A guest post by Samuel Miller
1. a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. 2. due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others. 3. a particular aspect, point, or detail.
Lot of talk of respect doing the rounds in 2018. Seems the powers that be may have caught on to the idea that the United Kingdom is anything but united these days. Who knew?
Talk of respectful debate, respecting democratic will, respecting results, respecting agreements and so forth. Especially from politicians and mainly those who don’t seemingly respect anyone or anything very much themselves. We’ve all seen the state of the Commons debates by this point, yes? The braying, howling, arrogant and condescending pie fight at the heart of our system of central government. So, yeah. Respectful. It appears, to any casual observer, yer actual politicians have suddenly developed a social conscience. (Now don’t laugh. They’re trying to be all sincere)
Apparently even the Queen managed a reference in her annual Crimbo day commentary t’boot – “Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding,”
Which is nice and all very laudable of course. If however, you voted YES in the first indyref, or remain in the EU referendum? You’re probably not feeling a great deal of reciprocity on the whole respect agenda thingy. In fact you’re probably feeling ignored, intimidated, insulted and downright infuriated. You feel helpless and powerless. You feel very much cheated and almost certainly… disrespected.
And now? Now it seems those who created your misery are looking for your respect, your tolerance and your understanding. It’s a pure mystery so it is. Oh, whilst of course still intimidating and insulting you on a daily basis because… reasons.
It also kinda helps, on a personal and communal level, if it truly is a reciprocal arrangement. Certainly if you want people to live and work together with any degree of harmony or unity. Just a wee pointer for the odd policy gonk who happens by.
But is it really respect and tolerance they desire, or silent compliance and blind acceptance? Remainers (remoaners), supporters of Scottish independence (vile cybernats/tainted/separatists etc.), the Scottish government (generally Essenpee bad), the EU (furren bullies), immigrants (also furren and don’t go there) and all other agencies that aren’t behind the binary choice omnishambles of Westminster politics and its cheerleaders, aren’t exactly unfamiliar with the respect agenda meted out by the political class and their chooms in the media.
The bods suddenly asking for all this lurve and cuddliness would be the same political class who have made a mockery of the electoral process. Who sit in a house that is renowned for its venal practices and rampant party and inter-party backstabbery by the by. What they do for a living is commonly referred to as a dirty game. Some of the more cynical readers might say there’s a reason for that. So far as many people are concerned, currently it’s the place where the ‘art of the possible’ and the art of persuasion by debate has gone terribly wrong in the worst way imaginable. Its inhabitants and adherents support a system of patronage and politics that has arguably legislated against the welfare of its own population fer Gawd’s sake. They’ve more than also arguably made the UK ‘a global joke’ and now they apparently need your help to provide that joke with a punchline. They require a societal unity they’ve spent decades undermining in search of the voter demographic du jour. You can see where some folk would regard that as feeling very much like adding insult to injury.
Y’see, most people don’t have a problem with respecting and tolerating another point of view. They don’t have a problem seeing another human being for who they are and what they represent. They just want to get along with others and toddle through their lives with the least amount of grief possible. How and ever, should they be expected to sit on their hands in perpetuity while others with less respect or tolerance dump all over them from a great height?
Mibbies they practitioners of the dirty game should have thought about that whole respect thing BEFORE they set about using their narratives to fracture society and alienate demographics. Before using the media and their interpretation of the art of the persuasion to determine who was a fit and proper human being (voter).
Might be they should have thought about a lot of things and a LOT sooner than the fag end of 2018 and a looming conclusion to the Brexit process.
No. It seems to me that the greatest source for problems over respecting the views of another, showing tolerance and understanding, come from the top down. From those who should have been an example and set a tone, but who use intolerance and disrespect as a tool to gather political and corporate advantage.
Thing about the ‘R’ and ‘T’ words though? Many aspects of respect and tolerance are earned. They’re not an automatic due. More importantly? They have to mean something to those involved. There has to be trust. It can take a long time to earn either and a heartbeat to lose both.
It’s a sad irony that those who are perceived to foment intolerance and disrespect, require the exact opposite of those very qualities in others in order to thrive themselves. It also might be said that this time they’ve pushed their demands for the good will of those others too far. That their own insensitive and callous actions over many years have worn down the respect, tolerance and trust of too many who were supposedly in their care.
Anyone out there feel that either the Conservative government or their honourable opposition have put the work in? Are they even remotely capable of walking the walk down that two-way street?
I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if we found out the answers to those questions in 2019.
Our host is currently taking a well deserved leave of absence to be with his husband at this time of year. Normal banter should be resumed after all the festivities have concluded. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all readers, both regular and new, ALL the very best for a grand new year when it comes. Hopefully, 2019 will see more than a few Christmas wishes granted. 😉 (winky thing)