By Jimmy Rhatigan
IT WAS talented Derry-born entertainer Phil Coulter who penned a beautiful song called Scorn Not His Simplicity.
We have a suggestion for the highly respected musician, songwriter and record producer.
Why not consider a post-Pandemic called Scorn Not Their Complicity?
And at the same time we ask the question: Where are the young leaders of tomorrow?
They are scarily silent in not calling on their peers to play the safety game.
Here is our reason for Complicity poser.
As our Coronavirus-hit country basks in a sea of brilliant sunshine, thousands of our people are partying and, sadly not observing the two-metre distance that medical expects stress will help us to beat the silent killer.
Unfortunately, a generation that perhaps most of us admire in many respects is getting the rap as crowds teem to local rivers, beaches and public parks in particular.
As we head towards two months of lockdown, it would appear that our young people have decided not to take any more.
The kids, teenagers and twenty somethings are being fingered as the group that could be responsible for triggering a second phase of Corona and as a result hundreds and perhaps thousands of more deaths.
We cannot condone that youngsters are taking risks or, dare we suggest it, giving the rest of us the two fingers, depending on your point of view.
As the elderly of our country are prisoner-like in their homes, as edging towards 2,000 families are grieving and with the danger of a relapse as health restrictions are eased, those in the prime of their lives, understandably, are not happy with our young guns.
Hugging and kissing
Yes, there are thousands of youngsters who thanks to very responsible parents, are towing the line at expense of being barred from hugging, kissing or even visiting in some cases, the grannies or grandads they love.
So to Scorn Not Their Complicity, a song that would put into perspective, positively and negatively and perhaps highlight who is to blame for the actions of our youth.
The quick draw answer would be to shoot at the young.
Would that be fair?
The answer, in our opinion is that of course the young have a responsibility to their greater community and there is an even greater onus on their parents to crack the proverbial whip.
After all the Corona Pandemic is a matter of life and death.
Our belief is that the kernel of the problem is that our inexperienced young people find themselves in a mad, mad world where truth is as scarce as hens’ teeth, where responsibility is a lost word and where lies, corruption and greed are kings of many castles.
As adults many of us gave vent to our feelings of hopelessness at the last General Election when we gave Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil an angry thumbs down.
The notion is that thousands of young people in particular voted Sinn Féin to get rid of an old guard that had given them very little reason to have any trust in them.
When what looked like a Mission Impossible was achieved, the party that was befriended by our youth was pushed to one side and the same old, same old are still collaborating to form a Government.
Worse still, decisions are now being made by FF and FG politicians who were turfed out of office at the General Election and as FF and FG battle to hold on to the reins of power, politicians who should now be on the dole are still pocketing generous wages and expenses.
The fox is partying in the hen house.
What a plot the scenario would make for a movie. But having been encouraged to go out and vote, the teens and their friends now find that the election winners are being treated as losers.
Add all that to the fact that we have a two-tier and dangerously broken health system, that, up to now at least, politicians are not serious about solving the homelessness crisis or indeed protecting people from being evicted from family homes.
Skin off bodies
How could our youth and indeed all of us expect anything different? After all it was Fine Gael who welcomed the vultures to scrap for the skin off the bodies of evicted families.
Our mostly well-educated young people will be well aware that politicians at all levels have no problem lashing out lies to us.
Young heads must be spinning on the shoulders of huge numbers of our future generation who will be well aware that courageous leadership is a no, no in our country.
They will be well aware of the way the women of Ireland were disgracefully treated in the Cervical Cancer Scandal and they will note that at this time nursing home patients are being treated as lepers of old were avoided and allowed to die.
They will know too that politicians and medical experts have made serious gaffs in their handling of our Coronavirus survival programme.
Major mistakes included letting Cheltenham Racing followers back into our country without testing, allowing Italian rugby supporters to party here at the height of the crisis.
Amazingly, there are those who would give divine status to Varadkar, Harris and Holohan as paragons of brilliance while there are others who would accuse them of making it up as they go along.
Masquerade as leaders
Compare the deaths for Ireland and New Zealand, a country quite similar to our own in many ways, and you will get the drift of our thoughts, and perhaps you will better understand the feelings of our young.
Reality is that young people may just feel that the carry-on of adults who masquerade as leaders is unacceptable, is leading nowhere, and hence what the latter say or do may understandably be falling on deaf ears.
Think about it, if you were 18, 22 or 26, would you trust or even respect those who would feed you lies (promises), looking after wealthy boys’ and girls’ clubs and treating the rest of us as slaves to pay taxes to fill their greedy pockets.
We doubt it.
We again appeal to the goodness of our youth to do what needs to be done to protect themselves, their parents and grandparents.
Huge numbers of young people have great potential but if leadership continues at the low level that we are now experiencing the only place they are heading is to a cul de sac.
The lyrics of Scorn Not Their Complicity, ie the young people’s actions of partying regardless, may one day define us as a country.
Power brokers and pseudo leaders may not be happy with any epitaphs on their tombstones.