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« Cameron's ruddy duck | Main | BBC metropolitan elite, moi? »
Monday
May112015

Rebecca Roache's potty time

Readers may remember a paper I wrote about a few years back which considered whether the human race shouldn't biomedically modify itself to have a smaller impact on Gaia. This tinkering with a kind of eco-eugenics was the stuff of 15-minute headlines, and was quickly forgotten, but one of the paper's author's came to my attention again over the weekend when Maurizio tweeted about her ramblings in the wake of the election result. Here's her considered view of Cameron's victory, published at the Practical Ethics blog of the University of Oxford:

One of the first things I did after seeing the depressing election news this morning was check to see which of my Facebook friends ‘like’ the pages of the Conservatives or David Cameron, and unfriend them. (Thankfully, none of my friends ‘like’ the UKIP page.) Life is too short, I thought, to hang out with people who hold abhorrent political views, even if it’s just online...

I don’t want to be friends with racists, sexists, or homophobes. And I don’t want to be friends with Conservatives either.

There is some interesting discussion in the comments as to whether her astonishing bigotry makes it impossible for anyone of right-wing political views to attend Ms Roache's course. Last week, someone helpfully pointed out to me that something like 90% of UK academics have left-wing views of one kind or another. That being the case, and in the light of the kind of behaviour described above, what future is there for the universities?

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Reader Comments (83)

"Life is too short, I thought, to hang out with people who hold abhorrent political views, even if it’s just online..."
While this kind of closed-mindedness is indeed a bit depressing in an academic, for those of in the ordinary world, there could be some thing in it. I am heartily sick of the loudmouth trumpetings of atheists, socialists, friends of perverts, sellers-out of England, enemies of education, trade unionists etc etc etc and would happily never have them intrude in my world again.

May 11, 2015 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Bill, I wish I could have written that, you are spot on my position.

May 11, 2015 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohnp

I wonder what a survey of the political views of academics would actually yield. I mean, of course, one properly carried out.

The "left" has had the soapbox and megaphone now for a few years (as did the "right" before). It is unsurprising that one gets to hear this kind of stupidity... not really at all that different from the one we've heard before for other quarters.

May 11, 2015 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

Someone posted this on David Thompson's site. His comment is written with his usual eloquence and dry humour: "You’d think a lecturer in philosophy, a professional intellectual, might see those two things - quiet voters and her own hair-trigger intolerance - as possibly being related. If the post in question is representative of Ms Roache’s thinking abilities (to say nothing of her self-awareness and cheery disposition), the impressionable teenagers in her class have my sympathies."

May 11, 2015 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

Imagine the wails of protest if a right-leaning academic had 'unfriended' left wing Labour and Green supporters. It's actually straightforward political prejudice, and in principal is no different from racism or any other 'ism'. Perhaps she should be sent for re-education?

May 11, 2015 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

The 2012 Paper the Bishop refers to that she co-authored is has some obvious roots and inspiration.
It is worth a quick look to se exactly what this self styled "compassionate liberal person" in all peer reviewed seriousness would like to do to human beings.

"Oh brave new world that has such people in it".

May 11, 2015 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenese2

The problem is close-mindedness and arrogance.
The former means that alternate ideas aren't engaged with and tested for value.
The latter means that your own views aren't tested for value.

These failings are not restricted to one end of the political spectrum. See Bill's first comment on this thread, for a right wing example.

However, I do agree that these failings are the last things to be expected or accepted in a University.

May 11, 2015 at 10:16 AM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

'Tis a joy to watch their squirming misery. Now I know how the majority of middle of the road Americans must have felt at the mid terms. Politics is as climate......a pendulum swinging gently....a little push now and again gets it higher but eventually it swings past the centre on the way to the other side. The further out on the swing the more impetus there is back to the centre. I would say to these bathed in Greenagoguery...Get over it. At least you are not being sent out into the fields to learn to toe the party line as Mao or Pol Pot would have done.

May 11, 2015 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

90% of UK academics have left-wing views of one kind or another. 'and have far more in common than the very 'establishment' they moan about that the 'working class' they little understand and often despise.

It is a oddity that the chatter classes of NW1 see themselves of left learning when in reality both in education , background and outlook they share much more with the classic image of the 'Tory' than they do with the mass of people that make up the population. The classic example of this is the Guardian whose journalism staff has more privately education and Oxbridge people than both The Times and The Telegraphy , who get a light heading if they go north of the M25.

