When I was at both college and university there was an “understanding.”
The understanding was that even if you didn’t like someone’s opinion, they had the right to express it (in a civilised fashion such as a debate or a moot) and you, as a civilised person, had a duty to either listen or fuck off.
This led to the lovely thing of “mutual conversation” where you would listen to someone else’s opinion (or at least stand or sit there until they finished talking and it was your turn) and after all, isn’t that what democracy is based upon?!!
Problem was that by the late 1980s a lot of little shits considered that their opinions were not opinions at all but FACTS.
After all, how could anyone NOT want to see Nelson Mandella be released from prison? How could anyone with anything remotely approaching a conscience NOT want to become vegetarian? And how could ANYONE not think that the Domestic Violence laws of the UK were antiquated and out of touch and in dire need of overhauling?**
These people were people who didn’t want to have a debate, or a moot or even a chat. They were the angry young face of educated Britain. They knew best and they were determined to get their own way as, like it or don’t, what they wanted and knew to be right would be THE WAY from now on.
From 1987 to 1993 when I was in Higher and Further Education, these creatures were simply annoying or amusing. They were seen in Asda slapping “Contaminated With Apartheid” stickers on every bit of corn beef they could find. They were out Hunt Sabbing. They stood outside McDonalds and gleefully told people going in or out what was in the Big Macs.***
Then…the creatures decided that “answering back” was just plain wrong. They were right, and others could PLAINLY see that and were only arguing with the righteousness of their stance in order to piss them off….or they were stupid…and both were as bad as each other.
When I was a child there was a phenomenon of a certain type of spiteful cunt. This cunt would rant and rave at you but hate the fact that you would try to respond to whatever they’d said.
A teacher accuses you of something but doesn’t have any evidence to back it up. They are in a bad mood and give you a verbal lashing, making you upset or possibly even making you cry. When they have finally finished you try to explain the situation as you see it but they either order you out, speak over you or pretend they can’t hear you.
I once had a landlord who refused to check the gas fire in my bedsit**** as he had checked it himself. I patiently went to the relevant council office (days before Internet) and photocopied the relevant bits of the Act of Parliament governing gas appliances in rented property and C.O.R.G.I (Council of Registered Gas Installers). When he came round the next week he looked at me in disgust and refused to even look at the pieces of paper I was proffering, let alone take them and read them. He wanted to be right and knew that by reading this document it might make him less than right or even, God forbid…WRONG!!!
But I digress…
Basically some people just don’t like to be argued with. They know they’re right and they’re too childish to allow other people to voice an opinion.
The British National Party were hated when I was at Uni, like they are now. BUT they would be allowed to talk on an open platform and then people would bung eggs and flour (or even half a house brick) at them outside the venue. Now we have the sad and quite disgusting spectacle of an elected BNP Member of Parliament being told to leave by venue owners when he turned up for the hustings. Reason? They didn’t like him and didn’t want to hear what he had to say. As the venue was private, all it took was for them to ask him to leave and he then had to. When he refused the police physically took him out of the building. He had an unpopular opinion and the view was that he shouldn't’ be allowed to voice it.
After all…they were RIGHT and he was WRONG.
The worrying thing now is that the laws in the UK are so blatantly designed to silence anything that goes against the will of narrow minded, judgmental, left-wing cretins.
The internal rules in the UK police as they stand (and other public organisations) is that a comment is wrong if ANYONE PRESENT is offended by it and not just the person it was intended for. This means that a racist, sexist, homophobic etc. joke that is intended only for one person’s ears will be offensive even if someone is hiding in a cupboard (or in one reported case, had left a tape recorder in the room deliberately to catch people having “unsavoury” conversations).
While this has some shred of validity at least on paper, the problem is that it means that people can take offence on behalf of others EVEN IF THE OTHER PERSON ISN’T PRESENT OR SPECIFICALLY STATES THEY DON’T CARE.
Russ Abbott the UK comedian once stated on a TV interview with Terry Wogan, “When I make jokes about disabled people they laugh. It’s people who can walk who don’t like it.”
Ah, but what if they were only laughing because they were embarrassed? What if they were secretly to scared to voice a negative opinion? Clearly a Politically Correct warrior of Righteousness was needed to sort things out once and for all.
The state of things now in Great Britain****** is that those who ran amok on Rag Week in the University of Warwick are now in Government. Hypocritical cunts like Diane Abbott (black female Labour MP) get away with racist remarks because they’re part of the Non-Specific Genderhood of Righteousness and are “right” because they are “right on.”
I went to Uni with Tjinder Npuri who was Vice President Social in 1991 at Preston Polytechnic (now UCLan). He was a pain in the arse and unpopular with the majority of the students. He cried “RACISM!!!” at every piece of criticism and finally resigned a few days before a Vote of No Confidence in him could go ahead. He was determined to be right and by leaving before he could face this vote, he left not having been proved wrong.
He later changed his last name to Singh and formed the band Cornershop who had a hit with “Brimful of Asha” in the 90s.
I only met him once very briefly but I hated his guts because he was the epitome of sticking your fingers in your ears and going “LA LA LAAAA!!!!” He was right, everybody else was wrong….and racist…and intolerant…and smelly.
The laws around what you can and can’t say are slowly bending back to a more sensible middle gound. Section 5 of the Public Order Act was finally amended on 1stFebruary 2014 to remove the word “insulting” (no more gay police horses) and it is no longer an offence to merely call someone names.
By advocating total intolerance of anything that deviates from your own world view you become the oppressor you so desperately tried to suppress.
Where once children laughed at racism and gay jokes, they now are told it’s ok to ridicule those who are themselves intolerant.
"But it might do” is not a valid reason for silencing debate. It just makes anyone who feels like that a petty little twat.
Although I would defend to the death their right to feel that way.
** Which they were but have now resulted in rules that state action must be taken by cops attending a DV unless there are absolutely no signs of disturbance or altercation. End result= The man usually gets arrested or told to leave for the night, regardless of who started it. Doubly likely if there's a child present.
*** Always funny when one of them got punched for making some bloke's son or daughter cry. Moreso as they would always react like the punch was unprovoked.
**** One room apartment containing a bed, fridge and cooker. What crafty estate agents call a Flatlet.
***** Or Britain. As the prefix "Great" smacks of colonial arrogance. Or something.