Perhaps you think nuclear weapons are a good deterrent, voted out in the EU Ref on sovereignty grounds or think subsidies to industry aren’t productive? You may have aired these views around people who disagree and look down on you with self-righteous glee with their judging eyes. You’re fair game as your beliefs neatly fit into their box of being ‘evil’. Grown up discussions aren’t for them but ridicule and saying you’re a war-monger racist who wants to take money from the poor in a bid to shame you into silence.
Don’t be bullied, whatever your view engage in polite debate, ask them questions, try to understand their point of view and air yours in a non-emotive way you’ll think they’ll grasp. Always stay calm and light-hearted if you can. Of course, there are plenty of situations, especially when it comes to concerns of safety, when it’s probably better to say nothing at all.
The Brexit debate, tensions within the Labour party, issues with anti-semitism and no-platforming on uni campuses have contributed to a feeling of fear of being attacked if your views don’t fall in line with those around you. It’s hugely concerning. In a country which claims to value free speech. People should feel safe to air their views and expect robust debate, not death threats and intimidation. It needs to be addressed and condemned and people need to be brave not to roll over and accept it. We all need to listen to each other more instead of derailing or shutting down conversations.