Sunday, May 10, 2015

Public discourse in Britain seems like public discourse in America, unfortunately.

Let's have a rational discussion, but realize that if you are a conservative, you are racist, sexist homophobe.

//I’m not so sure. I am attracted by the view that we should all keep the debate open, discuss our political views, take other people’s views into account, and revise and improve our own as we all benefit from this dialogue. I’m attracted by the view that there is such a thing as progress in politics. But—depressingly—I’m far more sceptical than I was yesterday about how much of a difference we can make with political debate. There are several reasons for this.

One is that, in much of British culture, people are uncomfortable with debate about politics. It would, in some circles, be rude to raise the topic of politics over dinner, and to try to change someone’s mind about their political views—well, that’s frankly out of order. We’re much more comfortable talking about the weather, who might win the X Factor, or Kim Kardashian’s arse. The British unwillingness to discuss politics was illustrated today by the sway of the ‘shy Tories’: the people who voted Conservative, but who kept quiet about it in the run-up to the election, and certainly didn’t tell the opinion polls.?


//For these reasons, I’m tired of reasoned debate about politics—at least for a day or two. I don’t want to be friends with racists, sexists, or homophobes. And I don’t want to be friends with Conservatives either.//

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