The above quote is one of those that has stood the test of time, yet today no one adheres to it, they usually manage to add a ‘but’ on the end.
Something has happened in the last few years: the division among people about actions and ideologies has reached a stage where people have become so polarised that no argument against their thinking can be brokered.
There is nothing new in being a loyal supporter of an idea or a man or a political party but in the days of social media it has become toxic.
In 99% of cases, the opinion being put forward does not justify the language being used. One has only to read the comments in the Guardian to see a whole clique of commenters who believe that they are the only voices that should be heard and anyone with opposing views is ignorant, a racist or bigot or a little Englander or a knuckle-dragging ignoramus; there is no middle ground.
The Guardian is not alone in the way it promotes its views or the commenters. The same themes from opposing angles can be seen everywhere. As I said this is not new; the scale of the intolerance and the over-assertion of veracity is.
I have no doubt in my mind that Brexit was the catalyst for this new divisive thinking, though Blair had a hand in it at an earlier date, with his fake bonhomie with the working man, which backfired gloriously in latter years. The so called establishment can never forgive the little people their moment of glory; the referendum that was a foregone conclusion for a remain vote ended in leave. The rot set in from that moment, it was not to be allowed and all of the establishment, politicians who were 80% + remain, the civil service who almost certainly were the same and all media outlets let it be known they did not approve and would do everything to thwart the result.
And they still are, they really can’t let it go, even as we start to see the EU in all its glory from the other side of the fence changing into all the things those adherents to it said would never happen: EU army, more federalism and control over sovereign nations, plus its total inadequacy to get anything meaningful done - see the vaccine shambles and bullying tactics that followed;+++++++++++++ all typical and now out in the open.
Yet still remainers cling to the EU, as some sort of comfort blanket. It is no different to what has happened to people here during the pandemic: a large proportion are willing for the government to cover all the bases. We see it in adherence to rulings that make no sense in the real world and the world of science; the government has bullied and used the nudge unit to change people into willing participants in whatever they propose, and these same adherents to government diktats then take the same stance as they did for Brexit: all of the opposite view should be isolated from public life by any means possible. We see it now every day.
Even leading politicians have got in on the act. The recent utterings from Biden, Trudeau, Macron and our own Boris on being jabbed are straight from the Orwellian play book. Neil Oliver sums it up well here.
Quebec has just announced that people refusing the jab will be subject to a tax! And will not be able to buy alcohol and other items. This would have made Goebbels proud.
Do they really all mean what they say or are they just repeating what they have been told by advisers who believe that it will achieve the universal aim? For it is universal, it can not be anything else, it is so coordinated; but one thing is for sure: it is terribly divisive and the long term damage can only be guessed at. Today, it seems, nobody cares.
Novak Djokovic is a recent example of polarisation by the media and people. It matters not that whatever you may think of his attitude to having the jab, he is entitled to that view, but is he? Not any more; that kind of thinking from a high profile sportsman is tantamount to treason in the eyes of many.
There is no doubt that before he started out to Australia he took legal advice from lawyers and was told by none other than the Australian Lawn Tennis Association that his exemption held good; but that was not good enough, hence the rather unedifying spectacle of Djokovic being ‘interned’ in a rather undesirable hotel with illegal aliens; all very butch by the authorities but very divisive and totally unnecessary, but authorities like to have examples made and scapegoats provided to justify undeserved actions on their parts.
But it worked. Thousands locked down forever in Melbourne under the lunatic Dan Andrews are not going to let a ‘tennis player’ do what they themselves have wanted to do but didn’t have the guts to stand up and be counted, so they want to drag him down to their level. Not all, of course but if he makes it to the tournament it will be interesting to see what reaction he provokes by actually being there.
Djokovic is an easy target for anything like this, his background makes him not universally liked; can you really see the cuddly Federer being treated and spoken of in the same way? This is just one man as an example, not important in the scheme of things but an example again of the polarising that has gone on in society.
Even football has joined in. Anyone with a scintilla of a brain can read and hear what BLM is really about, but again in this country - yet virtually nowhere else - footballers have been taking the knee and still are, because they don't want to be seen to support injustice and don’t want to be humiliated, and because they have a national manager who is so blind he thinks that England taking the knee in Qatar is a good thing - when if they really wanted to make a point they would not be going to a country that has killed hundreds building the stadiums with what is in effect slave labour, Still, as long as they can keep on playing…
The knee-taking divided the fans. Sadly, as with so much today, after a few boos they accept it as part of the preliminary ritual necessary to let them see their football. It is like the old adage, if you tell a lie often and long enough people believe it. Arsenal have just added another protest to the knee taking: a white shirt against knife crime; that’ll work, won,t it? There won't be time for any actual football at this rate.
The virus has produced ample opportunities for the vaxed to unleash their inner loathing on the unvaxed. This article in the Evening Standard is particularly divisive from a nasty authoritarian who it appears belongs to that group that would have everyone herded together and obeying orders - not themselves of course, just the little people and those that step out line shall be punished for the good of us all…
Yes it appears the author is a member of the WEF ('you shall have nothing and be happy'); naturally it was not revealed by the paper but a commenter.
Suddenly your body is no longer sacrosanct it belongs to everyone else. And yes I have been jabbed and boosted but now regret the latter and have severe reservations on any more as have many others, for to put it simply they are not true vaccines as in immunisation (if anyone remembers that) and seem to have an ever-shortening period of efficacy. This plus a total lack of long term testing and any issues from that means no young people should be made to take the risk; for us older people, the vulnerable ones, it may well be worth the risk and long term complications are less of an issue for us; but is there ever a rational discussion on this? No, instead we join camps and verbally abuse the other side.
The recent video of Dr Steve James speaking to the health minister was a classic in the sense that the Doctor is one of the unheard all the way through this pandemic. His like are threatened with the sack in April, despite having done their best all through the pandemic. Why is it so important for the same people to be jabbed now when the virus is on the wane? Yet the abuse from the same public they have been treating is unremitting; a large portion of the public actually believe refusers should be sacked unless they consent to the jab; the latters' past worth is nothing now in this divided debate. Those who accuse would still readily abuse others and wear masks, socially distance and stay indoors forever. There are some bizarre and unfounded strains of thought out there at the moment.
Dr James also revealed a piece of the nasty side of things when he appeared on Good Morning Britain. The resident sneering Dr Shillary was present but did not engage his fellow doctor directly, instead making those sneery faces at opportune moments; he is also on the board of a Pharmaceutical company so has as they say skin in the game though it is never mentioned (a good example of the divide in medical circles); only one side is usually heard, and on a rare occasion like this when another slant was put it was slated by all and sundry.
Politicians are at each other's throats at the moment for political gain. As usual they can muster the troops to talk about a garden party but the place is nearly empty for the weighty issues of the day. What has been going on though is again divisive, us and them. All the way through this pandemic we have seen abuses of the rules by politicians across the globe, who put on the mask and maintain social distancing during photo opportunities, but the minute the cameras stop rolling it's no masks and hugs all round (well, not every time, fortunately, but the division remains,.) Boris may be an idiot but many others have doing the same thing for two years; they manage to divide the nation; a plague on all of them.
And the other issue dividing the nations and people of the world is 'saving the planet.' I have done green issues to death, or I would have liked to, but again the ‘science’ is being used to divide us: all on the opposite side are deniers, the world is ending and we are all to blame, come live with me in a tent and we can dispense with all wordly goods, forage for food, keep a few chickens, rub sticks together in the winter and, that’s it really, no one will work, and oh my God it is the WEF again, and there are people out there gagging for this; divisions, divisions…