The double irony Guardian being very much part of the 'establishment' which is why despite poor sales figuers it has the influence it does . The same is the case for these academics, they often are the 'establishment'

.

May 11, 2015 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

Makes those graduates from redbrick ex-polytechnics look quite good, eh?


And then there's Myles "11°C" Allen...

May 11, 2015 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Has Rebecca Roache considered biomedically modifying herself? I have nothing against people having alternative views, but trying to inflict them on others, from a position of responsibility, has sinister overtones. But she probably does not understand such concepts, especially if she was similarly lectured at, by another bigot, with a a selfrighteous irony bypass.

May 11, 2015 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

We now have five years (hopefully) of a "right-leaning" government during which I hope that Boris Johnson's "shy Tories" will feel able to come out of the closet and regain control of their political lives.
Don't blame the pollsters; these STs are the reason why they got the forecast so wrong.
And I would like everyone to join the campaign to rescue the word "progressive" which in the mouths of Labour and the SNP is an outright lie, and the same goes for other weasel words like "sustainable". The Left has dictated the language of politics for far too long.
It's not that I am desperate to have the Right, or any other direction, dictate; let's have some honesty in dealings with each other for a change, shall we?

May 11, 2015 at 10:26 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Last night I was in a local hostelry taking part in a pub quiz along with a group of friends. They are all Labour supporters and have been out leafleting for their local candidate over recent weeks. It was mightily amusing, listening to their conspiracy theories about why they'd lost, both locally and nationally, and the shock when one of them realised that I am a long time Tory voter was a treat.

May 11, 2015 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

Who is Rebecca Roache? She sounds like an immature 12 year old.

May 11, 2015 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

The fact that the universities are riddled with lefties is no surprise since I saw the start of it in the late 50s early 60s. We are now on the second generation of them and I can't see it getting any better in the future.

May 11, 2015 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterivan

Can you imagine anyone who is not clinically insane wanting advice on "practical ethics" from such a person? Why have our universities become wildlife refuges for the preservation of left-wing nutters? Shouldn't we have more diversity in our universities? Normal, rational people holding views even slightly to the right of the Guardian seem to be seriously under-represented.

May 11, 2015 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Disclaimer, she is not at Oxford but Royal Holloway London. Phew.

May 11, 2015 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

MCourtney
I would agree that Bill's comment could be seen as OTT especially by someone like yourself, but I think you miss the point.
Would you be happy to agree with him (as I would) if he excluded the word "socialist" and added the word "leaders" after the words "trade union"?
I don't really have a problem with any of those people existing though my own view is that my world would be a happier place without them. And though I claim to be a Christian and (broadly speaking) a Conservative I have rarely had a problem in my daily life relating to those of other faiths and none, those of a different political philosophy and none and I have at various times been a member of a trade union (TGW and NUJ, if you want to know). Those times when there has been no meeting of minds has been occasioned by people like Roache for whom the concept of "live and let live" is like garlic to a vampire.
They have three things in common (in my experience): they invariably see themselves as being "of the Left" (but see knr's post above) which entitles them to consider themselves superior; they are almost invariably atheist and see religion as something to be mocked; they believe that anyone who disagrees with them is either evil or mentally deranged and should either be exterminated or sent to an institution for treatment.
And no, I am not exaggerating,

May 11, 2015 at 10:51 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Fascism is like the devil, or the Five Thieves if you know Sikhism. It comes from within.

That said, Uni teaching qualities in the England for the soft sciences (including climatology of course) perfectly reflect the state of science publications.

But don't despair. Flowers, as you know, can be born out of manure.

ps biomedical modification? all together now: "THIS IS AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM GENETIC CONTROL..." - in the town of Harlow, of course

May 11, 2015 at 10:53 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

ps is Blattodea an insult?

May 11, 2015 at 10:55 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

@ M Courtney

These failings are not restricted to one end of the political spectrum. See Bill's first comment on this thread, for a right wing example.

Bill's views are certainly not over-represented in universities, the BBC, most of the broadsheet newspapers, or the public sector. What is depressing about Rebecca Roache's views is that she takes it for granted that people that she rubs shoulders with in her work will think the same as she does.

