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« How the middle class ruined Britain’s pubs | Main | Blocked by Churchill’s grandson »
Wednesday
Sep042019

Block party

Further to being blocked on Twitter by Sir Nicholas Soames (see previous post) another person who has blocked me is broadcaster Jeremy Vine.

I’m not entirely sure why. I didn’t abuse him in any way because I’m generally careful not to do that.

I did however comment on a couple of his tweets that sought to blame motorists for incidents involving cyclists.

In one instance the cyclist was very clearly at fault but Jeremy has a blind spot when it comes to cyclists.

In his eyes they can do almost no wrong and with his helmet camera he’s become a bit of a vigilante.

Anyway I wasn’t aware he had blocked me until I noticed, several weeks later, that I couldn’t see his tweets (that other people in my timeline were retweeting or commenting upon).

Two things struck me.

One, how thin-skinned he must be.

Two, how much better my life is without Jeremy Vine's tweets.

Seriously. Until I discovered he had blocked me I hadn’t fully appreciated how irritating he was. I swear that one tweet was directly responsible for raising my blood pressure.

The fact that I can no longer read his tweets has improved my life because I genuinely feel calmer.

So thank you, Jeremy, you’ve done me a big, big favour.

PS. I very rarely block people on Twitter. Instead I ‘mute’ or unfollow them.

You’d be surprised if I told you some of their names but it’s quite a long list and my life is all the better for it.

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Reader Comments (2)

It is a troubling sign when journalists (including broadcasters) and politicians (including The Right Honourable Sir Nicholas Soames MP) block dissenting opinions on social media.

The core problem with blocking dissent is the tendency to lose touch with the constituency they serve. That means they only hear the views of their own select group of fellow travellers. Democracy depends upon dissent and debate.

In the tobacco control realm, for example, we see that only the accepted view (that is antismoking and antismoker positions) are allowed in most media spaces these days. This narrow range of accepted speech furthers the abuse and persecution of smokers by a self-reinforcing group of activists. Blocking dissent, shouting down this that disagree and allowing only the 'accepted position' is fuel for tyranny.

Every time a news site promotes tobacco control propaganda masquerading as news propaganda advances at the expense of democracy. Every time those article restrict comments the tyrants gain additional power.

A politician or journalist should welcome dissenting views as they inform debate and are a barometer of public sentiment. Of course this should not and does not include abuse, threats, and bot-driven attempts to silence dissent, but those tactics are again a staple of tobacco control and other social control lobbies (such as vegan extremists and prohibitionists) from both the left and right.

As the political space excludes diversity of opinion, it also excludes representing he will of the people and the need for informed debate to shape that will — while protecting he rights of those that disagree.

Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 6:03 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

I know what you mean about improved wellbeing by being ditched by certain people. I am especially grateful to the moderators of Richard Dawkins' blog for banning me. You go on there trying to be nice and kind and tell them why their 'theory' is wrong and that they might want to review the evidence since 1859 and you get abuse and ridicule. It was interesting to see just how few of his devotees know or care about science.

As for Twitter, I've been blocked by many politicians. You just have to politely disagree with some of them - and I never swear in tweets, so it can't be that - and they block you.

I used to have a good rapport with the MP Eric Joyce, but after I commented on his unparliamentary language in a tweet to me, he blocked me.

Perhaps this offers some clue as to how special these minor figures think they are and so they won't tolerate dissent from their minions?

Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 23:36 | Unregistered CommenterStewart Cowan

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