Friday, July 22, 2016

Anger Management

I actually quite enjoy a friendly argument. However, this stops at the point where people start getting genuinely upset, throwing nasty insults and the people taking a different view which they appear to actually mean, and so on.

One of the things which concerned me about the Scottish Independence referendum, and to a lesser extent the debate about whether Britain should leave Europe, was that rather too many people on both sides got quite nasty about it.

And yes, it was definitely both sides. It is a cause of some continuing concern to me that some of my Remainer friends are convinced that nearly all the nastiness came from the Leave side, but although there certainly was some nastiness from some Leave supporters, some, not all, of those who wanted Britain to stay in the EU have been gratuitously insulting towards those who supported Leave. Exactly the same point is true the other way around.

It cannot be emphasised too strongly that there were good arguments on both sides. That the majority of people on both sides are not idiots. That most of those who voted to leave did so because they were concerned about genuine problems with the EU, not because they were racists and most of those who voted to remain did so not because they hate Britain -  they don't -  or because they wanted to run Britain down, but because they thought Britain's interests were best served by being part of the EU.

To be honest, though the bad tempered nature of debate about Brexit is only a symptom, not a cause of the fact that people seem to be getting angrier.

It may just be my age, but I think people in 2016 have a lot less to be angry about than they had fifty years ago and yet many people's tempers are much less under control.

There is an interesting article in today's Telegraph which is well worth a read, short-fuse Britain: why is everyone so angry?

I don't know what the solution is but I do think we would all do well to count our blessings and try a bit harder to see the other person's point of view.

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