Sunday, 17 December 2017

Mister Nice Guy

I’ve been critical of people on Twitter. For that I apologise; I only ever wanted to be loved. So might go the defence pleas in mitigation for those who stand accused of ‘hate crimes’, for which read ‘mild antipathy’. I mean, lobbing a petrol-filled bottle at a mosque is a hate crime, as is beheading a captive journalist simply for not being muslim. Actual crime, fuelled by hatred, is hate crime. But now words are the instruments of war; hate and fear, the media claims, fear and hate – two-four-six-eight who do we excoriate?

The UK hate crime laws are based on perception and hearsay and much of the origin of so-called hate crime is tribal in origin; muslims against the west, the west against uncontrolled immigration, Tories against Labour, the UK versus the EU, etc. So let’s all just calm down and agree that the hysteria and hype is unworthy. Corbyn isn’t a demented communist would-be dictator; he’s just a daft old bugger. And Boris isn’t a speed-fuelled, back-combed glove puppet; he’s just a floppy-haired eejit. Neither is Tommy Robinson a hate-mongering neo-Nazi. And for all his shortcomings Owen Jones is basically a nice bloke who fell for the party line. Etc...

So let’s have a look at a world without hyperbole:

Conservatives – clue in the name – believe in a touch of parsimony, living within your means and generally not rocking the boat. Conservatives are charitable but thrifty and think that you value more that which you have to strive for. Human frailties are weaknesses to be overcome, not ‘conditions’ to be slave to, so large ‘C’ Conservatives have little time for indulgence in what they see as the largely self-inflicted epidemic of extreme minority issues. And they definitely don't eat babies.

Labour – the name is now largely historical – believe in equality and that the state is the method by which this can be achieved. They see as manifestly unfair that some people amass wealth and pass it on to their offspring and would see the wealth distributed as equitably as possible, if only there was a system which could actually achieve this. With a strong belief in social justice they see themselves as defenders of the weak and consequently don’t generally believe in challenging a person’s self-assertion that they are in need.

Me – I believe in self-reliance, endeavour and having a go. But that’s so boring isn’t it, being reasonable? You have to pick a side these days. You can’t have the opposition leader at PM’s Questions saying “You know what? I think you are dead right to pursue that approach and I for one would like to offer you the support of my party in getting the legislation past those bastards in the Lords!” That would be like watching a whodunit where the first thing you see was, well, who done it.

On the political compass test I come out slap bang in the middle; right in the cross hairs. But this can’t be right because, according to Twitter I am 'literally Hitler, spreading my poison and racism and all that shizzle. In reality I think I am in the so-called silent majority (except for the silent bit!). I work, pay my taxes, do stuff for myself from time to time and generally just get on with living. Just like most other people, I'm a nice guy at heart.

But there seems to be a real appetite for extremes; more so now than for a long time Express a preference for a smaller, less intrusive state and you are condemned as a Nazi, which is odd, as the Nazis worshipped their overbearing state. Express a desire for peace and harmony and you are a card-carrying communist, which is odd, as the communists deliberately starved the population of Ukraine and killed many millions throughout the soviet states.

Look into my eyes...

It doesn’t seem to matter what you believe, there is always somebody on the next-but-one tweet that not only disagrees with you but is able to probe into your deep, dark soul and divine your innermost thoughts. I imagine even somebody who does little more than post cute images of kittens runs the risk of being branded a dog-hater. Recognising this inability to empathise with each other I can only conclude that peace and love and harmony is beyond the reach of humanity... but imagine what a boring place it would be if we ever got there?

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