The Romanians are Coming!

“Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion”. Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 12.23.43

It’s a common saying that people are quick to pull out, usually in the face of hearing an opinion they don’t like, or to defend their own. These days, you can’t breathe through the masses of opinions clogging up the social newsfeeds.

You may have seen a programme earlier this week entitled ‘The Romanians are Coming’, a new Channel 4 documentary directly from the view of the immigrants themselves.

This isn’t a review of that programme, and I don’t intend to get into a slanging match over UKIP and who’s right and who’s wrong, as we could all argue about what’s right or wrong for the UK benefits system until the cows come home.

No, what I wanted to focus on was the sheer spitefulness I saw from some of the British public on Twitter whilst this programme was being aired.

I’m trying not to sound like the girl who DOESN’T EVEN GO HERE from Mean Girls, and want us all to be rainbows and smiles and everyone to be happy (although that would be sick). But the pure lack of empathy I saw for other, actual live human beings being sprayed out in the open like little nasty spiky Internet bugs was unreal.

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I’m conscious of going too far here, and I don’t want to sound holier than thou – I’m certainly not. But are all those things said above totally necessary?

As I said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But an easy way to figure out if you’re being an absolute arsehole or not is to ask yourself whether you’d say those things to that person’s face. Or, could you actually form a basis to argue your opinion – or are you just spouting nastiness?

This may be a pointless effort, and I’m not expecting to change the world. Just like many other things, we could argue about this in further detail for hours. I just wanted to draw attention to it – it shocked me, and it shocked a lot of others, as you can see from my heavily retweeted and favourited tweet below.

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Just think about it. What if it WERE you?

How about, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

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