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Reluctant to join the discussion.

(274 Posts)
morethan2 Wed 01-Feb-17 22:45:21

I occasionally drop in on the political threads. Just a quick look. Today I noted that there was a query of sorts saying that some of us regular uses never comment or join in the debate. I just wondered why? I know why I don't. Apart from the fact that I'm having a particularly difficult time dealing with family illness the reasons are.
1 the threads are far too long so I have difficulty keeping up
2 the posters seem so clever and politically acute that I don't feel I have enough knowledge.
3 I haven't got the time to check my facts so am reluctant to just express my feelings
4 the posters can be very robust if they don't agree with each other.
5 perhaps I'm a bit wimpish and can't take the backlash if I disagree with a post.
Maybe I'm a bit delicate. How do others feel?

pensionpat Wed 01-Feb-17 22:47:57

I agree totally. Thank you for summing it up in this way.

grannyqueenie Wed 01-Feb-17 23:01:30

Me too! It's not that I'm not interested in current affairs, I am. It's not even that I don't have opinions, I do. But I'm no good in real life at thinking on my feet in a debate and feel the same on here, especially when others seem very sure of their ground. Sometimes folk fire on all cylinders and can seem a bit brusque in the process, it's tricky enough negotiating different views amongst family and friends and I just don't need that conflict in my "virtual" life as well!

Chewbacca Wed 01-Feb-17 23:03:36

I agree too morethan. I've not been here long and foolishly entered a politcal thread that was very well established. I got quite a dressing down! It was probably my own naivete, but I didn't realise that those threads were so "robust" and that posters would be challenged, fairly aggresively, about their personal political leanings. I couldn't understand why some posters were so personally rude and aggressive. I appreciate that the discussion of politics will become heated, but don't see the point of driving off anyone with differing views to one's own. Not been back anyway!

daphnedill Wed 01-Feb-17 23:05:59

I've had all kinds of stick for being patronising and a 'know-it-all'. Believe it or not, I'm a human being behind this keyboard and I have feelings too.

I happen to take politics seriously and would far rather discuss topical issues than hobbies or personal relationships. I do spend quite a bit of time reading online and I subscribe to paper magazines such as 'The Economist' and 'New Statesman'. I like to keep up with what's happening in the world, although I don't have a rigid view of politics. I am not a 'leftie' unless you happen to be Attila the Hun. I am, however, very concerned about what's happening to our society.

If I am sometimes abrupt, I apologise. I don't have a problem with people expressing feelings. In fact, I wish politicians took more notice of people's feelings. However, I will challenge people who claim that their feelings and opinions are fact. It's really not that difficult to check out facts and figures, although I admit it's time-consuming.

I object when the main stream media is so economical with facts and some articles are just badly researched.

I especially object when information from 'woo' sites are presented as facts. 'Woo' sites are those which look like genuine information sites and quote pseudo-scientific data, but are not in fact backed up by robust data. They twist and manipulate facts to suit their purposes. Most of these sites are right wing, although there are a few left wing sites. Left wing sites tend to concentrate on arguing about definitions of socialism. I challenge them too.

Jalima Wed 01-Feb-17 23:06:48

perhaps I'm a bit wimpish and can't take the backlash if I disagree with a post.
Well, first rule is you are not allowed to disagree morethan2 wink

Seriously, anyone should be allowed to express their views (most people have views on politics) even if, like me, you are not clever and politically astute and don't spend all day immersed in listening to political debate on the radio, tv or online.

The thing to remember is, if other posters are rude or call you silly or - heaven forbid - somewhere to the right of Attila The Hun or to the left of Marx, you don't know them, will probably never meet them in real life and what they say in reply really matters not a jot in the scheme of your life.

Jalima Wed 01-Feb-17 23:08:36

Attila the Hun seems quite popular so far on this thread

Rigby46 Wed 01-Feb-17 23:17:10

Everyone is allowed to express their views and everyone is allowed to respond to those views - robust discussion is not against the rules. It's an anonymous forum for heaven's sake not the raison d'être of your life and I dislike the attempts that some posters make to shut down discussion by saying 'someone's been horrible to me'. They usually say this when an erudite poster has successfully demolished a view they have put forward

daphnedill Wed 01-Feb-17 23:18:13

Oooh errr Jalima! I can't imagine Attila the Hun was ever popular. My point is that I've been labelled a 'leftie' so often that I don't even take any notice any more.

