Today should have found us on the other side of an epoch-making day in British history with the exit from the European Union due to have taken place on March 29th. In the end last Friday was all a bit of a damp squib. And so the machinations of Brexit all rumble on and dominate our headlines. However, with all the big events focussing on Brexit at the moment, I am left musing upon whether there are bigger events taking place in our nation. These events, although registering some impact, to a greater a lesser extent have largely gone under the radar because we have a Brexit news blitzkrieg.
Free Speech. Here Stephen Kneale helpfully addresses the issue of coerced speech. The article refers to the “misuse” of pronouns by a journalist commentating on transgender matters. Also, there is the case of Jordan Peterson having his offer of a visiting fellowship rescinded by Cambridge University (see here for details). From my vague following of this incident it seems that they rescinded his fellowship because of his views. Then found that a lot of people were calling them out for their restricting of free expression of views. As a result they found this photo form New Zealand to try and justify what they had done. All of this raises issues concerning free speech. Increasingly the toxicity of the atmosphere is getting stronger against the free expression of views if we go against the zeitgeist of the age particularly in relation to matters appertaining to sexuality and gender. It is a concern.
The Family. The ongoing incidents concerning knife crime, particularly in London, are very disturbing as they reflect how our society is developing. Knife crime is embedded within the gang culture. Gangs are where young people are finding stability, acceptance and identity. These used to be found in the family unit. However, because of the undermining of the family unit of mother, father and children youngsters are looking elsewhere. It is the gangs that have given them value in life. But it has come at a price and that price is violence. This all stems back to the demolition of the family
Political Process. This is perhaps the most subtle matter. The fact that parliament is conspiring to fail implement the will of the people reflected in the referendum result of June 2016 is leaving many people disillusioned with the workings of our political system. Moreover, the way that the politicians have conducted themselves has intensified this disillusionment. The inherited adversarial happenings in parliament which manifest through what has accrued through history are all well-and-good if the system works. However, with what has happened, particularly over the last few weeks, people find it a shocking way to carry on. The shouting at and denouncing of one another seems just inappropriate when there are such big issues at stake. The seeming indifference of the politicians to the impact they are having on the people in the nation is breathtaking. They seem cocooned in their “Westminster Bubble”. I fear the whole political process is falling into disrepute. So while Brexit dominates, the political shenanigans of those dealing with Brexit is undermining, that very political system.