Why everyone needs to remember that if someone disagrees with you, that doesn’t make them fascist

Greetings lovers

It sure was soggy out yesterday. A disgruntled Terrance Gonzo turned up at the boozer for a post-work pint severely non-plussed. (No change there then). Yes, despite his romance with Abi (how on earth did he get her?) he arrived telling tales of misery. He had somehow managed to wear both a shoe and a sock on the same foot with holes in the same place, meaning his right big toe had been exposed to the torrential rain all day. Someone (anyone) should buy some of his books. Or he should spend less time strolling the streets.

We quickly proceeded to joint ennui at the way of the world. And no, not so much politics today as abuse of the language by those who don’t know better but think they do.

“Is there a more ball curling phrase than Hope that helps?” asked TG. “Like so many of today’s linguistic choices, it is invariably redundant, but still manages to convey smug condescension and passive aggressive needle.”

“Yep, it’s right up there with I’ll just leave this here.”

Think about that for a moment.”

“Haha yes. They’ve made such a weak point they need to actually request you think about it.”

We moved on. But…

Soon we were on to last week’s (the week before’s?) alleged attack by a trans feminist on a TERF.

“When someone disagrees with you, that doesn’t always mean they’re being prejudiced.”

“Invariably it isn’t at all,” I agreed.

It reminded me of an exchange I’d had during the Super Lightweight tussle to be Labour leader between Owen Smith and Oh Jeremy Corbyn. SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon had waded into the debate and Smith said he wanted to buy her gobstoppers. My interlocutor labelled him a sexist.

“Why?” I asked.

“He was trying to shut her up.”

“Yes, but not because she was a woman. If he’d offered Jeremy Corbyn the same candied treat, would that have been sexist too?”

“You’re not mansplaining are you?”

“I asked you a question.”

Offence, offence, rage, rage, sense of humour failures all round.

It’s similar to the absurd braying of The Daily Mail And The Telegraph, that anyone who opposes Brexit is a traitor, or enemy of the people. Or how in the eyes of some, even if you report the other point of view, you are somehow complicit.

Please, everyone, have a pint, and try to be a touch more pluralistic.

Hope that helps. Take as long as you need.


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