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The shit list 2023

The latest issue of The New European includes ‘the shit list 2023,’ described as ‘fifty people the UK could definitely do without.’

I read this on publication a week or so ago, and I’ve felt a little discomforted by it ever since. It hasn’t been easy to figure out exactly why I dislike it so much: after all, it’s surely just a bit of fun.

Yet, the more I think about it, the more it feels like there’s a streak of nastiness. Saying that the UK could ‘do without’ someone doesn’t feel a million miles from saying that people should ‘fuck off back to France.’

It also doesn’t help that in a listicle of this type, the justifications for inclusion are necessarily brief. One inclusion is justified with these two sentences:

Embodies pretty much everything that’s wrong with modern Britain. If anyone knows of a good reason for this 30-year-old to be in the Lords on £342 a day for life, please email us.

I’m confident it isn’t the intention, but this reads as awfully ageist.

I recognise the irony of raising this in an essentially critical blog post, but it would be lovely to see less of this sort of thing across the board. We should engage with issues, not people, and find things to celebrate rather than making criticism the focus. A little positivity goes a long way, especially when it comes to changing people’s minds.

This post was filed under: News and Comment, Post-a-day 2023, .

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