(Originally published 22/11/07)
My political views on my Facebook page reads as ‘other’. Why? Because if I put ‘moderate’ I’m accused of being a Tory. Yes, in some respects I suppose I do have Tory sympathies, so I personally have no major gripe with this. However, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to explain to people why this is, especially those whose argument against the Conservatives consists solely of ‘what a bunch of twats’.
Nine times out of 10, when challenged, those who proudly declare themselves ‘very liberal’ can give no informed reason as to why they dislike the Tory party.
‘Cos of David Cameron’ or ‘They’re all racist’ are the conversation stopping replies. Sometimes a mention to The Daily Mail is made. Have you seen how many Facebook groups there are lobbying against The Mail’s very existence?
‘Teh Mail shud b closd down. It jus premotes rasism an only nazis read it. If u EVA read it den u h8 black ppl’ is, in my opinion, not adequately informed reason enough to jump on the political fashion bandwagon.
Similarly, have you ever encountered someone reject a product because it’s made by Nestle? My God, how their noses turn up in disgust as they physically hurl the repellent product to ground and announce, ‘Oh, I can’t eat that. It’s from NESTLE’. And that’s fair enough. I don’t agree with the policies of Nestle and certainly cannot condone their ‘business strategies’ in the developing world, but how many Nestle haters can explain the reason they’re boycotting the company? Or is it because they’ve heard some bad stuff about the company, and anyway, boycotting something makes them a bit cool and quirky?
Ill informed opinion is everywhere. People dislike McDonalds because all their products are ‘made from ears’. Well you’d be wrong. All their burgers are made from 100% beef forequarter and flank. People still think passive smoking causes cancer. Yet there is no evidence to suggest even a tenuous link, nor has there ever been.
Why is this? Are media frenzies to blame? The unregulated internet? Or are people simply becoming too lazy to think for themselves and find it easier to simply follow the Thought Sheep? ‘If enough people say X is bad, then it probably is’?
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I think that everyone should have an opinion. I think that if more people could discuss their beliefs with the view to learning something from the ‘opposition’, rather than trying to ‘get one over on them’, the world would be a better place. But this is just my opinion. I’ll defend it because I can, but I am of the belief that there are too many people out there who can’t.