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One of my favourite smartarse aphorisms is ‘Fair’ is a word for the playground, not for politics. By which I intend to indicate not only a Wildean superiority of wit and wisdom, but also that fairness is a nebulous and emotive term, more suited to the whines of aggrieved kids than any rational political or even ethical debate.

Yes of course some idea of ‘equity’ has to be involved, but no fair! is not in and of itself a valid rebuttal for anything.

But playground simplicity is never far from the surface in the most adult of discussions. Back in even my youngest day, I recall watching representatives of Palestine and Israel, Northern Irish Prods and Catholics, interviewed on tv, making passionately a case which, it always seemed to me, boiled down to yeah but no but yeah but they started it!

And now there seem to be endless variations, on the antisocial media, of a new trending meme: what would they say if ….?

Usually it’s something like, just think what libtards would say if Nigel Farage did something like that, or imagine the field-day the tabloids would have if Jeremy Corbyn was caught doing that on his allotment — equally prevalent on all sides of all arguments and equally irrelevant (rationally) in all cases.

Even comedians get in on the act, though I couldn’t work out whether kraut* comic Henning Wehn was wholly serious with his tweet about Welsh rugby referee Nigel Owens: The ref is lecturing the Argie captain in English. Now imagine a ref speaking Spanish to the England skipper.

Can we drop it, please guys? Just as I argued (no doubt unconvincingly) in Quote Me No Quotes a few weeks ago, and have plugged away at ad nauseam (what would folks say if Piers Morgan went on like that?), it’s yet another way of fogging a debate that we really need to have in a vaguely rational manner if possible, if only because the outcomes (of Brexit, left v right, climate change v bullshit denial, etc) could be pretty fucking crucial for all of us.

As I commented when some Brexit Party shill posted a twitter poll on whether climate change was a real issue or not, Fortunately (or rather unfortunately in this case) facts are impervious to votes. The facts are incontrovertible. I’m getting on and I don’t have kids, so it’s not that important to me, but if you do, you owe it to them to face those facts.

And while we’re all wondering what the other side would do if the offense boot was on the other foot, those facts are fucking with our very lives.

As teachers, when challenged with, please sir, they did it first, would always respond — so if they jumped off a cliff, would you copy that?

Admittedly that logic is rather dodgy too, but you get my drift, I’m sure.

 

*Yes, I’m joking; just referring to that heinous BritainFirst poster. But then imagine what the alt-right fascist bastard morons would say if some German lefties produced a poster calling Boris Johnson an Inselaffe (island ape)!