Friday, June 17, 2016

An excellent article calls on us all to step back and think

Jennifer Williams, political reporter of the Manchester Evening News, has written a superb article which you can read here and which calls on all of us - right or left, Leave or Remain, member of the "political class" or ordinary citizen, to step back and recognise that we might not have a monopoly on virtue or wisdom and that other people might just possible have something to say to us that we can learn from.

An extract from the article:

"One of the hallmarks of British society – and democracy – is free speech.

It is a right we hold dear and as a nation have fought to preserve.

But there are other hallmarks, too. One which our political discourse seems to have lost sight of recently is the ability to reason and question our own arguments. To think clearly.

In the wake of  Jo Cox’s death, regardless of whether it is connected to the referendum or not, it is surely timely now for all of us to take a step back.

That means politicians, the media and voters alike.

For some time there has been a palpable sense, fuelled by the echo chamber of social media, that many on both the left, the right and other political spaces view the world with absolute moral certainty.

You saw it in the Scottish referendum.

You see it with many on the left, those who deem the Tories ‘evil’ and unleash fury at anyone who questions (let alone criticises) Jeremy Corbyn.

There is a particular tendency for some on the left to assume a moral imperative where their world view is concerned: it must be imposed - and if you disagree you are not only wrong, but you are a bad human being.

But of course you see it on the right too, in the vicious attacks that greet anyone who suggests there could be an argument for staying in the EU, or let refugees into the country

The problem with complete certainty is that leaves you unable to question your own world view, to shift your own stance, to respond to reason. To admit you may not be entirely right."

Absolutely. A point we should all think about.

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