Saturday, March 11, 2017

A list of Looney buttons

I observed a long time ago that certain subjects act like "looney buttons" which when pressed (mentioned) cause normally sane people to lose their sense of proportion and common sense.

For example, during the 1997-2010 Labour government a large number of normally sane Labour councillors  - not the ones who are barking mad anyway, but the ones with whom you could normally have a civilised and intelligent conversation - would completely lose it if you mentioned that their own government had a policy of gradually but dramatically forcing up the level of council house rents payable by tenants in councils like St Albans to something like double the previous real terms level over a decade.

I recall that one normally polite, courteous and reasonable Labour councillor had to be instructed by the Mayor to apologise after shouting a swear word at me across the council chamber at me when I mentioned this.

Another "looney button" which affects a great many people on both sides of the debate is the European Union in general and the idea of Brexit in particular, as I blogged during the referendum in a post entitled

"Whom the Gods would destroy they first encourage to talk about the EU."

John Rentoul of the Independent has been compiling a list of looney buttons as you can read in an article he has written this weekend

"The top ten subjects on which otherwise sane people go a bit loopy."

How he managed to leave the impact of discussing Brexit on people on both sides of the debate out of the article I cannot for the life of me understand.  (Of course it was immediately raised in the comments.)

Apart from that it is an amusing article ...

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