… it is one thing to perswade, another to command … (John Locke)
Here’s a quick breakdown so you know from what perspective I’ll mostly be coming.
I’m a Welsh-born twenty-something; historian by training, curious by nature. I identify myself as a liberal kind of guy – even a Clegg-style Lib Dem (boo-hiss!). I’m in favour of words over wars, compromise over condescension, and plurality over politics. Despite my best efforts, I’m still a little post-modernist, and I’d like to think that an array of ideas are better than one. I think that religion has a part to play in culture and society, but I’m firmly against Church and State. There are no words that will convince me that a monarch – any monarch or any form of hereditary peerage – is a good idea. I hate to say that I’m resolved on a theory or idea, but I’m pretty final on that last point. You got me – I’m an egalitarian.
Here’s a little list that gives a breakdown of the other things I have some opinion on. It’s not exhaustible and I hope I can talk a little on it all, in time:
- Nuclear power. It surprises me that I’m for it, and like everyone I hope, there’s always reservations regarding safety. However, since engineers do actually consider the safety of buildings, employees, and communities where risk is concerned, I think the media is a little too critical of nuclear power.
- Equal marriage. I get it – having homosexuals marry in a religious ceremony makes some people’s skin crawl. Next you’ll have homosexuals telling heterosexuals that they can’t get married! Seriously though, I’m not a massive fan of extravagant PDA (public displays of affection) – I don’t tell people that it offends my morals. Besides, I judge all couples (or more) equally; I dislike all of your affection!
- Separation of Church and State. This one is three part for clarity, so stick with me here!
- Disestablishmentarianism. I nearly got the full Blackadder word in there! Regardless, either all faiths are represented in politics equally, or none at all. There’s really isn’t any room for religious favouritism.
- Secularism in politics. All right, I admit it – it’s probably better for religious matters to be left out of politics. Personally, if any religion is right, we are no closer to knowing that then any other time. Let individuals make their own judgements and – so long as there is no social harm – live and let live.
- Pluralism in society. We’re all adults here. Let people express their ideas in whatever non-harmful way they like. Whether it’s through wearing a cross, a niqab, even a plant on their head, I think tolerating and even embracing other ideas, opinions, and backgrounds shows great maturity in society. We need more perspectives, not less. Let’s encourage it.
- Voting for incarcerated persons. I favour human rights over civil rights. You are born with the right to choose those who direct policy in your name, even if you are a bastard. That’s not an endorsement of crime and you know it.
- The monarchy. No. Never.
- Hereditary peerages. See “the Monarchy”.
- Torture. Honestly, there’s no need for it. Put the nutcrackers down, Torquemada.
- Discrimination. I’d hate to hurt someone by insinuating that their fault is the way they are – and I know you don’t like the idea either.
- I’m not particularly happy about eating meat. I do, but I know there’s a better way. It’s not something I’d push on other people; purely a personal issue. It’s also a case of irony that I’m very aware of, and you can shout at me all day about it.
- Hunting. If a child tortures a cat, we call professional help. If an adult pursues and hunts down a fox, we call it fun. It’s not.
- The Daily Mail. If you haven’t read it, don’t start. If you have read it, stop – immediately. Don’t even read it ironically: nothing good can come from it. However, in case you don’t believe me, here’s just a random link to act as a taster. Read it and tell me that you didn’t feel your colon tighten: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2325502/Map-shows-worlds-racist-countries-answers-surprise-you.html
And finally, an honourable mention to Godwin’s Law. It’s kind of a joke point but worth thinking about. Agree with a point of view? Fantastic! Disagree? Also great. Call the opponent a fascist/Nazi/Hitler? Simmer down, friend. It’s childish and it would be just swell if both hotheads and the media would pick up on the point.