18.05.08, Have good manners disappeared?

I think some of the remarks which pass across the floor of the House of Commons, and are then transmitted on television, have all the ingredients of ignorance, bad manners, lack of respect, and above all are a bad example to the youth of the nation. If you go back through the ages and look at some of the speeches of people like Nye Bevan, Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, they could make the point with wit and the use of the language that was twice as belittling as the sort of torrent that we have today, which is more the epitome of a sawdust-floored bar room. It was always an in-joke, that when the English were talking to foreigners, they considered shouting would put their point over, even though they didn’t speak the language. Have you noticed the decibels created by David Cameron, when he is at his most vitriolic?

Often, when I’m listening to a TV inquisitor, or reporter in the field, I’m amazed at just how crass they can be, with the implied insults by the very nature of their vocabulary. They make me cringe with embarrassment for them, and for their total lack of consideration, respect, and decorum. They can be so arrogant, it is as if they feel they operate on another plain, with a different set of rules to the rest of us,. Today it seems that nobody in the public eye, even if they wish, can avoid this sort of verbal harassment. I suppose to a certain extent it is the people urgently seeking publicity, accreditation, fame and adulation, who are prepared to expose their lives, their intimate relationships, and their financial dealings, who are responsible for the growth in the myth that the public has an unhindered right to any knowledge, and it is the duty of the media to ferret it out and expose it. The media are not so much interested in the stories, and their consequent ripples and side-effects, they are merely ambitious, self-seeking and above all greedy.

I’m not sure if it’s my white hair, or my age, but I have found that a reasoned, courteous and factual approach, in making complaints, dealing commercially and in general everyday intercourse, is more effective than blasting broadsides – invective is usually totally counter-productive.

Categorized as General

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