Listening to the lunchtime news I heard the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition shouting at each other, each accusing the other of having no plan for what to do with Brexit. Which is probably quite true!
But it’s the shouting that always astounds me, especially with the volume of yelling and catcalling from the benches. Do they shout at each other more and make more of a pantomime of the whole thing since television cameras were allowed into the hallowed halls? Quite possibly! Everyone is an “actor” seeking a sound bite.
Mind you, there are times when having cameras in the Commons is no bad things. Here is a link to an article about the Rees-Mogg person slouching rather arrogantly on his bench during debate. Is this what you expect from the Leader of the House? Or is this how an expensive education teaches you to comport yourself?
Nowadays, with instant comment on social media to everything that goes on, I suspect that behaviour, in the Commons and out, has deteriorated.
Journalist Nesrine Malik, writing in Tuesday’s Guardian, seems to agree with me:-
“How overblown fears of censorship have normalised hate speech and silenced minorities.
By Nesrine Malik
Tuesday 3 Sept 2019
“When I started writing a column in the Guardian, I would engage with the commenters who made valid points and urge those whose response was getting lost in rage to re-read the piece and return. Comments were open for 72 hours. Coming up for air at the end of a thread felt like mooring a ship after a few days on choppy waters, like an achievement, something that I and the readers had gone through together. We had discussed sensitive, complicated ideas about politics, race, gender and sexuality and, at the end, via a rolling conversation, we had got somewhere.
In the decade since, the tenor of those comments became so personalised and abusive that the ship often drowned before making it to shore – the moderators would simply shut the thread down. When it first started happening, I took it as a personal failure – perhaps I had not struck the right tone or not sufficiently hedged all my points, provoking readers into thinking I was being dishonest or incendiary.
In time, it dawned on me that my writing was the same. It was the commenters who had changed. It was becoming harder to discuss almost anything without a virtual snarl in response. And it was becoming harder to do so if one were not white or male.”
Coming back to this post after an afternoon out at my eldest granddaughter’s house, I listen to more havoc going on in parliament. It’s not all going Mr Johnson’s way but he is still blustering.
No idea where it will end.
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