Im guessing by now you have pegged me as guardian reading, bleeding heart liberal, and you are partly right. It may suprise you to know that the paper I read most is (hangs head in shame) the daily mail. The daily fail, that benchmark by which so many British citizens set their ideology, and create their passionate views. On benefits. On Islam. On immigration. Spreading hate and fear in the guise of entertainment for as long as I remember.
The reasons I have ended up an avid reader of such a hated paper are twofold, neither of which are particularly profound but I’ll share them anyway.
Firstly, and most importantly, it is to enable me to see a story from multiple view points. If you only ever read the guardian, independent, sun or mirror, you are only ever going to get a single view on an issue. For me comparing the same incident or story through the eyes of the bbc, guardian, mail and sun, allows to me to develop my thoughts, and to try and understand why people have such diverse views on the same subject. A friend of mine eluded to this as the election results came in, ‘we’ve been in a green bubble’ she said, and it got me thinking. The liberal left were so shocked on Friday, as we surround ourselves with like minded people, read ideas that support our own, and partake in social activities both that ‘fit’ our lifestyles and agenda.
We are just as guilty of not knowing them, as they are at not knowing us.
The power of the media, and the sustained control of the ideas that huge swathes of society latch onto, fascinates me. I pride myself on being empathetic, I gueniuely try to understand how you end up voting ukip having been a liberal, and an otherwise kind, good person. I want to hear the reasons why people in Kent or Bolton feel so strongly about immigration. Shutting yourself off to multiple agendas and viewpoints can really hinder your progress to understand how we got here, which ever side of the fence you fall on.
My second reason is really stupid.
I have a bit of a competition to see how many red arrows I can get by saying sensible things, with friends of mine. The idea is never to be hateful, rude or otherwise, only calm, collected, and supported with evidence. It is truly terrifying the rate at which people red arrow thoughts that aren’t supported by the daily mail. Just last night this led to conspiracy theory like speculation, that the mail somehow are red arrowing us themselves.
Alright, calm down mulder and scully, I hear you cry!
The point is, that keeping certain ideas in the public consciousness is essential to maintain the status quo of society. I find it ironic that the free press was created to get ideas out there, and now these ideas are so carefully manufactured by big business (in many cases that are linked politically ) and we mostly choose to ignore that fact. When talking of the protests on Saturday, I eluded to the control that the media will have over the perception of the Left in the coming weeks and months. It is also really important to ensure that as the raving lunatic left, we don’t do the same to ‘them’. Get informed, read what they read, try to understand what has informed the choices they made last Thursday.
Better the devil you know and all that.
As with so many areas in life, it boils down to education, and we all need to educate ourselves as broadly as possible. The aggressive right are as much a minority as the spray painting war memorial left. We need to find ways to engage and understand the regular voter, so we can try and get them to listen and care. I can’t believe that there are 13 million bankers, or rich selfish people out there, so a number of them have to be pliable surely?
I don’t have all the answers, as always, the thoughts spill out simply to get them out there. As I say to my husband who ridicules my daily mail addiction, if I get one person thinking or challenging their beliefs it’s a win.
Now I’ve just got to do that several million times over…..