Is vulgarity and rudeness now the norm?
IWAS washing the dishes when my attention was drawn to the radio. Sean O’Rourke was interviewing Maria Bailey. I could not believe my ears. It was beyond words, incredible arrogance.
It was another P Flynn moment. Readers who are too young to remember the P Flynn road crash - it was the night the European Commissioner was on ‘The Late Late Show’ making a complete clown of himself, explaining to the nation how he was finding it so difficult to keep all his properties in shape on his EU salary.
Politics is a strange game but as a former MEP said to me if we don’t have politics we have war. How true. We seem to be living in unchartered waters, indeed, dangerous times too. In the background there is enough arsenal to annihilate all of us.
Before President Trump got off Air Force One in Stansted he insulted London’s Lord Mayor Sadiq Khan and then ridiculed the mayor on grounds of his stature. The more outrageous his comments the more plaudits he gets from his followers.
I’m reminded of the horror days of the Northern Ireland Troubles. The more gruesome and deadly the IRA atrocities were, the more support they received from their supporters. When Trump supporters scream, ‘lock her up’ when he mentions Hillary Clinton’s name one can feel the hatred and violence in the air.
Anglican Bishop of Liverpool Paul Bayes considers Trump’s way of doing politics as ‘toxic and dangerous’...‘He says he is a Christian but Jesus said you know people by their fruits,’ Bayes said. He doesn’t believe that Trump’s actions are Christian. The bishop is also critical of those who support Trump.
Mr Trump lies. He lied to England’s Prince Charles when he told him last Tuesday that the US has one of the cleanest environments in the world. President Trump is pernicious. President Michael D Higgins used the word accurately when talking about President Trump.
In the Philippines President Duterte in a speech he made in Tokyo last month told his audience that he was gay before he cured himself. He said: ‘I became a man again! So beautiful women cured me. I hated handsome men afterwards. I now prefer beautiful
women.’ In 2016 President Duterte called the US ambassador to the Philippines a ‘gay son of a bitch’.
Closer to home there is Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. Can one add our own Peter Casey to that list?
What’s the genesis of all this vulgarity and rudeness? A friend of mine, who is involved in politics, argues that with the fall of the Berlin Wall, world order collapsed and it became the norm for people to say and do anything.
I’m inclined to think that the Catholic Church was ahead of politicians on this one. Under the pontificate of John Paul II a division began to appear in the church, where opposing sides saw each other as the ‘enemy’. Right now in the church the opposing sides find it ever so easy to speak in the nastiest terms about their opponents. Last month I read about two English Dominicans referring to the Pope as a heretic.
There is a palpable violence in the ether. Look at social media. The world needs to calm down. On the scale of things, the Maria Bailey story is a bit of fun, though certainly not for her.
What about if we all made a genuine effort in respecting one another, even those with whom we disagree. Politicians take note.