May 11, 2015 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Please don't try and silence lefty self-righteousness and intolerance, its one of the major recruiting sergeants for the Right.

May 11, 2015 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

This comment, made in the comments section, by the fragrant Rebecca must be my fave.


Giving weight to the opinions of experts in this way implicitly leaves me open to the possibility of re-evaluating my view that Conservatism is not as bad as racism.


That's awfully open minded of her don't you think?

May 11, 2015 at 11:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Mike Jackson, No I don't agree. Even with the alterations you propose.

The point being that any short-cut to thinking (by using the type of person proposing the view) leads to missing the values of the other viewpoint.

For example:
Pro-paedophile views are rejected by me because they are harmful to the innocent. They should not be rejected just because they are disgusting. But it would be easy to oppose them on prejudiced grounds that when defeated leave children vulnerable.

And I'm not just being holier than thou here. I mean it. When the election went the way I didn't want I engaged with Tories here and at WUWT. Because that was where the new knowledge was.

This close-mindedness is a growing trend in the UK. Case in point, Shy Tories who won't identify their views, debate them and challenge them. They are just as bad as this Roache lady.

Free Speech is under threat by social media corralling everyone into their own echo chambers. Freedom to say whatever you want to people who already know it is not the point of free speech. Bill's comment was a rallying call for such intellectual isolationism.
And I don't agree.

May 11, 2015 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

Eighty-four percent of campaign contributions made by a group of 614 Harvard faculty, instructors, and researchers between 2011 and the third quarter of 2014 went to federal Democratic campaigns and political action committees, according to a Crimson analysis of Federal Election Commission filings.

During the three years, the Harvard affiliates represented in analyzed public filings gave nearly $3 million to federal campaigns and candidates. Each of Harvard’s schools leaned to the left in the contributions made by their affiliates, many by wide margins. Ninety-six percent of donations in the data set from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which includes Harvard College, supported Democratic efforts. That figure was even higher—nearly 98 percent—at Harvard Law School. Harvard Business School was the most Republican, with 37 percent of its contributions supporting Republicans and 62 percent going to Democrats.

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2015/5/1/faculty-political-contributions-data-analysis/

May 11, 2015 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpeed

I read an article in the Sunday Times yesterday that, for me, summed up the contrasting attitudes and behaviour of Liberals versus Conservatives in the same way Rebecca Roache's attitudes do.


In a story about the Gulf War wasn't familiar with General Ray Odierno, head of US forces at the time, appointed as an adivser Emma Sky. Emma Sky was a 100 proof Leftie nutcase, who was a radical anti-war Left protester (she offered to be a human shield during the first Gulf War).

But General Odierno enlisted her to berate him from the extreme Left, because he knew he needed challenge and different views to keep his own perspective and make better decisions.

Rebecca Roache, by comparison, needs to "unfriend" people who, she perceives, hold different political views.


I feel comfortable on my side of the political fence, thanks very much Rebecca. And if you refuse to be the friendly neighbour and have the odd chat over it now and again, then good luck and good riddance.

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/newsreview/features/article1553859.ece

May 11, 2015 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

In Aus they have the same problem which is exemplified by the treatment of Bjorn Lomborg by UWA. Bolt has a good breakdown here http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_universities_become_retirement_homes_for_labor/
When I was at Uni, there were many of socialists who thought that by becoming teachers they could lay the foundations for a socialist future. The Francis Xavier school of learning. I think William Briggs also pointed out that the majority of students at University in the US studied the Social Sciences which only became a "science" after Marx discovered Scientific Socialism.

May 11, 2015 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrianJay

None.

Pointman

May 11, 2015 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

MCourtney
"This close-mindedness is a growing trend in the UK. Case in point, Shy Tories who won't identify their views, debate them and challenge them. They are just as bad as this Roache lady."

I disagree. Shy Tories have their views challenged every day, in conversations with vocal aggressive lefties, by the media, by right on public and third sector employers.

Shy Tories do not publicise their views because to do so is often to be bullied, discriminated against and vilified. Keeping quiet does not mean they don't debate and challenge their views, they do so internally all the time because the establishment constantly challenges their views. There is a huge cost to this, of maintain an understanding of issues to defend their position, of being bullied if identified and having to fit in with often violent and vindictive lefties.

