Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Times: They Are A-Changin' Etc Etc

Hostility to immigration is widespread, and on the rise. The defence secretary talks of parts of Britain being “swamped” by migrants and says that people feel “under siege” by them. And the papers are scattered with nasty little stories of prejudice: a bus driver throws gay people off his bus, a supermarket chucks them out of a shop.

So it is sometimes hard to remember that right here, right now is about as liberal and tolerant as the world has ever been, and that there is a good chance things will continue to go in the right direction.

To anybody who grew up in the 1970s, the change in attitudes to black, brown and gay people has been vast and astonishing. In my adolescence, attacks on people because of their sexuality or skin colour were regarded as regrettable but unsurprising. Homophobia was the norm in public life and the media. The Sun reported this joke: a gay man goes home to his parents and tells them he’s got good news and bad news. The bad news is I’m gay. The good news is I’ve got Aids...

That gay people are still occasionally abused in public is sad but not surprising. What’s more remarkable is the reaction to such incidents. In the case on the bus and the one in the supermarket, the companies involved grovelled and promised to investigate...

All the surveys of attitudes towards gays and people of other races have one result in common: young people are more tolerant than older people. Bigots are dying off. Today’s Britain is a nicer place than yesterday’s. Tomorrow’s will probably be better still.

The Times.

She's right that it's instructive that relatively minor incidents like the supermarket and bus same-sex kisses rows now make the national news.

Which is great news!

But what do Times readers think...

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