Christmas Day 2023, the world has got a little older, and so have we all. Have we become wiser? It seems the world is falling ever more victim to false information. People who are tired, drained, busy, not having chance to check perhaps that what is being presented to them is in fact true and honest. These are the people that get on with their daily lives, go to work or whatever it is they do during the day. People that are bombarded constantly with a few loud voices that tell them the way things are, and people trust those voices. Why? because sometimes the voices are prominent people, sometimes they are people who happen to have thousands of followers on a social media page. Ordinary people have no reason not to trust these people, generally people are trusting and that is not an inherently bad thing. If the world was only full of bitter cynicism then we would be worse off as a species.

There are people who don’t necessarily choose to check the facts but keep an open mind. On the flip side, there are people who know that what is being said is wrong, factually incorrect, or they just don’t know or care whether it is true or not. These people are the scary ones, the real danger we face. That might sound dramatic, but how many conflicts have there been due to misunderstandings or downright lies, thanks to the people who perpetuate or believe them. How much damage do lies from people with agendas cause to our society, gradually eroding that trust that people still have.

Let us tell you the tale of the Lion of Gripsholm Castle. The tale is in fact a legend although the Lion is real, we shall allow ourself this indulgence as a metaphor given it is Christmas. So legend has it that the first lion in Scandinavia was presented to King Frederick I of Sweden in 1731. When the lion passed away, it was stuffed (as this writer will hopefully be by the time you are reading this). It was stuffed by a taxidermist who had never seen a lion before, and this is the result.

Yes this really exists, and it is really on display still at Gripsholm Castle Sweden.

Some find it appalling, some find it funny. We however think it sums up perfectly the situation the people of Tamworth and the wider world find themselves in at the moment (see we told you we had a metaphor). Most people don’t see the real truth as they don’t have access to it, they see what is presented by others. The taxidermist was not trying to fool anyone, he just didn’t know what a lion looked like, there was nowhere for him to check. He couldn’t just hop online or go and ask someone whether the abomination he ended up creating actually looked like a lion or not. To most people who saw this, they probably truly believed it was in fact a lion.

We shall try not to torture this analogy for too much longer, but it serves an important purpose. We as a town, as a society in general don’t have the excuse that we do not know what a lion looks like, because we can find out instantly, or better still go and see one in real life. If we made the effort to do so, we could find out the truth about things and know what is really going on without blindly trusting everything we see or hear. It doesn’t take much effort, be that asking more questions of the people who lead us directly or the organisations that have so much impact on our lives such as the council.

We grant you that sometimes you will not always get the full truth on everything, but at least you tried, and you can use your judgement and instinct to decide for yourself whether something sounds true or not, whilst importantly still keeping an open mind. You don’t have to be the person that takes the lion at face value and believes that is what one looks like, you have the ability and power in this connected society to find out for yourself. You don’t have to believe on face value what you see on some of the social media groups dedicated to this town. Heck you don’t have to believe what we write on our pages, we have always said this.

Debunking Tamworth exists to give you another viewpoint, encourages you to think for yourself and not just swallow the bitter twisted version of the ‘truth’ some people feel it is their life’s mission to push at you. There are some in this town that know full well what a real lion looks like but would happily tell you that in fact the picture above is a true representation. Their truth is ugly, just like the poor lion. We will never understand the real motivations behind this, it is not like there is an epic battle between good and evil happening. The truth is not hard to convey, especially when it comes down to the goings on in a small market town in the Midlands.

There are also people who wouldn’t believe the truth if it smacked them in the face, that will believe everything they are told regardless of any evidence or good reasoning. It is these people we pity the most as they presumably are often the people who are frequently taken advantage of by others. We have featured a number of these types of people on these pages over the last year, and whilst we poke fun, we do feel sad that our society still finds itself in this situation, and for some they seem quite happy to stay in ignorant bliss and refuse to open their minds to other possibilities.

Debunking Tamworth would like to wish you a Happy and Peaceful Christmas and New Year. We have optimism and hope for the New Year that all of us can and will do our best to stay curious, ask questions and endeavour to find the truth. Thank you for your support this year and your visits, regardless of what you think of us, or our mission.

Signing off until the New Year. Debunking Admin, the Editorial Team, the basement dwelling web developer and the email urchin.

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