The left do not have these pressures which is why they descend into poorly thought out incoherent group think. Why they have no understanding of their political opponents beyond calling them evil or stupid or selfish. Why when challenged they have no answer beyond hysteria, violence and threat.

I wonder if there is a parallel with the alarmists vs realists?

May 11, 2015 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Thomas

Daniel Thomas,
That is a fair point that the public culture challenges the internal narrative of Shy Tories. It ties up with what Roy said at May 11, 2015 at 10:58 AM. The Shy Tory view is not publically debated.

But the fact the Shy Tories do not or cannot verbalise their dissent still implies to me that they are not truly engaging. They may merely be utilising prejudice - either knowingly or not - if they don't formally challenge their opinions. And Bill's comment in favour of shunning is evidence of similar intellectual laziness that is correctly identified with some on the left.

I wonder if there is a parallel with the alarmists vs realists?

The similarity would seem to be that the alarmists refuse to debate because they have the whip-hand in the places of public discourse and so can deny debate. That's my take on it.

But the same applies in other (alternative) places of public discourse- echo chambers are growing everywhere.

May 11, 2015 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

MCourtney @ 12.09: The flaw in the "shy tories" theory is overlooking the fact that large numbers of voters are rather apolitical and approach an election as either "don't knows" or else might give a weak preference to pollsters. History has shown that a single emergent occurrence provokes a decision. In 1992 an overconfident labour party held a triumphal rally in Sheffield a few days before polling thinking they had already won. The bile and hatred on display shook many people out of their indecision.
!n 1970 a double figure Labour lead was evaporated by a few adverse economic figures which seem to confirm Tory criticism of Labour policy and shaking trust.
This time I think the thought of the SNP tail wagging a Labour dog concentrated the waverers. In each case the loser was the Liberal alternative.
When Harold McMillan was asked what he feared most in politics he answered "events dear boy - events".

May 11, 2015 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenese2

diogenese2,
That Shy Tories are largely apolitical and so think less about politics and thus don't have opinions to discuss until they "break" one way at the end is an interesting idea.

But they always break Tory.
They have views. They just don't articulate them.

May 11, 2015 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

Reminds me of the play 'The History Man' where one student was expelled from the uni for not being Marxist enough.

The makeup of the students reflects the wider society, which is more idealist and less money-obsessed when young and without responsibilities. So I suspect they enter the Uni as more lefty and those who never leave it to face the real world, never really manage to lose that middle class angst. However the instant folk start their own business they begin resenting having to pay all these unemployment and sickness benefits for others while unable to receive them as owner. eg "If I wasn't paying all these taxes then I could employ more people. Instead they take this useful investment money and pay people to stay unemployed - where's the sense?". Business experience thus breeds conservatism. Folk who haven't actually run a business are more inclined to see businessmen as selfish, tax-dodging, profit-maximisers, unwilling to support the most-vulnerable in society. But hey it's not easy making wealth - much easier just spending wealth that others create and then bitching that it's not enough.

May 11, 2015 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

M Courtney, I called the election right because although I’m not shy about my political leanings I know that there’s a huge pressure to keep them hidden. I’m a real fan of BBC comedy but it is the voice of left wing hatred of all things to the right. The people who inhabit TV and radio are specialists at communicating. They’re experts at PR, both positive and negative. They hold debates with themselves and regularly win because they invite no opposition. Their idea of someone right of centre right is Nick Clegg and anyone further over than that is a baby eating billionaire who gave up their slaves only when they were made to.

Only this morning the Wright Stuff were muttering how unfair it was that the TV had rules about what they could say during an election but the press didn’t. None of the very left wing panel questioned whether the four plus years of intense politically left drip feed might actually be more influential. Even during the restricted period, Matthew and guests made their feelings know with a sneer or a raised eyebrow or a laugh at the right moment.

Whatever you think of UKIP, you can’t be unaware of the hatchet job done on their reputation. No allowances are given for their emergent attempts to find suitable political candidates. While Tory and Labour candidates have long experience at minding their Ps and Qs, a new party has to weed the garrulous out. However, despite the opposition, the election shows that a great many people feel represented by them. If we think there are shy Tories, imagine how the shy UKIPers feel?

