Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

1984 has long gone but when George Orwell’s book “1984” was published in 1949 it was full of fantastic ideas of how a Country might be ruled in the future.

For instance the ‘Thought Police’ were set up to control how what people were thinking - what absolute tosh! That would amount to controlling free speech and preventing people from having ideas that are in conflict with what is considered the norm - it just couldn’t happen.

However, just try defending on social media, an eighty year old celebrity who is accused of an historic sexual offence; question the validity of encouraging six or eight year olds to decide their gender; question the ethnicity of the victims and perpetrators of knife crime; wonder if having your bottom touched is sexual harassment. I suppose we should add the usual caveat “Don’t try this at home”!

Recently, several hundred thousand people (The organisers claimed a million) marched through London demanding a new referendum on leaving the EU. In 2016 almost 17.5 million people voted to leave the EU. Let’s not get involved in all the arguments for or against Brexit or how the referendum was worded but how do those sort of protests fit with democracy?

Aparticular candidate who represented the party of our choice. Unfortunately, the opposing party gained the majority of the seats and were able to form a Government which is not of my choosing. Can I demand a second election? Should I organise a protest march?

We should not allow Fracking. It is dangerous for the individual and for the environment. If that happens to be what you would say in a discussion can you also tell us if it is an opinion or a fact? If your view is just the opposite, the same question arises - opinion or fact?

We see endless hours of television interviews with politicians, pundits and members of the general public all of whom have definite ideas as to how things should be done - opinion or fact?

“I hate brussel sprouts!”. “If that child doesn’t stop doing that, I’ll kill him!”. “That’s the most horrible blouse I have ever seen!”. These and other phrases trip off our tongues without thought. If we stopped to think we would realise that we don’t really mean it.

We dislike brussel sprouts but we don’t really
hate them and there is no way we would kill little Alfie. Perhaps we should choose our words bit more carefully or does it simply not matter? I have a feeling that it does matter. British and Germans were persuaded to hate one another and we cheered when hundreds or thousands of the enemy were killed. Millions of Jews were killed because they were seen as objects of hatred,

We are choosing a picture to hang on the living room wall. We spend a great deal of time talking about those we wouldn’t hang in the loo, let alone the living room. “Who on earth would choose that?”. “Call himself a painter, I wouldn’t let him paint the back fence!”. Why do we do it? Why do we wastes much time?. Wouldn’t we better discussing the ones we like so that can make decision? In other words discriminate for rather than against.

Dali Painting

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