While in America a few weeks ago I listened to the talk radio stations. Without exception the shows I listened to were hosted by fanatics who condemned their opponents as not only wrong but intentionally evil. On one side the U.S. Government were conniving with BP to enrich themselves while deliberately destroying the environment. Another side blamed the liberals for deliberately lying about climate change in order to destroy the American way and allow other countries to impinge on America sovereignty. The abortion debate is one of the most acrimonious. Fiendish liberals murder babies while tyrannical misogynists seek to inflict back street abortions on young women.
Over the years British politics seems to be becoming similar to that of America. (All this dull witted talk of “progressive politics” is an American import). Listening to LBC radio this morning one guy was claiming that the Tories are a party obsessed with making the rich richer while Labour are portrayed as wanting to destroy industry.
When one tries to argue (as reasonably as one can) against one of the extreme views one is immediately cast as representing the opposite extreme view. When I blogged about the gross incompetence of the New Labour government I was branded as a racist an a fascist. If I complain about the corruption of the corporate world I am branded a communist.
Let me explain something to all extremists: You are all TALKING BOLLOCKS!
Most argument are not straight black and white and most people are capable of understanding that both sides in most debates have valid arguments and that decisions must be taken which attempt to ameliorate the downside of both arguments while accentuating the good. So why do the politicians insist on playing these idiotic games of simplifying arguments to a level that only an imbecile would agree with?
Take the abortion debate for example. One side believes that life begins at conception and that it is always wrong to take life. The other side believes that a woman’s body is her own to do with as she wishes so if she wants an abortion she should have one.
Both are Talking Bollocks!
Firstly it is ridiculous to say that life begins at conception. A sperm is alive and an egg is alive. Life is a continuum. One unappreciated fact about the human race is that we are all one continuous stream of life going back thousands, if not, millions of years. Its amazing! It fantastic! Its a far bigger idea than a man with a beard who did everything and it means that a new born baby is a million years old! – Cool!
Listen to Unbroken Chain by the Grateful Dead which, I’m told, is inspired by this idea.
Secondly yes, a woman’s body is her own to do with as she wishes but at some point one has to realise that she is carrying a child. What are you going to do, allow abortion up to 1 minute before delivery? At this point the accusation is usually this is unfair as I am a man and therefore will never be put in this position. Sorry, I know it’s unfair but it’s still true.
As I said, these are the two extremes but anyone with any intelligence can see that there is validity in both arguments and this is what I find so annoying: That the bellicose imbeciles who insist on inflicting their bigoted opinions upon us refuse to even acknowledge the obvious truth in their opponents arguments. Yes life should be treated as sacred but yes a woman should have control of her own body so the law should probably be something like that which we have at the moment: Not “abortion on demand” but limited according to strict criteria.
Immigration is another debate where our politicians behave like hooligans. Yes, the United Kingdom is crowded and our resources are over stretched but no, it’s not true that we should judge people by their race or religion. (Whatever race is supposed to mean – I thought there was only one race, the human race – I thought that most of your also worshipped the same God so I don’t know why you bicker about minor implementation differences). So when one politicians argues against immigration he is not necessarily a fascists and another argues in favour of immigration they are not necessarily hell bent on destroying British culture. My personal view is that the racists debate has become so stylised and dangerous that prejudice is rampant on both sides of the debate.
One reason I support the current coalition government (so far) is that it is trying to run more heterogeneous politics. It is OK to have opposing views on some issues while agreeing and proceeding on others. In the end every member of the House of Commons is allowed to vote on a bill so if enough MPs (Tory, Liberal or Labour) oppose the bill it wont get through.
What we require from politicians is an end to the mindless demonising of their opponents and reasoned, intelligent debate culminating in a vote where the decision is accepted by all.
Democracy, I think it’s called.