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Sunday, 3 July 2016

Warning; This is not a Safe Space!

Before I return to the more pleasant subject of wargaming, I would like to make a final observation about an interesting but very sad, well in my eyes, trend.

Safe space is a term for an area or forum where either a marginalised group are not supposed to face standard mainstream stereotypes and marginalisation, or in which a shared political or social viewpoint is required to participate in the space.


 Donald Featherstone ran his magazine, Wargamer's Newsletter for many years, and a key feature of the periodical was his Editorial where he passed comment on many subjects that in his eyes, affected wargaming. Now I appreciate that we are talking about the 1970's and 1980's, but the editorials never backed down from what Featherstone felt were relevant to the hobby and in some cases to his view regarding the United Kingdom.
  It was clear from the letters that he received regarding these views, that a lot of wargamers did not agree with them,  but he printed their objections,sometimes commented upon them, and then carried on providing his view of wargaming. His view was I think,'this is my view, you have your view, we can agree to disagree, but we all love wargaming.'

 Unfortunately in the 21st Century, this is changing rapidly, debate is no longer looked upon as desirable or encouraged, and instead is being replaced by the stifling of alternative views. Although I never attended university, I always thought that these places were where diverse views could be discussed, debated and argued freely,  naively I thought it was where free thinkers went to to get an education and learn to debate.

 I know this is not the case anymore, and unfortunately and has been replaced by young people, behaving like sheep and allowing themselves to be cajoled and bullied into not questioning what more vocal groups are insisting is the correct way to behave.
 So what has this to do with Wargaming?
  I accept I can be an awkward bugger [ or blogger ], and I also accept that I will call a spade a spade if I believe it deserves that name [ a digging implement by the way ] but I do this with the best intentions and not to upset people, well not too much.
 However I think that tossing your toys out of a pram, in response to a counter view is frankly very, very, sad.
 So to the followers who took themselves from my humble blog I feel only pity, for the wargames clubs who ' de friended me' or whatever they call being booted off Facebook, I feel only contempt, but I can promise that alternative views are welcome here, and if one doesn't agree with my posts, then please feel free to provide a counter argument at any time.
 Sorry for this post.  

32 comments:

  1. Are yes. Independent thought died sometime in the early 80's. Now its all about avoiding being labelled. :)

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    1. Afternoon David,
      I seem to have received a lot of labels recently, some are probably correct, ie. old, near death ill bred, I can live with them to be honest, others I just find pathetic. The only label I would like to have is, 'He tried his best, and wasnt a bad bloke', or is that too sexist and gender specific nowadays..

      Delete
    2. Pretty sad seeing all the negativity about Brexit on here. I see it as a great opportunity for the Uk.
      Publish and be damned eh?

      Delete
  2. As the saying goes 'I may not agree with what he says but I will fight to allow him to say it', maybe not those exact words but you know what I mean. Many people have sacrificed a great deal to allow us to continue to live by thia principle and I for one will not let them down.
    Dave.

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    1. Afternoon Dave,
      Good game on your blog, by the way.
      I am trying to say that if you hold a view, speak,if someone says you are wrong, then ask why, and then decide if you were perhaps wrong.

      Delete
  3. People are way to sensitive nowadays, Tony

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    Replies
    1. It is nice to be sensitive, but agonizing over every trip and stumble in life, makes for a really shitty existence, and whats worse is when you then tell everyone just how devastated one is by something that usually is pretty trivial. [and I'm not talking about Brexit here]

      Delete
  4. Some of us are tremendously angry at the result. Businesses and jobs have been threatened, study, retirement and work plans wrecked, a citizenship we held dear has been taken away. From a personal perspective my future plans and my business have been damaged, potentially irreparably. Even if the worst does not come to pass the uncertainty and in-ability to plan is torture.

    There are places to talk about these issues, perhaps a wargaming blog isn't one of them? Or to put it another way, if you post political content that surprises, offends, upsets or alienates some of your readers you must expect a response from them.

