89 Not Out: Day 23, Trouble on Facebook

S&C contributor and Pompey Politics Podcast host Ian Morris shares his experience of the lockdown, as someone with diabetes. It’s Day 23 and the news of Prime Minister Boris Johnson being hospitalised causes some nastiness over on Facebook, and Ian pays the price, a 12 hour ban from a local politics group.

Tuesday 7th April, Day 23 of 89 

I got a straight red card, and I deserved it.

Many of you know I am interested in politics. It’s a divisive subject and many people steer away from it as a topic of conversation because it is considered too controversial and can lead to falling out. I  have been recording the Pompey Politics Podcast – Blue and Yellow till we die with my brother-in-law for nearly a  year. His politics and mine are very different and we have had many guests on the show from across the political spectrum, and I have learned a  lot. 

In every case the person seems to be very genuine, hard-working and wanting to do the best for the people they serve or look to serve. Most of the points of conflict and divergence aren’t about what we do, simply about how we pay for it. 

One of the places I like to enjoy debate and banter is a local Facebook forum. The group is a heady mix, I find myself in the minority lots of the time, and there are sometimes some folk who are off the wall in their thinking, but generally it’s a good place.

As I type this morning, I am serving a 12 hour ban from the group, as last night I got myself sin-binned. The group has pretty relaxed rules but had to bring in a new one: anyone wishing, gloating or taking delight in any human being contracting CV19 would be banned. I thought at the time ‘Surely this can’t be needed?’ We debate politics and sometimes it gets very heated, occasionally personal, but surely nobody would stoop this low? 

The thread was about the PM being moved to intensive care and it was great to see people from across the political spectrum set aside their differences and wish him well – until someone opted to post a vile comment along the lines of this being the PM’s just desserts for his politics and policies. I gave this person very direct feedback as to the nature of his character, and I made it very clear that I didn’t consider him to be a good person. I then hoped that neither he or anyone he cared about got the disease. 

The admins had no option but to send me off, and I apologised to them and fully supported their decision. I will be back in the fold in a few hours. The original poster has received a lifetime ban.

Please don’t try and find the comment, it isn’t pretty and I will go and tone it down once I can get back in. But I would do it again in a heartbeat. In these times of social-distancing and self-isolation the online world is where many of us can distract ourselves. It should be a place where we can go and have fun and not have to witness the vileness that exists, fortunately in very small numbers. 

So, I will serve my time and hope that Boris spends the same time fighting the disease and emerges well on the other side. 


Image by Werner Moser from Pixabay.

Don’t miss Ian’s self-isolation diary each day, keep an eye out for new entries here, along with past editions of the Pompey Politics Podcast. How are you managing the lockdown at the moment? Get in touch with us over on Facebook or Twitter and let us know your experiences and any hints and tips you’re finding helpful right now.


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