• Herald Readers’ Comments

    For those with strong enough stomachs, reading the comments threads in the Herald can be an enlightening – if not exactly salutary – experience.

    It does at least provide a useful insight into what drives what is presumably an important sector of the Herald’s readership – and it also offers an understanding of why the Herald finds it advantageous to pursue its current editorial line.

    The comments are usually made in response to a Herald report or opinion piece which is critical of some aspect of the government’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic. The comments, by a large majority, endorse and amplify the criticism – no surprise there.

    But what is likely to take the casual reader by surprise is the vitriol emitted by so many of the contributors. For many of them, it is not enough to deplore or lament this or that supposed failing of the government; it is the government itself that is the target.

    And the comments are not just critical or dismissive of the government – they bespeak a visceral hatred of the government and especially of the Prime Minister. It is as though they are outraged at the very fact of the government’s existence – as though it is an offence against nature that it should be in office and responsible for our affairs.

    We should not be surprised, perhaps, at this evidence that – for some people – the very concept of government (and this government in particular) is anathema. There is increasing evidence around the world, after all, of a rising tide of extreme right-wing opinion, characterised by a conviction that government is a conspiracy against them, and that its every action and policy must be resisted.

    The pity of it is that our media – if the Herald is anything to go by – are all too likely, not only to reflect these distorted views, but to amplify and broadcast them, with the result that the values upon which our country has always been built are being lost – and we are all worse off as a result.

    Bryan Gould
    30 August 2021

2 Comments

  1. John G says: August 31, 2021 at 4:54 pmReply

    Sadly I think it is as much a case that anonymity makes heroes of us all.

  2. Gerard O'Connor says: September 1, 2021 at 12:18 pmReply

    The government’s critics don’t want the quasi religious concept of kindness infesting the body politic, which they see as tooth and claw accumulation of capital, and the devil take the hindmost.