Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Just this week I've been accused of patronising someone, of treating someone "like a silly schoolgirl" and of "defending antisemitic rantings".
The last is the worst of course. Being patronising (if it were true) is hardly a hanging offence. Treating someone like a schoolgirl (if it were true) is a modest faux-pas on the sexist spectrum. But to suggest I'm a dyed-in-the-wool anti-Jewish bigot is outrageous.
Like most people, I have Jewish friends, so why would I condone attacks on them? What could I possibly have against Jews apart from my not being religious?
I begin to understand how angry the 400,000 Labour Party members must be as they are all smeared as being anti-Jewish week in and week out by the media and have little or no opportunity to defend themselves.
I try very hard not to gratuitously insult people. If I'm about to say something derogatory, I ask myself "What's the evidence? Am I sure about this? Or is it just an assumption?" If I'm not sure of my ground, it goes unsaid. Other people don't abide by the same rules though. An idea pops into their head and they run with it, regardless. Often with predictably disastrous results.
Of course some insults slip through my mental filter, and I'm happy to apologise if need be. But I hate being accused of something that's categorically untrue, or at the very least a matter of personal interpretation.
Just give me a break. Think before you speak.