Public – Private

I’ve recently been thinking about the lives of people and the ideas of privacy within those lives. I say recently but I titled this communication in early 2020 so recently for me means a few years. I just keep my thoughts ticking over, trying to come to conclusions.

Shall we start with those paragons of duplicity – politicians. When I was younger it was scandalous for a politician to have an affair. It would pretty much break their career and they would be in the press for a long time about it. Oh, shit, I think I am about to defend politicians here, but here is the thought process: I don’t care who a politician sleeps with [as long as its consensual]. I don’t care if their partner “forgives” them or not. I honestly don’t. I think that’s a matter for the politician and their family to sort out. Who are we to judge their own morality on relationships. The bigger issue is: does the politician tell the TRUTH about it to their partner. I just want my politicians to tell the truth. I genuinely don’t care who they fuck or what their emotional relationships are like. As long as those behaviours are consensual and within the law then that’s fine.

I don’t think having sex with someone else is a big thing. What’s important is that different people have different approaches to relationships and that should be recognised. I don’t think it matters what type of sex they have – heterosexual, gay, BDSM, etc – what’s important is that they can do their job and be truthful [hopefully they are intelligent too]. There’s a puritanical element to morality that still clouds this country and most of the world. We seem to think that someone having an affair makes them a bad person or unsuitable for their job. I don’t think it does. What’s important is that they deal with the emotional fallout of the affair correctly. Mind you, lying does make someone unsuitable for their job, unless you are a spy. When you are in a position of public trust you should speak the truth for the good of the public and not lie for your own ambitions. Funny how that is not the way our current PM works.

I think there’s an issue with the concept of marriage and being in a relationship that sexual-monogamy is either expected or promised in a public ceremony. Perhaps it is the idea that a “wandering” politician has broken a promise that gets the press and media all het up? I don’t think that’s what it is. I’ve never seen a line of questioning which goes on about “how do you feel about breaking your wedding vows? Why should we trust you now?”. Maybe that’s the bigger issue but the new would run with the idea of someone fucking someone else rather than the issues of trust and truth.

Let’s have a look at Boris Johnson for a moment as an example of my ideas here. He has plenty of children – the number is not even confirmed by him – and by different mothers. But who cares about that? As long as he has decent relationships with his children and is a good father to them then that’s ok. What should disqualify Johnson from office is the fact that he’s a proven liar. Oh, and he’s a racist too. Oh, and he’s not that intelligent also. The concept that this country elected him to power makes me sad. Really sad. Most people in this country are mildly racist and selfish.

So, the conclusion for me here is that I don’t care about your emotional lives or your sexual lives. I won’t make moral judgement on you for that. I will make moral judgements on you for lying or being selfish or not doing your job properly or blaming other people all the time. Accept your responsibilities and do your job.

What do we do if a politician is a racist? In recent memory it turns out that the UK elects them – see Priti Patel, Boris Johnson, a lot of the Tories. Should harbouring racist thoughts, or other views deemed unpleasant by modern societies, bar you from public work or, in fact, any job? I’m not sure. It’s probably best to leave politicians behind here because their whole thing is appealing to the public and when the public are mildly racist it means that’s what you have to be to get elected [as much as that depresses me]. Let’s look at someone with a job involving a position of influence. Let’s consider a teacher.

So, teacher Jack has ten years at the chalkface and is broadly liked by most people they work with. But they have a social media account under an assumed name and contribute and publicise racist literature online. In other aspects of their teaching job it is not clear that Jack is a racist and their attitude to pupils and staff from all backgrounds is normal. This person doesn’t push their agenda in lesson time but they are a racist pig. This is quite hard isn’t it. Jack is a racist but it doesn’t affect their job and they don’t influence pupils with their views. If it doesn’t affect their interaction with other humans then I guess that’s ok. Everyone is entitled to their own political views, no matter how objectionable by modern standards, as long as it stays in their head then I guess that’s ok.

Perhaps Jack let’s things slip now and then in discussions with staff. There are trigger words and phrases that are used by the far-right and now and then there are hints of these in the staff room. Does this matter? Should this person’s racist views disqualify them from their teaching position? Again I think it’s about influencing others. Most adults meet plenty of assholes in their lives and you learn to ignore them and keep them at arm’s length. You probably try to understand that political views are for each person to decide and you leave Jack be. However, as a teacher Jack is in a position of influence over children and young adults who are developing their own morality and political views. Hopefully these young voters of the future will listen to other views and form their own conclusions. What we don’t want is young people placing extra value to obnoxious views held by people in positions of influence.

It’s probably a good time to say that the zeitgeist moves and what is and isn’t acceptable morally and politically changes through time. I’d like to think that as we grow as a society we develop more tolerant views of others and accept people for who they are [within the common law – ie murderers are bad]. We have a lot of work to do to educate people on the wide variety of the human condition and to develop attitudes of trust and understanding. Just think about how society has changed and accepted homosexuality over the last fifty years, there’s still a lot more to do. To help us judge what views are more correct than others I try to use the golden rule of “just be nice to people” and “treat people how you would want to be treated”. I think if any of your own morality goes against those rules then you can fuck off. Hence, racist views shouldn’t be made public in positions of power or influence. I don’t care if you are racist but I do care if other see you and think that it’s ok to be racist.

So, I think I’m nearing a conclusion. I think that if you are a cunt then as long as you keep that private and out of influencing others then that’s ok. Be however shitty you want. If your behaviour influences others to be a prick then I think you need to be deplatformed. If you can’t push views of tolerance and being nice to all people then you shouldn’t be in those positions of power. This is where I hate the current bunch of politicians. They have been openly racist in the past and yet this country has elected them. They are seemingly unable to care for others and treat people nicely. They lack empathy and tolerance. They have a massive public platform on which to do these things and so they normalise this behaviour.

If you preach hatred or intolerance then you shouldn’t have a platform. There we go. I think I’ve made my conclusion. I’ll probably mess around with this while I run through the countryside shortly and I’ll make sure that any edits I make are highlighted.

This is communication number 1951 and so in keeping with tradition here are some things that happened in that year:

  • A fire on a train in Japan kills more than 100.
  • A blue sun appears over Europe dues to ash from Canadian forest fires.
  • A water storage tank collapses in New Mexico killing 4 and destroying 200 buildings.
  • The Day The Earth Stood Still is released.