Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Monday, 15 April 2013

Some are more equal than others

Spending a lot of time driving recently I have been listening to a lot of radio, and not aways my choice of station, one thing that has struck me is the number of phone-ins on air.   These vary from the BBC Radio 4's "Any Answers" to LBCs cheap time fillers, the thing that all phone ins have in common is the obvious, any one can phone in and express their opinions.   Sometimes they will not only give their opinions but also express their impressions as facts.   The rise of the phone in has been mirrored in News reporting with the ever more prevalent "vox pop" it almost seems obligatory that every item is accompanied by the opinions of some member of the public.

Now I suppose that it is good for democracy that popular opinions are expressed in public, but are the opinions we hear being expressed either popular or informed.   Over the last few days I have heard opinions that are both illogical and ill informed, every now and then a subject will be discussed that I actually do know smething about, yet so often the people who are discussing it don't seem to.   So the question I ask myself is why are these peoples opinions important.   I want to hear the opinions of informed people, experts on the subject, decision makers who will influence policy, not a Taxi driver who hasn't bothered to research the subject before haing an opinion.

In a democratic system we each have a vote which counts the same, but surely the views that influence how we use our votes are not the same.   I was listening to a debate on LBC about night flights from Heathrow, now we mostly heard from people living under the flight paths who will be effected, their opinions are valid, we heard from a taxi driver who although he conducts business from the airport just did not understand that what he thought were facts about the current situation were simply wrong, so his opinion was not valid as it was based on misinformation.   We did not hear from any of the airlines or passengers who could be effected, so we had a very unbalanced set of views.   I want to hear opinions for all sides of the argument, balance the quality of life of those who live near Heathrow against the commercial interests of London and the Country as a whole, before I make up my mind or in extreme cases cast my vote.

Now many of us are getting more and more of our news and opinions from web based resources, including blogs like this one, I like to think that I am a well informed, sensible balanced individual whose opinions are valid, but there are a lot of things I don't know that much about, so if you want to know about gardens, transgender issues, music then listen to me, take my political opinions seriously but don't accept them as gospel, and when (like most bloggers do) I start to spout opinionated rubbish ~ err let me know.
Post a Comment