Monday, 12 August 2019
Listing to the Left
One of the weapons in Twitters insidious little armoury, stocked to aid its holy war against the unbelievers and their persistent expressing of incorrect readings of the scripture is the dreaded ‘list’. Like many such weapons against thoughtcrime it is not only ineffectual, it is risible and, if anything, further desperate evidence that the eternally offended are ill-equipped for the conflict. Who has ever done anything other than laugh when receiving the notification that ‘@Twatface has added you to the list ‘People who make me cry’?
Actually, the titles of their lists say so much more about them than just their mental fragility; there, in concise little nuggets of micro-aggression, their own prejudices, cowardice and moral superiority are laid bare for all to see. A mutual follower helpfully listed the titles of lists to which he has been added recently:
· Thicker than mince
· Putin's little helpers
· Brexit enemies of Britain
· Traitors & Quislings
· Bullied badly at school
Charming, but can you tell his crime? Of course you can – he voted to leave the EU. Yesterday on Twitter the same kind of people who list those who dare think differently were all thinking the same as they howled in outrage at Sajid Javid’s proposal to revive the minting of a Brexit 50p coin. Bearing the highly offensive legend “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations" this innocuous commemoration of an important national event has triggered yet more bleating condemnation of we Putin’s little helpers. Even rather prominent figures, such as writer/producer Dominic Minghella, have fallen off the sanity perch over it, laughably suggesting they would refuse to accept it as legal tender.
What is the purpose of these lists to which we, the unwashed are added with monotonous regularity? Does anybody ever consult them? Are they used for mass pre-emptive blocking? Blocking without any form of engagement is a particularly weak-willed form of cowardice: I wouldn’t like them, you say? Then I must never see or hear their opinions in my timeline. There are even accounts which threaten to block anybody who retweets, for whatever aim, the opinions of anybody with whom they may later discover they are not in complete accord.
A message group in which I am included regularly exhorts its members to report certain accounts. I never do. Unless I have been personally harassed – which happens very rarely because I don’t often continue pointless discussions with no hope of resolution - I will not permanently block anybody. And on the rare occasions when the spite has become relentless I have blocked only for a few days, until the froth has subsided. As for piling in and reporting to get accounts removed? That is a groupthink response to which I hope I am largely immune.
The great ship of state...
It all seems to come down to people wanting only to deal with others of the same mindset; to inhabit a bubble of opinion which causes no discord. But I thought diversity was our strength, surely? I mean, haven’t they been banging the drum for multiculturalism for decades now? Or can you now only be inclusive if you all think the same? Caroline Lucas has made her own list; an all-white, women-only list, who will somehow speak for everybody. The left has an appalling track record in actual diversity of thought, but this is downright ridiculous, even for them. I hope somebody is making a list…