Firstly these are the last Tuesday Club notes for a few weeks. We are moving to having the Tuesday Club once a month. I will be writing from time to time, but it will not be weekly. Garry and Rosemary are taking a breath and deeply involved in some other projects. WATCH THIS SPACE
It has become increasingly difficult to debate ideas, let alone gracefully, before people start slapping labels on the holder of an opinion. “Racist” or “Middle class male”.
Am I on my own when I feel concerned that sensible debate seems to be stifled too often these days by keyboard warriors, hiding behind anonymity completely squashing what could be healthy exchange of ideas?
Maybe we could console ourselves that this is a worldwide phenomenon. We’re not on our own. Recently I read a book where the author wrote about how lecturers at universities across the world are being silenced by those who are offended by what they are writing and thinking. Often for quite strange reasons.
In a debate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJKXJNM3W-c. on Political Correctness, Stephen Fry quoted Oscar Wilde when he asked why we seem to be losing:
“The ability to play gracefully with ideas”.
It’s not healthy and people are increasingly staying silent publicly and instead voicing their ideas behind closed doors.
Labels such as “Racist” or “Middle class male”… or anything which allows the person who is the label-slapper to ignore everything the person they are attacking is saying.That is dangerous for an open society where ideas should be debated and possibly changed, or modified, because of these debates.
Rosemary Neave adds:
We are in a situation where it is all too easy to point fingers and to apportion blame or taunt people with labels. What we really need to do is listen deeply to each other – get beyond justifying our own position. Listen to the other and seek the common ground we know is there. Something the Tuesday Club is pretty good at!