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Should we keep our politics to ourselves?

(23 Posts)
Albadross Sat 03-Jun-17 21:33:41

DF has been ranting on FB for weeks, telling the world he won't tolerate any discussion on the GE and that social media isn't for politics, etc etc (despite him being the only one I've seen saying much at all and he does it at least once a week!). Similarly, I keep reading on MN that you should keep your voting preferences to yourself and not discuss with friends and family or 'ram it down people's throats' which seems to cover any remotely passionate mention of politics. Obviously, I don't advocate sweeping generalisations about supporters of particular parties or the sort of 'all Tories are scum' talk, which clearly isn't productive but surely since this affects every single one of us, our DCs, jobs, economy, environment, what happens to us in old age, blah blah, it's something we shouldn't be afraid to discuss so we can better form opinions?

When I was at secondary school we had mock elections and unknowingly saw a bit of a premonition about the sometimes shallow approach many people have to voting for how their own country is run - i.e. we all voted for the hottest guy, whoever made the best badges and did the funniest speech etc. - and as an adult it's as if nothing's really changed confused

Isn't discussion really the only way we can deepen our understanding of what it all means and why is being passionate about something so fundamental such a bad thing?

chickenjalfrezi Sat 03-Jun-17 21:43:49

A lot of it boils down to one's fundamental beliefs and therefore such potential for clashes with people that do not share them but you happily agree with on other levels.

Social media has been enlightening really as people can't resist sharing their voting preferences and I've been shocked really at some people's opinions!

WhiskyTangoFoxtrot Sat 03-Jun-17 21:46:42

The old rule is that you never discuss politics or religion at social occasions. Because the potential for it to get boring/repetitive is just too great.

So yes, it's fine to expect people to keep it under wraps, unless they know they are in a mutually consenting audience.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sat 03-Jun-17 21:57:21

I think less of people who spout political views / arguments / rhetoric on social media. They always come across as holier-than-thou and a bit ridiculous.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 03-Jun-17 21:59:13

I think it's personal. I advocate reading everything you can to make your mind up, then not discussing it certainly with your neatest and dearest.

AlternativeTentacle Sat 03-Jun-17 22:02:30

I am chuffed to bits that not one of my facebook friends, family or aquaintances is a Tory. I had one who had kept a low political profile but wheedled them out during the Andrea Leadscum fiasco.

Albadross Sat 03-Jun-17 22:06:46

Part of me thinks I'd rather know if someone close to me holds some awful racist view than carrying on oblivious. It matters to me.

Albadross Sat 03-Jun-17 22:08:23

ThroughThick but the media is so full of spin and it's one-way, rather than a discussion where you can work through the issues.

If we want more 'normal' people getting into politics, we shouldn;t be making them think they'll be hated for it, surely?

Albadross Sat 03-Jun-17 22:09:52

Anne there's definitely ways not to do it but people tend to perceive even the slightest mention as 'spouting' now

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 03-Jun-17 22:14:29

Op to me it is personal. People have to make up their own minds and I won't be persuaded to discuss it with them.

Ds1 (21) voted conservative in 2015 because I did, literally said what are you doing I will too when he placed his cross, Brexit because his girlfriend did; now Labour because new girlfriend has persuaded him to. I would never vote Labour in a million years, but it's his vote to do with what he wants.

chickenjalfrezi Sat 03-Jun-17 22:15:18

Albadross you see that is the problem in that people are automatically labelled as 'racist/communist/stupid/posh' by their voting preferences by people stereotyping based on their interpretation of a political party.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 03-Jun-17 22:19:42

Alternative, I just think more fool you for being so narrow minded plus people lie and say what they thing their family and friends want to hear-I bet they aren't all voting that way when they get to the ballot box. Ever heard of Shy Tories? They won't be admitting to you where they put their cross, I wouldn't if I knew you.