    Obviously its your blog and you can publish whatever you like, but readers will make their own decision about what they'll do when they discover your opinions.

    Free speech if a right, but freedom to respond and decide not to read any more is also a right.

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    Replies
    1. It's called democracy, get over it!.

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    2. I was tremendously angry when Tony Blair was elected Prime Minister,[ the first time,] but I didnt stop speaking to my sister a lifetime Labour supporter.I hated being a victim of a three day week, remember that, but I didnt attempt to get a new passport and bail out of the mess, I just struggled on. So telling our political masters that a 40 year old political experiment has failed,go and find an alternative should be an opportunity for some new ideas.I appreciate that whatever business you run will have suffered uncertainty but I would hope that in the months and years to come you will have adapted and survived.As for opinions, well I would hope that most opinions on here will not offend, but question the reason why one has such an opinion, nothing more. Anyway best of luck in the future.

      Delete
    3. its called the Tyranny of the Majority, and a very small majority of misled and lied to people it is too. The democracy argument oesn't wash, as anyone into history ought to be able to see.

      The EU isn't a failure, it has ensured peace and prosperity for us for years. You wait and see what Britain (if there is still a Britain) is like in a few years without it.

      The normal election is not a good parallel, the government changes every few years, and while it might affect a few things its generally not a wholesale shift in our lives. The Leave vote is a generational shift we won't know the full results of for years. It will change utterly the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in unpredictable ways. It simply isn't the same.

      Anyway the fundamental issue is that unless you stick to the topic people know you for, you can expect surprise when you stray from it. Stray into areas where feelings are high, and you can expect a strong response.

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    4. Actually it seems that most of my adult life has been full of strong responses that I unfortunately had to stray into.Usually these responses were hysterical and ill judged but to be frank, it is what makes life interesting.
      A simple question, give me an example of the EU being a success in bringing prosperity to Britain, because I am certain that the peoples of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy would love to know, oh and you can include virtually every district in the United Kingdom excepting London, which to me has become the playground of the rich and powerful of the world whilst exploiting the poor ordinary peoples of Britain and Europe who have rushed there to find work.
      As for this myth of peace, NATO has been our guarantor of peace in Europe, not the EU, whose example in Yugoslavia was frankly a disgrace.
      As for this idea of the Tyranny of the Majority? I have continued to follow the threads of the literati who are peddling this nonsense. You were lied to therefore you made your decision for the wrong reasons, therefore it must be a mistake and doesn't count, therefore we the minority who weren't lied to must be right. Who is kidding who here. More worryingly is this questioning of the concept of democracy per se, are the people intelligent enough to actually vote? If you hold such a view then perhaps you should consider carefully what you are suggesting as an alternative.
      Onto this 'Generational Shift myth',again being peddled by the informed minority, can you provide me with the source of information that shows that 75% of the ' young' voted to remain in, because naively I thought one's vote was a secret. But maybe I am wrong.
      Anyway thanks for giving an alternative view.Its good to talk in a sensible and civilized manner.

      Delete
    5. I admit that the EU isn't perfect, the main problem has been the Euro, which has been bad for southern european countries who went into it far too fast.

      However the sheer amount of inward investment the UK has received compared to most other countries has been tremendous and we owe that to our membershipof the EU. Likewise our trade with Europe is more important than ever. Look at the number of car plants situated here, and the number that are threatening to leave! Even in my home town of Poole one of our biggest employers, Lush, have said they will be expending in Germany now not here due to the Leave vote, we will see this multiplied up across the country at a huge cost to jobs.

      Contrary to your ideas about London, the EU has funded the poorer areas of the UK to the tune of hundreds of millions, funding they won't be getting from the UK Parliament.

