Why is failure so fascinating?

Jul 17, 2013 by

Is it just me or is the world full of blame, enquiries, investigations and failing public services with very little emphasis on those that are actually succeeding? A little bit like the daily news bulletins we get which seem to totally concentrate on death, criminality, fraud, abuse and things that need fixing rather than success in the world.

I’m thinking about our hospitals and the NHS in general where 14 hospital trusts have been deemed failing and even causing thousands of unnecessary deaths (this following on from the mid Staffordshire scandal). 

Our police forces seem constantly under negative scrutiny, whether it be the Hillsborough scandal, the Steven Lawrence case, assuming dead children’s names for undercover operations or all those involved in taking payments for information to the media. 

Our failing schools are constantly being reported as OFSTED pours out another list of those to be targeted for their inadequate performance. 

Just yesterday we hear that children’s services in Doncaster are being taken over by a trust because of their chronic under performance.Our prisons regularly receive negative reports from the inspection teams and, as for the borders agency and immigration services, they never seem to be out of the headlines for all that they have failed to do. 

So, what is going right in the country at the moment? And why does the public appetite seem to be for failure and blame rather than success and praise? What is it in the British psyche that makes one more interesting than the other?

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