On BBC Breakfast this morning we had a ‘debate’ where left wing people were repeatedly allowed to say that the English rejection of Labour was a racist attack on Scotland where in truth it was a political attack on the hard left views of the SNP. The Scottish will firmly believe it, not least because it is being repeated by sore English, Labour losers. In truth it’s a compliment to Scotland. We could see that a strong Salmond and Sturgeon would dominate a weak, needy Miliband.

One of the reasons we had a coalition last time and a slim majority this, is because even key Tories find it hard to articulate the best things about conservative behaviour. It doesn’t mean that they’re not there but that decades of BBC brainwashing has left them ashamed of them.

May 11, 2015 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

TinyCO2,
You called the election right. And you obviously know more about Shy Tories than me as I'm not one.
But I'm curious about your conclusion

One of the reasons we had a coalition last time and a slim majority this, is because even key Tories find it hard to articulate the best things about conservative behaviour. It doesn’t mean that they’re not there but that decades of BBC brainwashing has left them ashamed of them.

You're implying that you can't think of any way to describe what's good about conservative behaviour because the language of politics is set by the left-wing media.

To me this sounds like a feeble excuse for relying on gut feeling and irrational prejudice.

You may not agree with left-wing ideology - it seems most of the country doesn't - but at least we bother to develop an ideology.

May 11, 2015 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

I'd also point out, that not only is it unacceptable to be right wing, you can't even be middle class. We get the preposterous concept of millionaires pretending to be working class, innit.

May 11, 2015 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

People who shout the loudest, never have time to listen.

Then they want to shout at the people, who did not speak up.

Sometimes it is worth listening to the people who don't shout, even if it is to ask why they don't shout.

I think many of those who voted Tory, are quite enjoying the failed politicians and pundits, shouting at each other.

May 11, 2015 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Well I enjoyed reading that article and the erudite comments. Seeing blinkered Lefties taken to task is what we're usually denied by stringent moderation policy. More please.

The only downside I guess is we're paying the fragrant Rebecca's wages. A target for evil Tory cuts perhaps?

May 11, 2015 at 2:59 PM | Registered CommenterSimonW

Most issues that need sorting in the UK are hampered by social restrictions that have built up over decades if not centuries of political correctness. Can't discuss multiculturism because of slavery and racism from the past. Can't discuss wealth creation because wanting money is crass greed. Can't discuss benefits because some people are genuinely needy. Can't discuss FGM because it might lead to racism. Can't discuss how alcohol contributes to incidence of rape because some say it lets the rapist off the hook. Can't discuss climate change because if you have doubts it must mean you want your childen to BURN!

You know how shutting the debate down works with AGW, project those tactics over many other issues and you get a feeling of what conservatives experience.

May 11, 2015 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Got to love those sanctimonious Lefties - always keen to show what lovely PC views they hold!

May 11, 2015 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

But TinyCO2, I do discuss those topics.
And I don't endorse FGM as a matter of cultural sensitivity. Check my comment history at the Guardian. I'm a lefty but that doesn't mean I'm signed up to a package of ideas that are adhered to by the whole left. Hardly anyone is.

The Labour Party is a broad church and someone will endorse each of those issues - but not necessarily all.

Why won't the Right stand up for what they believe in, openly?
Because it is risky to do so.
So they huddle into silent cloisters or whisper through echo chambers.

My complaint was that everyone - across the divide - is doing this more and more. And that's bad for free speech and bad for democracy.

We need more people with a spine who will argue their case. Regardless of the insults and contempt.
Courage is a virtue for a reason.

May 11, 2015 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

Bill's comment was a rallying call for such intellectual isolationism. MCourtney@11.03

Well not entirely. Simply I resent being harangued by those whose solipsism lets them think they are standing on high moral ground whereas in reality they are championing lines of thought that, when applied, have failed, again and again and again. And in failing, have caused a lot of damage to innocent people. It is perfectly possible to consider that life, the world, whatever is 'unfair'; and it is perfectly reasonable to want to do something about it. However doing something about it in a way which flows from the nostrums of socialism, is only going to end in disaster. Meddler Marx's models don't meet reality at any level. So their predictions don;t come true. Progressives might like to try this as the intellectual starting points:Capitalism is not oppression; the working class are not victims.