      Peace? Some of the most vulnerable nations with borders with Russia aren't members of NATO but are members of the EU. Finland and Sweden look to their EU membership as a sign that we would support them in the event of Russian aggression. I have heard the same from Estonia after NATO refused to censure Russia after its cyber attacks on Estonia. I have many friends in Sweden and Finland and travel there every year and know that is how they feel. NATO may not even exist in any meaningful sense if Trump is elected and withdraws the US from it.

      The alternative to the Tyranny of the Majority is Representative Democracy, which is what we have. If 51% of people voted that all Black/Jewish/Gay people should be killed, would that be fair under democracy? Democracy is not perfect, it only works under intelligent and ethical supervision from courts and with checks and balances in place.

      Voting by age:
      http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/

      and:
      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/here-s-what-would-have-happened-if-brexit-vote-was-weighted-by-age-a7120536.html

      Delete
  5. It's a sad day when someone is un-followed or de-friended because of what they write on their blog. The only losers are the short sighted people who act that way!

    Keep on doing what you're doing Robbie.

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    1. Hopefully that is the end of dipping my toes in matters far beyond my control and understanding, although I do have strong views about the decisions that Taylor Swift has been taking recently.

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank You Stokes, brilliant blog by the way, as ever.

      Delete
  7. Robbie so you lose a few just shrug it off.Look us up
    next week you will be sure of a warm welcome!!

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    1. Brian,
      Define warm, do you not mean a load of slaver.

      Delete
  8. Robbie,
    Their loss. As you rightly say we are entitled to,our views the fact that others may not agree or like what you say is tough on their part. We agree to disagree, no one knows what tomorrow brings or indeed if there is a tomorrow so let's enjoy what we have today.

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    1. Thanks Graham,
      Ever the sensible one.

      Delete
  9. Freedom of thought and expression: I'll drink to that! Always stand up for what you believe, but never avoid debating that viewpoint with others. Keep blogging despite the naysayers!

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  10. Well said you awkward bugger you. I couldn't agree more.

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    1. It is an age thing, I am certain of it. Once I would have just shrugged my shoulders and got on with something else more mundane.

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  11. You have an opinion, others have theirs...nothing wrong with that. The interweb seems to encourage childish foot stamping and unpleasant bullying. Keep on posting your views and I will keep on reading them irrespective of whether I agree with you or not. Cheers John

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    1. Thank You John,
      Honestly I like to talk, and people who meet me generally think I am a Gob Shite, but now and again I do say something that may be correct.
      Even a Squirrel finds the odd acorn.

      Delete
  12. Robbie,I'm just looking forward to the end of the world!
    johnc(william)

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    Replies
    1. John,
      You're just being a selfish old git now.

      Delete
  13. Robbie, the vast majority of entries on your blog are about war-games, that you occasionally rant on other topics is your right. We have been doing the same on several living-history forums with the recent EU referendum, and other subjects in the news.........just as friends and acquaintances might do in a pub and elsewhere. I find it very disturbing how so many politically-correct characters are hostile to Aristotle's view 'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. I think part of the reason for this is the liberal-left ruling class have been shown up to be often wrong, and frequently corrupt. I visit your blog for the war-games, but its also interesting to see you occasionally express often justified concerns. Its YOUR blog!
    Michael

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    1. Thank you Michael.
      Last week I met up with an old school friend I haven't seen for a lot of years. We got onto this subject, surprisingly, and we reminisced about our History Master who often encouraged the class to debate a view that was hard to defend,for example
      'was Napoleon a Great Bad Man', we then had to provide arguments for both sides, showing that we had researched the subject thoroughly etc, it taught me the law of ABC, Accept nothing, Believe nothing, Check everything.
      If only the liberal left would follow such a simple precept, then perhaps we wouldn't be is such a mess.

      Delete
  14. Hi Robbie,I've just checked on my "page views" and have found a massive,and I mean massive increase of 1350 views all from Russia-are you finding increased views?-this figure,by the way is on one day(20th July)-a bit disconcerting to say the least! Can you reply on our comments page please.
    johnc(william)

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My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
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Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
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Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating