Thursday, 1 June 2017

Listening to the views of others!

Last night I watched the television debate between the various party leaders. All but one, of course, as Theresa May, amazingly stable in her decision for once, did not turn up but sent Amber Rudd to speak for her. Amber Rudd seemed to have adopted that physical stance so popular among some politicians at the moment: feet apart, legs sturdy, not quite arms akimbo but looking very determined. She received some opposition from the audience when she suggested that selling arms to Saudi Arabia was really good for the British economy. She also got a lot of stick for the absence of her leader. So it goes!

Zoe Williams, writing about the debate, expresses the view that Jeremy Corbyn did quite well. She then goes on to say this in today's Guardian:

"Let me do you the giant disservice of casting your mind back to the televised election debates of 2010. Nick Clegg did brilliantly, remember: everyone agreed with Nick. He seemed so plausible and so nice, so far removed from the to and fro, the rough and tumble. This gave us two data points: one, that he didn’t get any seats from it; two, that he ended up in a coalition that made him the enemy of every value he’d espoused. I don’t want to get excited about a TV debate ever again."

So we shall have to wait and see but some people are getting quite excited.

On the whole, UKIP's Paul Nuttall came off worst, ranting a little like a comedy politician. The one who came across best - collected, rational, warm and courteous, and truly passionate - was Caroline Lucas, joint leader of the Green Party. It's a pity hers isn't a bigger party.

Meanwhile, over the pond, Donald Trump is about to pull the USA out of the Paris agreement on climate change. Will it make any difference if all the other presidents and prime ministers tell him he is wrong? Probably not! Tolerance of other people's opinions is not his strong suit.

Across the oceans in another direction, over in Australia, a row is building up in tennis circles. Margaret Court, once one of Australia's top tennis players and now, at 74, a pastor in the Victory Life church, has been declaring her intolerance of gays, gay marriage, gays having children, and almost anything at all to do with transgender people. Apparently it all started when someone threw a pie in the face of the gay chairman of Qantas, because of his support of same-sex marriage. Margaret Court then decided she would boycott the airline and now some tennis players want to boycott her and her arena in Melbourne. She has now said that tennis is “full of lesbians” and that transgender children were the work of “the devil”. Oh, dear!

Lots of big-name tennis people have got involved; even our own Andy Murray has had his say.

One suggestion is that the Margaret Court Arena should be renamed the Evonne Goolagong Arena, which sounds to me like a really good name, celebrating Australia's indigenous people.

A little tolerance would be a very good idea.

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