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Unacceptable beliefs and behaviour #racism

I was saddened to see the reports this week from Bulgaria where the England football team was subjected to vile abuse from fans with far-right beliefs. I’ve experienced abuse from people with similar beliefs. I’ve even been harassed in the street twice while I’ve been taking photographs by someone who was described as a ‘patriot’. Those fans need to be banned from football. I’m not sure how you change their beliefs. In China, they would put them into re-education camps. In this country, the rise of right-wing and left-wing extremism is encouraged by an irresponsible media. Even the soaps on television are hour-long dramas of constant confrontation. We are promoting the politics of confrontation. Both the far-right and the far-left have beliefs that are unacceptable to decent people.

A better way

It is time for politicians to debate in a better way. The House of Commons is confrontational. The ‘honourable’ members aren’t allowed to call each other liars but the rhetoric quite often wanders far away from the truth. The present government has been divisive and encouraged division. Now they see the error of their rhetoric and are talking about ‘one nation’ politics. I think they plan a Trump-like society where the rich get richer from a lack of regulation that allows everything from fracking to the building of sub-standard homes. The rich will be better off and the upper middle classes but what of the poor? The poor will find hospital car park changes unaffordable and will need an expensive form of photo-identity card just to be able to participate in the democratic process. With a House of Commons so confrontational it is unlikely that they will find the common ground needed to reform the way the house works. They need to discuss the problems not debate them. It is not the Oxford Union nor should it be. Day in and day out, they try to bully one another. There must be a better way.

Compromise

We need compromise and pragmatism in collective decision making. The far-right and the far-left refuse to compromise and stick doggedly to their utopian ideas. That utopian idealism will take us to a dystopian future of state bullying unless there is change.

That’s all for today. I hope many of you will agree with me that the road we are on seems to be going towards a very unwelcoming place.

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