular fall, with New Labour voted out of power. One of the main issues that is supposed to have lost Straw’s party their power was not enough of an immigration policy.
Thankfully, the greenYgrey is not involved with human politics, although it is probably rewarding and fun at times. We have enough trouble trying to keep our WWW wolves, women and working-class happy, as their interests often overlap.
So we usually just have to make personal decisions. Personal decision-making can also be as problematic and stressful. This probably multiplies with the amount of family and friends you have to consider, but on an individual level it can usually be divided into major or minor decisions.
Through the terrific multiple choice time-travel technology we have here at the greenYgrey we have examples of both major and minor decision-making dilemmas poems and philosophy from the past and present.
Moreover, we won’t even ask you to make a decision about which one is best. You can just continue enjoying your Sunday, without having to overload your brain with yet another decision.
Our reward was finding a great greenYgrey decision-making image, with the Y represented by a forking road, which has then just reminded us of Stan Boardman‘s Fokker joke, which we must warn you could be seen as deriving hilarious historic humour from a swear word, but we have decided to share it with you here, to lighten this long and largely serious decision-making blog post:
New Mirror Poem
Marc Latham’s new Folding Mirror poem deals with minor domestic decision-making, providing a microscopic commentary on deciding whether to risk spilling a hot drink with an effortless movement, or play safe with the drink through a long and extended acquisition. Here’s the poem preceded by the greenYgrey forking road image, which has absolutely no connection to Boardman’s Fokker joke:
One Coffee One Decision : One Movement One Drink
full mug of coffee
just out of reach
of my left arm
weighed down by poetry
waiting to be written
in computer balanced on lap
should I rise to be sure, or stretch and risk spilling drink
confident brain side persuades head
reaching for the handle
rising up make contact
finger and thumb grasp
unsure wobble to mouth
drink before safe landing
Decision-making Philosophical Poem
The above poem was inspired by reaching for a decaffeinated tea, as Marc Latham explains on fmpoetry.wordpress.com, and created in no time without much other thought.
However, Marc was a-were in the days preceding that poem that the next reflection to be serialised from 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections concerns decision-making, so maybe that was in his unconscious brimming up into the conscious as he reached for the drink while in the fmpoetry site.
Reflection 22 is about major decision-making though, and maybe I’m just making a connection about two very different decision-making mental processes for the purposes of this blog.
I asked Marc Latham about it, and he said he couldn’t decide. You might not be surprised to read that Marc is still on his life crossroads too, still walking a little way in each direction… or maybe he’s living that decision without knowing it… that is after all, in line with greenYgrey thinking!
Here’s reflection 22, which mirrored Multitasking Medley in 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections. Multitasking Medley was posted on fmpoetry.wordpress.com in February 2012. (Sorry about all the links and references, but it’s been a much longer blog than expected. That happened spontaneously, like Jack Kerouac’s spontaneous prose, without making a decision! Sometimes it’s better to just go with the flow and see where it leads, like to the hot drink poem and forking road image; sometimes it’s better to make a decision before you start. Which is best overall? You decide!)
around the mountain
looking for a clear path
enjoying the view
now it’s getting late
time’s running out
need to make a decision
or just keep rambling
to the end.
To end this ultimately epic blog, here’s a more natural Y, which is of course at the centre of greenYgrey decision-making thinking… this is really my final decision, and last word.