COLUMN: Rosemary Westwell of Ely says nobody is safe from ‘blame culture’

PUBLISHED: 09:51 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:51 05 February 2018

COLUMN: Rosemary Westwell asks ‘are we really in the Christmas spirit this year?’

COLUMN: Rosemary Westwell asks ‘are we really in the Christmas spirit this year?’


We like to think that we live in a fair and open society, but do we? In this day and age of ‘blame culture’, nobody is safe from being targeted as the cause of the ills of our society.

In the NHS, we are told that the crisis has come about because the elderly are bed blocking, the managers are making medical staff work too hard for too little and ambulances are not turning up in time to save lives. Little is mentioned of the draconian, self-serving orders from above that have really caused these problems.

Council websites, ones that you think would be there to help the citizens with information and offers of assistance, seem to be there to cajole us into giving them money or to get on with the job of doing everything for ourselves. A local even had a letter from a council that said it had made a mistake but it was the local’s fault.

The ever-increasing small print on pages of conditions in our insurance forms or banking arrangements make sure that it is our fault if something goes wrong. A small point, interpreted in a way suits the company, makes sure that we are guilty of some misdemeanor that means the insurance company or bank will not have to pay up when we wish to claim.

Education is free, we are told, yet there are so many parents who have to go without themselves to pay for extras such as uniforms, school dinners and trips. Parents are often told that the trips are purely voluntary, yet would you, as a parent deny your child the opportunity?

Would you allow your child the humiliation of admitting that they come from a poor family? When the family has to admit it cannot afford the extras, it is seen as the parents’ fault, not the school’s or the decision makers’.

The public bodies that are supposed to serve us send us reams of paper when only one or two pages would suffice. If we do not understand their jargon or gobbledygook, it is our fault we are told.

The ‘Freedom of Information Act’ allows us to have access to information that public bodies hold. This sounds like good news and surely proves the transparency of our society.

However, there is a catch. Sometimes we have to pay for the work involved in producing the information. A local once asked to see a relative’s medical notes.

She was immediately told she would have to pay for it, even though it was obvious that all that needed doing was opening a file.

It is time that those who actually produce the services stopped blaming us and blamed themselves when things go wrong.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ely Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ely Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ely Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 17:27

A man in his 70s and a woman in her 50s were threatened at gunpoint in Witchford when four masked men broke in and stole £20,000 in cash and jewellery.

Yesterday, 16:11

A blind veteran from Soham has returned to the Falkland Islands on the largest RAF aircraft for the first time in 36 years since the war ended in 1982.

Yesterday, 17:13

A converted mill overlooking the Fens and adjacent to the River Lark has come on the market with a price tag of £310,000.

Yesterday, 16:00

Families and friends of veterans of 115 Squadron who were based at RAF Witchford airfield (now Lancaster Way Business Park) during World War II from 1943 to the end of hostilities, attended the Remembrance Service in St Andrew’s Church.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Ely Standard weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy