Apologism – a word I’m seeing used more and more online, often recently when discussing Julian Assange who’s supporters are immediately branded ‘rape apologists’.  Although recently I’ve also seen nazi apologism and various other uses of the phrase. 


My point in this blog is more a nebulous worry though and that’s a worry about lack of debate, or the stifling of debate in general around a variety of topics.  It seems to be a growing trend recently that debate is almost instantly shut down by this phrase.  You support Julian Assange?  You’re a rape apologist.  Irrespective as to which way you’re arguing or what part of the debate you’re focussing on the cry comes loud and clear from some quarters, you’re a rape apologist.  I’ll hasten to add at this point, nobody has called me one, I’ve made my views on Mr.Assange fairly clear on this blog.  However I simply worry that we’re becoming totally stifled in what we can and can’t talk about.


Another case in point, immigration.  A very thorny subject but once again if you do try to discuss this, from some quarters you will immediately be branded a racist.  Now let’s be clear about this, while I’m happy for Britain to take in immigrants, in fact more than happy as I absolutely value a multicultural, multi faith society, it isn’t possible to have an open borders policy.  At least not unless we want millions of economic migrants flocking to our doorstep as soon as it’s announced anyway, which means there has to be a conversation about how immigration is controlled, the numbers of migrants we are willing to take and how this system is to be operated.  To have that conversation is not ‘racist’ its simply a sensible and right thing to do. 


Of course there are people out there who are quite probably racist, or rape apologists etc however to brand people these things simply because of talking about an issue is to demean us all.  By shutting down free speech and discussion on a topic we devalue the topic itself and we lose the very thing that so many people have fought for over the decades, a free and open society.  So next time someone criticises or challenges your views, whatever those views may be, let’s not resort to name calling or petty bickering, let’s use reasoned logic and argument to further our point.  It can only make us stronger in the long run.