According to the Dorset Echo, in an article titled ‘This was a happy island – now everyone worries about being called a racist’, a person named Martine Sommers reportedly told Portland Council’s annual meeting this week that people on Portland were now afraid to speak out for fear of being branded racist. Apparently, any concerns they have about people on the barge… cannot be stated publicly for fear of being ‘labelled a racist, right-wing, bigoted, or targeted and intimidated; closing down intelligent conversation and introducing cancel-culture,” she said.

What intelligent conversation is she alluring to, I asked myself?

I decided to investigate what ‘intelligent conversation’ is. This is what I discovered.

Intelligent conversation is more than just an exchange of words; it’s a dynamic interplay of ideas, emotions, and perspectives that elevates discourse beyond the mundane. It’s the art of engaging with others in a thoughtful, insightful manner, where every word spoken carries weight and significance. In essence, intelligent conversation is about fostering understanding, challenging assumptions, and exploring the depths of human thought.

At its core, intelligent conversation requires active listening. It’s not just about waiting for your turn to speak but genuinely comprehending what the other person is saying. By listening attentively, we demonstrate respect for the speaker and create a foundation for meaningful dialogue.

Moreover, intelligent conversation thrives on curiosity and open-mindedness. It’s about being willing to entertain new ideas, even if they challenge our existing beliefs. This openness allows for intellectual growth and the discovery of novel perspectives. Rather than engaging in debates to win or prove a point, intelligent conversationalists approach discussions as opportunities for mutual learning and enlightenment.

Critical thinking is another hallmark of intelligent conversation. It involves analysing information, evaluating arguments, and discerning the underlying logic behind various viewpoints. By applying critical thinking skills, individuals can sift through the noise and identify the most cogent ideas worth considering.

Furthermore, empathy plays a crucial role in intelligent conversation. Empathy enables us to understand not only the words being spoken but also the emotions and experiences that underpin them. By empathizing with others, we can forge deeper connections and foster a sense of mutual respect and understanding.

In addition to these qualities, intelligent conversation requires clarity and precision in communication. It’s about expressing ideas succinctly and articulately, ensuring that our message is conveyed accurately and effectively. This clarity helps prevent misunderstandings and promotes meaningful dialogue.

Intelligent conversation also embraces diversity. It recognises that people come from different backgrounds, hold different beliefs, and possess unique perspectives. Instead of shying away from diversity, intelligent conversationalists embrace it, recognising it as an opportunity for enriching discourse and expanding their own understanding of the world.

Ultimately, intelligent conversation is about more than just exchanging information; it’s about forging connections, broadening horizons, and enriching our collective understanding of the world. By embracing qualities such as active listening, open-mindedness, critical thinking, empathy, clarity, and diversity, we can elevate our conversations to new heights and unlock the transformative power of dialogue.

Now perhaps Ms. Sommers could point out to us where these ‘intelligent conversations’ were taking place and then consequently shut down. No disrespect, but it seems highly unlikely that anyone would want to shut these down unless they themselves could accurately be labelled as racist and bigoted who preferred not to have to engage with alternative views, empathy, analysis, discerning logic, and critical thinking. The fact that shutting down racist bigots is seen as ‘intimidation and harassment’, as well as being ‘cancel culture’, appears to be the real issue here.

We know from the following that many racist bigots reside on Portland, and the local area.

We also know that there are currently a number of police investigations taking place into the words and behaviour of a number of local people. On top of this is the mountain of lies that local racist bigots spew out in order to attempt to prove their bigoted attitudes are ‘real’, and to persuade others that a serious problem exists.

Add to this the complicity of Mr. Trevor Bevins, and his editor, who merely parroted this accusation onto the front page of the Dorset Echo without a smidgen of critical thinking or analysis. Just a little bit of investigative journalism goes a long way.

The fact is that if people are serious about bringing the community together, the cure is very similar to addiction. Be honest, admit there is a problem, and cut out the denial. Face the bigotry head on and then work to dissipate it and hopefully eventually eradicate it.

Otherwise, it is all meaningless hot air and utterly insincere. The problem will remain, as will the racists and the bigots.

If one seriously believed Portland was a ‘happy island’ with people like this living on it, then one must also investigate the definition of happiness too. This isn’t happiness; this is butt ugly:

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