BackforGood Sat 03-Jun-17 22:20:30

Thing being, if someone close to you held strong racist views, surely be apparent to you by now anyway?
I have unfriended / blocked posts from 2 or 3 people who rant on and on about their political views because they just don't stop ranting. I have, however, spent a long time seeking out articles, and debates, and listening to opinions, and asking for recommendations about political websites I can look at, because I still can't make up my mind who to vote for.
There's a big difference between people saying "Interesting article" and linking to something, and people going off on a one sided rant. Yes, debate the issues, no, don't assume everyone wants to hear rants. There is a middle ground between 'no politics' and 'ranting on'

Albadross Sat 03-Jun-17 22:37:39

Yes Back I completely agree - but I also don't think there's anything wrong with believing in what it is you vote for enough to want to share it in a productive way. Just like I regularly talk about what I do in mental health activism on social media and people mostly (apart from some very abusive dicks) respond by saying 'it's so great how you fight for what you believe in'.

I guess that's what I find difficult to understand.

bakewelltarty Sat 03-Jun-17 22:39:54

Could this by why so many people are disengaged with politics and voting turnout so low?

If it's not something you are brought up with and used to discussing, I can see why some people don't think voting is relevant to them.

QuentinSummers Sat 03-Jun-17 22:40:11

Yes we should discuss politics. So many people are confused and not confident to vote, they need some support as to why it's important and why their views are relevant.
Ranting or having an argument not ok though

BackforGood Sat 03-Jun-17 23:40:39

I also think it is important to understand (and explain to those who missed all the campaigns.... was it 2 General Elections ago???.... when they had people talking about licensing hours down the pub, or about public transport, and all other subjects that bothered people) that you don't have to be aligned to any one party, for politics to matter to you. Talking about issues is a very different cup of tea from going on all the time about how one Leader or another is {insert whatever the current insult of the day is}.
Asking what can be done about homelessness or waiting times in A&E or whatever can be done without raving about one party or another.

GloriaV Sun 04-Jun-17 05:40:03

Politics used to be boring- now it's ridiculous sound bites and politicians being cornered in interviews into lying, to pretend they will do stuff they cannot possibly afford to do, to get votes.
Not good for the us or them, we end up thinking they are all liars and with policies that won't happen.

GloriaV Sun 04-Jun-17 07:55:15

Just to pick up on the points A/E. homelessness. Each of these have loads of issues- alcoholism, drugs, heavy drinking, mental health, nurses pay, aging pop (which takes money which could be spent on mental health). Politicians will assure us they are putting money into it if interviewed. But the sums required are huge and require increasing taxation . If they admit that they won't get voted in. We are as much to blame as the politicians. And people have rights if they choose to drink or take drugs we can't stop them.

Theducksarenotmyfriends Sun 04-Jun-17 08:53:28

Absolutely you should discuss politics. If it's done with an open mind, an appreciation of however strong/informed your views you could still be wrong, a genuine desire to listen to alternative views from other people and with critical thinking. And respect, of course.

I used to live in a labour strong hold and I'm very left, more close to anarchist actually. But now live in a Tory stronghold. It's really interesting to be out of that left wing bubble and hearing other people's very different views tbh! It's good to be challenged to see if what you think and have read really does stand up to criticism and debate.

Albadross Sun 04-Jun-17 09:42:31

Chicken just to clarify, I wasn't suggesting everyone who votes differently to me is racist - just that some of the ranting I see expresses questionable views that are pretty racist.

Wecks Sun 04-Jun-17 09:51:01

I have never discussed politics with friends and never posted on social media. An anonymous forum is a different matter.
I have carefully read thread after thread on here and elsewhere, followed links, asked a few questions and tried to put forward a few carefully worded concerns, dilemmas.
I've learned a lot. Some posters are knowledgeable and have put forward careful analysis and well thought through views. Those are the ones that make me think. Not the hysteria.
It gets so nasty though. If this is how people really feel I reckon it's wise to steer clear of the subject IRL.

pottered Mon 05-Jun-17 11:18:52

i love discussing politics on mumsnet because of a free and frank exchange of views, it relies on anonymity though BECAUSE it gets too personal - i hate it on facebook because of the big brother aspect 'share if you're voting labour', 'if you're voting tory you're a monster' etc etc.

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