Sensible debate no longer exists in our society

18 Aug 2019

 

A UK parliament in chaos is the last thing that the country needs right now with the severe challenges that the United Kingdom is facing.

 

There’s not a shortage of these important issues either. Brexit, knife crime, the NHS in crisis, the ineptitude of the opposition, the possible breakup of the UK.

 

Whilst all of this has been going on, the political class have seemingly lost the ability to debate sensibly. This is the last thing we need. So we have to regain control of this before we hit rock bottom as a country.

 

It certainly feels like the country has fallen apart with the multiple challenges that have faced Britain. The Grenfell Tower disaster was just one of those challenges - a devastating fire that took so many lives. The government’s handling of this tragedy was poor - there’s no denying that. However, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn used this as an opportunity to outline one of his policies as a way to discredit the government. Whilst I agree with the point that a tragedy like Grenfell must never happen again, was using this tragic event a suitable way of promoting Labour’s housing policy?

 

Whilst political point scoring has been more frequent in the House of Commons as opposed to competency, this hasn’t been the only issue concerned with debating in the UK.

 

I’ve watched many Prime Minister’s Questions over the past few years and the conduct of some MPs in the chamber has been nothing short of disgraceful. Speaker John Bercow is constantly needing to retain order in the House of Commons because of all the heckling that goes on. Some MPs are even seen to on their phones during PMQs, which is very frustrating for the public who want action to be taken on certain issues.

 

Social media is a very powerful tool. If used effectively, it can be a very good asset to have. However, a lack of regulation on some social media sites has lead to MPs receiving abuse and death threats. No matter what political views someone holds, they never deserve to receive death threats. This lack of regulation means that the public are following suit, but in a more serious manner with online threats.

 

The bullying and racist abuse of Diane Abbott is a prime example of why we find ourselves in the mess we’re currently in. This is horrendous and so disrespectful to a long serving Member of Parliament.

 

Although some of these incidents aren’t as severe on these platforms, I always look through Twitter and it’s very rare that I see debates on political issues conducted in a healthy manner

This all comes back to the House of Commons. If MPs, who represent us politically, can’t behave properly in parliament and set an example then how can they expect the public to debate sensibly?

 

The treatment of Theresa May during her PMQs was very hard to watch. Whilst she may have made mistakes, the attitude and tone that some of the opposition MPs took with her was disrespectful. We saw the former Prime Minister break down outside of Downing Street during her resignation speech, symbolising the flack that she got from MPs as well as on social media.

 

I understand that people are passionate, that’s what makes our democracy the great thing that it is, but it doesn’t have to come down to name-calling and personal insults in order to get a viewpoint across. Even during May’s last PMQs, Corbyn did not take the time to praise the former PM and wish her the best of luck for the future, something that SNP MP Ian Blackford managed to do, as well as Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson.

 

It’s not just leader Jeremy Corbyn who’s at fault - he’s actually the least of the problems the country faces in terms of not being able to debate sensibly. He’s never made threats unless some members of the public on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

 

We really need to consider the rhetoric that we use in this day and age. Words can have consequences. Terrorism of all forms has reared its ugly head in the past few years as a result. Take the murder of MP Jo Cox, for example. Murdered by a far-right extremist during the EU referendum campaign.

 

You might be thinking, 'you’ve just done what Jeremy Corbyn has done in terms of using a political point in order to promote a view'. However, this murder of an MP is a result of not being able to debate sensibly, not being able to tolerate other people’s views. This is a point that needed to be raised.

 

We need to be kinder to one another as a nation. Some people might not like Boris Johnson as prime minister, some people might not be a fan of Jeremy Corbyn. Regardless of the political views we hold, let’s debate sensibly and respect one another.

 

At this particular time with the issues we face, we need to come together and put the ‘great’ back in to Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

 

 

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