Step into someone else’s shoes…then you might begin to understand

    Step into someone else’s shoes…then you might begin to understand

    As I was surfing around the internet (is that still a thing?) this morning, I stumbled across an article which momentarily amused me. As a parent of a 21 year old and an 18 year old I spotted a study, commissioned by Channel 4, which has found that today’s young people are less tolerant of others’ view than their parents are.

    ‘No kidding’ I thought!

    To be fair to my kids they haven’t spent much, if any, time blaming me for climate change, or any of the other ills that we middle-aged cave dwellers are accustomed to taking the rap for. Back in 2016 I didn’t vote for Brexit by the way, though curiously my mate’s kids did. He didn’t ask them why because he’s tried reasoning with them before… with limited success.

    Anyway, one in four of these YIPS (young illiberal progressives), who are under 25 years old, said they had ‘very little tolerance for people with beliefs I disagree with’. And almost half said that ‘some people deserve to be cancelled’… presumably the people they disagree with. Of course, people of my vintage aren’t remotely bothered by the prospect of being cancelled; we’re more worried about our knees packing in. But despite these rather draconian attitudes the young’uns have more liberal views, with fewer than 50 per cent believing that there are only two genders for instance.

    There is clearly a dilemma here, particularly when it comes to deciding what and who you agree with and who you don’t. With such conviction and willingness to ‘cancel’ people, surely being 100 per cent confident you are right becomes critically important in a caring society.

    Shadow over the World Cup

    England Women’s Euro 2022 star Beth Mead has weighed into the debate as to whether it is right for the England men, and others, to participate in the World Cup in Qatar, saying it is ‘disappointing’ to see the showcase event being held in a state where homosexuality is illegal. Mead, who is openly gay, said: “There’s no respect on a lot of levels.” Qatar, which follows devout and strict Muslim laws has been criticized by the western world for it’s stance on LGBTQ+ issues, with punishments for homosexuality ranging from fines and prison sentences to the death penalty. But World Cup officials have assured us that everyone will be welcome and that’s good enough for the best teams on the planet.

    So England players, who have recently been wearing rainbow laces and armbands, are receiving flack for making shallow gestures and placatory comments because, as we all know, in our beautiful game money talks.

    In principle I strongly agree with Mead; but this is a complex argument with cultural differences to be sensitive to; and the timing, in Islamophobia Awareness Month, is awkward. So who should we cancel, Mead or the King of Qatar?

    For what it’s worth I have long held the belief that between 90 and 99 per cent of people are inherently good, and experience across a range of sectors has backed up my view. Ideologically based government rhetoric doesn’t often represent the masses; and extremists, left or right wing, speak only to themselves.

    What do the people of Qatar think? I don’t know but I wish I did.

    Lancashire Hotpot

    On the subject of football, in England’s second tier, the Championship, one of the game’s fiercest rivalries is about to boil over as Burnley are set to play Blackburn Rovers next Sunday. To paraphrase the legendary Bill Shankly, ‘this game is not a matter of life and death…it’s more important than that!’ You non-football fans will surely be tutting at the hyperbole and ridiculous level of importance men and women across East Lancashire attach to this fixture. But unless you are me, or Mushtaq, how can you possibly understand?

    A third of the 60,000 population of my home town, Burnley, will pack into Turf Moor along with 2,000 Blackburn fans. Mushtaq and I will be there, but at opposite of ends of the pitch, because Mushtaq is a Rovers fan. And then, for 90 plus minutes, the sound in the stadium will be deafening as both sides chant abuse at each other, briefly pausing to support their team.

    For thousands of fans there is pure hatred in this game but Mushtaq and I are old enough, and wise enough, to know that we’re all the same really; we just want our team to win.

    And hey, if I had been born 12 miles down the road I could have been a Blackburn fan; now there’s a thought…

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