We seem to have a real problem in this country. Perhaps in other countries too but I’m looking at this one.
Let’s go back to Nigel Farage’s comments yesterday which so many misrepresented. Donna Edmunds, Breitbart:
Farage Advocates Good Manners; Media Storm Over Women’s Rights Ensues
Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party has hit the headlines for daring to question whether women should ostentatiously breastfeed in public. “Nigel Farage says breastfeeding women should sit in a corner” screamed the Guardian. But of course, closer inspection reveals that he was merely advocating for the rights of businesses to set their own rules on their premises – and for mothers to show consideration and good manners.
As Ms Edmunds says, this is all about respect for other people, discretion, good manners, showing a little decency. As I said the day before in mentioning it and moving on, it was about discretion.
Since then, a certain mindset in this country has gone all beserk over it and my question is why. What on earth is wrong with saying that there should be minimum standards? And no, the issue is NOT free speech nor the right to pour yourself all over any one else because you’re more important than anyone else.
The issue is simply the consensus about ‘good form’ or ‘good manners’ which there once was but the day something like that is lost to society, once society sinks closer to the level of bestiality – defecating or fornicating in the street at will, for example, urinating on a church at an Occupy sit-in – then adherents of the ‘let it all hang out, Emin and Hirst’ way of living will support any form of yahooism and try to make that out to be an issue of freedom.
This is simply divorcing freedom from its running mate – responsibility. Freedom carries with it certain responsibilities and one of those is to respect the freedom of others who do not wish to be afflicted with something gross.
Nigel Farage broadened it to the right of the management of a public place to set certain rules. Yes, and what? I have a cafe, you come in, I have certain rules – not very strict ones because I want your custom but some rules at least to allow other customers to enjoy their meals.
See, what we’ve got here are two opposed principles:
1. The right to do anything we damn well want, which is fine if we’re talking about govt interfering in our personal lives. In that context, the principle is sound.
2. The right to be free from someone else putting him or herself all over us. And it’s not up to a N1 to decide for me, a N2, what does or does not constitute infringement. Because the dividing line between acceptable and unacceptable is so vastly different for the two mindsets.
It needs some sort of arbiter. But who?
Next door here at home, I’ve a neighbour who comes home about 3 a.m. and starts kicking up a racket. It wouldn’t be a racket were it in the middle of the day – it would just be house noise. But this is 3 a.m., when everything’s amplified.
And this is a residential house, not one of entertainment. Plus, I have trouble enough with the sleeping as it is and they wake me up. Do they have that right? Every single night?
There’s one solution – get myself another place. But why? Why should I, when they came here years after me and all they need to do is observe the rule about noise from 12 till 6?
Those reading this are either going to sympathize with my N2 stance or they’re going to side with the right of next door to do anything they damn well like [N1] at any hour of night and day, making any level of noise they wish and to hell with the other residents.
There’s another principle involved as well – I’ve observed that those who like to label other people puritans and killjoys are not the ones in the middle, personally suffering these things. Bet the moment they’re the ones inconvenienced in some way they’d be the first to complain.
There are killjoys, agreed – they’re PC and they wish to stop children playing with conkers, stop people smoking, stop all sorts of things. There are people who can’t stand others enjoying themselves.
There’s a guy down the corridor here doing drugs and I think he sells them. I don’t give a damn what he does. I do give a damn about his banging doors at 2 a.m. and waking me up. He’s impinging on me in a very direct way. He’s since realized that that is my only criterion and now he does whatever he does … quietly.
If he had a gay lover [he wouldn’t, he’s actually hetero], I wouldn’t give a damn what he did in his own flat. If he came out on the landing though to do it, it would be an entirely different matter.
Coz that’s no longer freedom – that’s rubbing my nose in it. And if he did it because he INSISTED I accept the principle, I’d say go to hell. I will not accept it, I don’t want to see it, I have a right in my own home not to see it. I have the right to go from my door to the outer house door without being grossed out.
To me, it comes down to this. If it’s govt who dreams up some constraint on us, entirely divorced from any public need or opinion – that is not on. End of story.
If a good 50% of people demand something though, then if the other 50% demand the opposite, there is a bona fide issue. No one can then ride roughshod over it, ram it through parliament over the top of his MPs. It needs national debate and a compromise solution.
Half the people accept this climate guff and half don’t. One half goes along with all sorts of taxes and taxpayer payout, on the say-so of the IPCC, while the other half absolutely disagrees and doesn’t want a penny paid.
What can we do?
There is one solution people would not like – apartheid. Those of the N1 mentality above can occupy their areas of the land and enjoy their wild animal luxury, to employ a Dylanism, whilst the N2 lot can occupy their grass verges and cropped lawns and live life the way they want to.
Freetown Christiania was all about that. One lot went in there, eyes open and had freedom to do it. The area outside was governed differently. People were free to move from one area to the other.
Problem was, of course, that apart from the social problems in Freetown Christiania itself, there was spillage outside, where people in there would go out into the other area, taking their habits with them.
You see where this is going, don’t you? We’re now speaking of policing it and probably no one wants that. It would work though, it would be resolved, if only the N1 type would just respect others but they don’t and that’s the whole issue. They have no respect. What they want trumps all.
There are people who keep to themselves [N2] and then there are those who refuse to do that [N1].
What’s the solution?