Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Why do so many people get offended at facts they don't like?

Who is Ross Greer? 

Well according to Twitter he's a "laughing ginger turd", a "horrible little bastard", an "arrogant fool", a "pompous little toad", a "smirking offensive little twat", an "absolute fucking weapon", a "sneering sniggering little twat", a "horrible and hateful little shit", "a silly ginger cunt",  a "little idiot", a "snide spoilt little boy", an "ugly ginger little snowflake cunt", a "little liberal ginger jihadist", a "pompous weasel", a " stupid little dumb shit ginger", a "massive bell end", a "disrespectful ginger mutant", "the reason ginger people get picked on", a "slimy nonce ginger cunt""just a prick", and "everything that's wrong with this country these days"!

Blimey you might think. He must have done something pretty bloody bad to trigger such a massive outpouring of hate.

But you'd be wrong. All Ross Greer tried to do was to provide a bit of historical perspective on the legacies of Winston Churchill by talking about issues like Churchill's contempt for the working classes and his role in the Bengal famine.

However the problem with attempting to use facts and evidence to critique prevailing narratives like the lionisation of Churchill is that in modern Britain an awful lot of people get extremely angry and offended when confronted with facts that they don't like.

Of course Churchill deserves credit for getting some things right. When the Tory party and almost the entire British establishment class became utterly fixated by the lure of fascism in the 1930s Churchill was one of the few amongst them who defied this shocking trend because he rightly saw fascism as the danger it was.

And once he became Prime Minister Churchill recognised the crucial strategic importance of bringing both Russia and the United States into the war on Britain's side.

A more ideologically driven anti-communist (of which there were very many in the British establishment at the time) could have simply watched Russia fall under Nazi control rather than actively supporting the Soviet Union with the Arctic Convoys in order to keep Hitler's forces divided and fighting on multiple fronts as Churchill did.

Churchill was a sadistic Tory. He set the British army on striking workers in Scotland and south Wales, he had racist views on imperialist conquesthe was utterly indifferent to the starvation of millions of people in Bengal to the point of joking about why Gandhi hadn't died in it, he sent the black and tans to Ireland, before the war he'd been a supporter of poison gas and concentration camps, and after the war his government brutally repressed the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya through collective punishment, torture and castration.

But on the other hand when fascism was so trendy that his Tory colleagues were signing up in droves to anti-Semitic groups like the Right Club, and the royal family were indoctrinating the young Elizabeth to give Nazi salutes in their palace gardens, Churchill was one of the few amongst his peers to buck that horrifying trend.

The man was an enigma who is understandably glorified by many as a great war leader, but equally understandably detested by others because of his brutality and sadism. 

And as Churchill himself once said "The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is".

But by telling the truth about some of Churchill's darker legacies on national television, the relatively obscure MSP Ross Greer has triggered an absolute tsunami of hatred and abuse from people who are offended by his facts.

Just look at Piers Morgan's conduct during the interview.

Instead of following a reasonably impartial line of questioning Morgan worked himself up into such a fit of rage that he couldn't even listen to the words that Greer was saying.

And this extraordinary adult tantrum was performed by a man who routinely denounces people on the left as being over-sensitive "snowflakes" who get offended by reality!

Suzanna Reid's behaviour was perhaps even more extraordinary than Morgan's when she brazenly straw-manned Greer's argument by plucking a comparison with Hitler out of thin air, and then described Greer's facts as "offensive".

It's not our TV presenters' role to invite people on their shows just to shout them down, lie about their argument, and dismiss their facts as "offensive". That's more of a circus than anything resembling informed debate.

And if our television presenters behave in this extraordinary manner, is it any wonder that members of the public also get so offended by facts that they don't like that they take to Twitter to hurl torrents of personal abuse at the deliverer of said facts?

Amongst the torrents of witless abuse one criticism of Ross Greer was particularly telling. After telling Ross to "fuck off" one of the triggered snowflakes claimed that Greer is "everything that's wrong with this country nowadays".

In reality the real problem with this country is glaringly obvious.

The problem is that there are huge numbers of people out there who get unbelievably angry at facts they don't like, who spew torrents of hate at anyone who dares talk about the facts they don't like, and who vote for dumb shit like giving the Tory party the green light to conduct "make it up as we go along" Brexit farce because they absolutely refuse to listen to the facts that they don't like.

The problem with modern Britain isn't that Churchill was a racist and sadistic imperialist, because that's now history.

Neither is the problem that some people want to introduce a tiny bit of historical balance by highlighting the fact that as well as being the war leader who led Britain in the fight against Nazism, Churchill was also a racist and sadistic imperialist, because that's simply the truth.

The problem is that we're becoming a nation full of emotionally unstable and over-opinionated adult toddlers who feel entitled to publicly abuse anyone who offends them with facts they don't like.

And the torrents of abuse aimed at Ross Greer suggests that this over-sensitive snowflakery isn't actually a left-wing thing either, coming mainly from right-wingers and ultranationalists.

Maybe this lot actually want to live in a country where it's considered normal behaviour for people to online bully a person to the extent of furiously smearing him as a paedophile, simply because they find his facts offensive?

But the damage these tantrum-throwing adult-toddlers are doing to the standard of political discourse, and to the nation as a whole, is pretty damned obvious to the rest of us.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.



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