Thursday 23 January 2020

Ian O'Doherty: 'A plea for 2020? Enough with the ­identity politics - it's tearing us apart'

Ian O'Doherty
Ian O'Doherty
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

As much as humans have always found the need to gather together in tribes to find a unifying bond, we have an equally innate urge to find the 'other'.

It provides those in the same tribe with a common enemy and, undoubtedly, such as during times of war, it is a vital function for our shared survival. But in times such as this, when the greatest crisis many people face is losing their phone charger, it's a remarkably destructive impulse.

I was discussing the issue of identity politics with an acquaintance over Christmas and she denied that ID politics even existed.

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Then she gloated that my point was just a typical opinion to be expected from a "straight, white, male".

Which, I'm sure you'll agree, rather proved my point about identity politics - not least because she is also straight and also white, so she was guilty of two of my three sins.

But that's the way things often are these days - it's no longer the concepts that matter, it is about who is expressing them.

There has been a complete Balkanisation of ideas in the last decade and it's ripping society apart.

After all, what is the point of being a sentient human being if you only ever stay in your own echo chamber and are never forced to confront your own views?

As that wise man, Ian Brown, once informed us: "It's not where you're from, it's where you're at."

The notion that everyone must be strictly defined by their skin colour, or their sexual preferences, or even their age, diminishes everyone.

So enough with that nonsense this year - a good argument is a good argument. And a bad one is a bad one.

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