I confess that I tried to be a Trotskyist for about 10 days when I was a student. I was in love with somebody, who was drop dead gorgeous and happened to be a Trotskyist. I even bought some books to impress this person. Unfortunately, Trotskyism and the person himself proved to be a huge disappointment, so I gave up. I don't think there is anybody on GN who is truly 'hard left'.

However, I do care about social justice and I'm not going to shut up.

daphnedill Wed 01-Feb-17 23:19:04

I agree, Rigby46.

Chewbacca Wed 01-Feb-17 23:19:58

Yes Jalima that's it in a nutshell. I can only access GN in the evening and so threads have obviously moved on since I last contributed, but I was astonished that it's acceptable on GN to trawl back, months and months, through another posters posting history, and quote things back to them and hold them to account against what their opinions are on a current topic. If I'd been that poster I'd have felt hounded. I'd very much like to discuss politics and current events here but when you see posters being told that they should "just go and look at pictures of fluffy kittens " it is very off putting.

Chewbacca Wed 01-Feb-17 23:24:56

But Rigby do posters that you disagree with have to be "demolished "? Is it so vitally important that an argument or discussion is "won" that posters are held to account for posts made many months ago? That logic doesn't allow for someone to have changed their views or opinions, does it?

Rigby46 Wed 01-Feb-17 23:28:02

What on earth is wrong with trawling back if a poster wants to? Are you rewriting the rules Chew? Why not go onto Site Stuff and see what HQ think about banning this thoroughly reprehensible activity? And yes, if you can't take the heat of debate around important issues, then yes, do go and look at photos of fluffy kittens and stop trying to shut down debate you just don't like.

Rigby46 Wed 01-Feb-17 23:30:18

Who's demolishing whom? That's ridiculous - or am I demolishing you? Putting an opposite point of view is not demolishing. What on earth does that mean?

daphnedill Wed 01-Feb-17 23:30:35

Chewbacca I'm not sure that the search facility on GN is that good. I've sometimes though that posters have written something, but haven't been able to find it.

The only example I know of was Eloethan's quoting those members who said they voted Conservative. There was a reason for that. A certain poster was claiming that those who don't have left-wing views no longer posted. Eloethan proved this poster was wrong. The very same poster has been quite unpleasant to others. If you're new, you probably don't know about the history.

Chewbacca Wed 01-Feb-17 23:32:37

I'm sure "the rules" dont cover that Rigby, it just seems like an extreme way of proving a point!

POGS Wed 01-Feb-17 23:32:38

'stop trying to shut down debate you just don't like'

Does anybody find a touch of 'irony' or am I alone. confused

daphnedill Wed 01-Feb-17 23:33:17

Rigby46 That's the root of it, isn't it? Somebody comes along with a viewpoint not based on evidence. The poster is challenged and then goes off in a hissy fit, claiming to be victimised or whatever.

daphnedill Wed 01-Feb-17 23:33:47

You're on your own - along with accomplices [wink}

Rigby46 Wed 01-Feb-17 23:34:10

I guess you are referring to Eleo's wicked trawling back which I thought was very neat and well done in that particular context. And fwiw, having mentioned Eleo, IMO she's a shining light on GN in terms of her knowledge, wisdom and ability to express complex ideas in a very accessible way. She puts many of us to shame

Chewbacca Wed 01-Feb-17 23:35:59

I used the term demolished in response to your post: ^ They usually say this when an erudite poster has successfully demolished a view they have put forward ^ I quoted you Rigby, so I expect you know what it meant?

POGS Wed 01-Feb-17 23:41:33

Morethan 2

Well no's 4 & 5 in your OP are certainly panning out and it's hardly started.


daphnedill Wed 01-Feb-17 23:43:06

But why shouldn't a view be demolished, if it the poster can't defend it?

daphnedill Wed 01-Feb-17 23:43:39

Then there are the stirrers and trolls!

Chewbacca Wed 01-Feb-17 23:52:11

As others havery said, some people do want to contribute to a topic but aren't as "clued up" or quick thinking as others. It's not that their opinions or views are invalid but they're not as articulate as others perhaps. Who do you suspect of being a stirrer or troll daphne?