...free to think freely


18th February 2019

An Unexpected Split

Recent political discussion, dominated by Brexit, has highlighted splits in the Conservative Party so much the quarrels in the Labour Party have been largely out of sight for the media, and therefore the population who receive their news from the media. This made it something of a shock to hear today that MPs resigning the party whip came from that side of the House.

The seven MPs cited different reasons for their decision though, as one of them later explained, there was a common theme in an alleged intolerance and dogmatism in the Party leadership. One particular thread was a claim of bullying arising from a simplistic view of the world as divided into oppressed and oppressors producing consequent taking of sides and attempts to suppress those deemed oppressive.

This, naturally, raises the problem of trying to suppress oppression: the moment one attempts to do that by targeting the supposedly oppressive, they cease to be the oppressor and become instead oppressed in their own right. That is why fairness can never be achieved by such a process. In order to end oppression it is necessary to suppress the process, not the perpetrators.

That is a major point we in the Diverse Diversity Campaign are making: fairness cannot be achieved by identifying groups and trying to redress the balance between them. Firstly, that requires a need to determine exactly where the balance lies and then some means of enforcing it, and enforcement is too likely to involve oppression itself. Secondly, how can one do that without forcing a single opinion about where that balance lies, which is surely also an area for debate which ought to be tolerated?

I suspect we might disagree in detail with what the seven MPs believe and stand for, but if they seek to change the way politics is done rather than to whom it is done, that is probably something we could agree. For Diverse Diversity is not about which side of an argument we take but how, whether we have taken a side or still have an open mind, we present or assess the case.