Saturday 4th of December 2021

I don't know what this means. Please enlighten me. (John H Hill)

John Howard has swept to power due, in my opinion, to the public's lack of the ability to think effectively about the issues confronting society.

Our parliaments should be institutions where the many complex problems confronting us are analysed and solutions sought. Instead they are places where confrontation rules and simple ideological solutions to these complex problems are adopted by the party with the numbers without any real analysis.

The only answer which I can see is to include the teaching of the skills of clear thinking beginning at an early age. This would counteract the practice of making decisions relying on gut feelings and ideology based on immediate self interest. The only people who seem to understand how people make decisions are the advertisers, marketers and 'spin doctors'. They use their knowledge not for the benefit of society but for commercial or political advantage.

The idea that clear thinking is a skill, which needs to be developed is described in books by A. E. Mander. The first 'Clearer Thinking' was.published in the 1930s. All his books are now out of print So far as I am aware no books on this topic are now available. De Bono's books deal with thinking but in a restricted way aimed at business managers.

Teaching the skills in thinking is ignored in our children's education.

Bringing about change in attitude will not be easy. Perhaps we could start by demanding evidence to support the pronouncements of politicians and others who make unsupported statements.

A step in the long process of change could be a forum to discuss the need for change in thinking in the community and the processes needed to bring about his change.