November 3, 2017

Manners, and the abuse of power in unequal relationships

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:44 am by aleksan

Listening to the stories of who is abusing who in the Cabinet and Parliament is reminiscent of the School Playground! It certainly galvanised my interest on a dull foggy morning while having breakfast.

Two women have just been arguing about this on my radio – they were Sophie Walker, Leader of the Women’s Equality Party, and the other was Petronella Wyatt, a journalist and daughter of former MP Woodrow Wyatt.

Ms Wyatt’s point was that the concept of good manners no longer exists, and that this has led to a culture of misunderstanding, and suspicion. She remembered how Hugh Gaitskell, former Labour Prime Minister would chase her mother round the table; and when she herself was occasionally flirted with by politicians, she felt flattered…

Sophie Walker however also made a fundamentally different point – the issue of power, and how one person can humiliate another through their attitudes, comments and behaviour. They are both of course right depending upon the context.

Good manners would go a long way to regulate relationships and avoid offence and misunderstanding. But the use of power in an unequal relationship, for personal gratification or influence, is totally unacceptable.

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