May 11, 2015 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

M Courtney

But the fact the Shy Tories do not or cannot verbalise their dissent still implies to me that they are not truly engaging.
You just gave the game away!
What is this "dissent" you are talking about? What is it that I am "dissenting" from? The views of the Orthodox Left? The Guardianista view of the wordl? The Gospel according to the BBC?
I don't accept any of those as being a philosophy from which to dissent. In fact I see them all as a minority view of the world based on an incestuous little circle of pseudo-intellectuals who assume that everyone outside is intellectually and socially inferior.
In fact it is they who are dissenting from the majority who run businesses or work in them and who provide all the infrastructure without which their lives would be painful (to say the very least). The people they consider the "salt of the earth", as long as they don't have to get too close to them.
Or you could take a more measured stance and say that these are two different but equally valid and acceptable views of how society is and should be and that "dissent" doesn't come into it.

May 11, 2015 at 3:30 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

We have a saying here in Canada: what's the opposite of diversity? University...

Seems to fit here. How anyone thinks we can advance any line of thinking by ignoring those who disagree with us is beyond me, and to think that this attitude comes from someone who believes she qualifies as a "thinker" is beyond parody.

May 11, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaligulaJones

Mike Jackson, the use of the word dissent was clear in context. It was dissent from that which Daniel Thomas named:

.
Shy Tories have their views challenged every day in conversations with vocal aggressive lefties, by the media, by right on public and third sector employers.

Bill, I hope you didn't take my criticism of your post as personal criticism. It wasn't meant that way.
And I maintain that your objection to Marxism in your second post is fine (even if I disagree).
Yet your refusal to engage in your first post is more damaging to society. As is the lady Roache's.

May 11, 2015 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

"We need more people with a spine who will argue their case. Regardless of the insults and contempt.
Courage is a virtue for a reason." MCourtney

I agree, unfortunately we have a media (all types) that has reduced politcs to a beauty contest. As such we get the airheads we deserve.

But as it hapens the public do speak, very loudly. They just did it by putting an X in the 'wrong' box. To a certain extent the internet has become the place for people to speak as they really feel. Rebecca has had a go and has found how unacceptable her theories are. The shoe is on the other foot for a change. If on the other hand she had asked why she shouldn't cut off her Conservative friends she might have learnt from the answers and not firmly wedged her foot in her mouth.

May 11, 2015 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

TinyCO2, fair point. She could have talked to those she doesn't agree with. But that is becoming rare and rare on the internet.

Suzanne Moore is covering this very issue at the Guardian.
At first glance the comments there are obviously more dominated by lefties with the vocal know-it-all being the Right-wingers (opposite of here - I know how I've said a lot here).
But the debate below the line is very similar.

We are looking at our own reflections online and not engaging with the real world. Because the real world is not saying what they want or why. This is important for the AGW debate as well as the rest of politics.

I've said too much and I do have a job so I'll step back now.

May 11, 2015 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

Yet your refusal to engage in your first post is more damaging to society Mcourtney@3.47

No of course I didn't take your remarks personally.
But as we have seen in the climate change 'debate' there is a problem in attempting to engage with holders of (to me) strange arguments, the Progressive mentality. They would rather shout one down, paint you as a villain, assert they are right, declare the justice of their cause overrides snivelling debate etc etc etc.

May 11, 2015 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

MCourtney and bill,

Over the weekend, mindless brainless idiots daubed red paint on a war memorial to non combatment women, assaulted police etc, in protest at the election result.

My guess is that they were not UKIP. Does this make me bigoted?

May 11, 2015 at 6:02 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

MCourtney
Sorry, I don't see it. And I still don't see it from your quote from Daniel Thomas. You seem to be implying (please accept my apology if I'm wrong) that because "vocal aggressive lefties ... the media ... right on public and third sector employers" disagree with Tories, shy or otherwise, that they are therefore "challenging" them. They aren't and this is just one more example of the extent to which the Left has dictated the language and therefore the terms of debate for the last 40 years.
I challenge you when I slap you with my gauntlet and we agree on pistols at dawn on Hampstead Heath (or these days when I manage some drunken version of "come outside and say that"☺). The Left don't challenge; they ignore because as far as they are concerned (Ms Roache is an extreme example) the Tory view is an aberration, something to be shunned on the same basis that GW sceptics are to be shunned because even acknowledging their existence gives them a credibility that they cannot be allowed to have.
And shy Tories don't dissent because most of the time there is nothing coherent to dissent from and when there is dissent is likely to get you on the receiving end of GBH.

May 11, 2015 at 6:16 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

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