Who stinks, what stinks?

There are people who get right up our noses. Across history there are probably one or two we can all agree on, but others will be in my naughty book and not in yours.

Even for those I’d be delighted to never hear from again, I think it’s better if we condemn their poor behaviour, rather than the person. We can recognise there might be good in someone, even when they have many flaws. We can spot poor behaviour more readily in others, if we don’t feel it’s all bound up in a particular group or individual.

The reverse is also true. A person we admire should be commended first and foremost for their behaviours – not for who they are or what side they’re on. We need to be able to call out what is wrong, even when it’s someone popular doing it.

Demagoguery is enabled when we close our eyes critically and listen only emotionally. We facilitate evasiveness, even from those we cherish, when we cheer solely on allegiance.

If we hold our noses to get something done, let’s not leave accountability off the table for long.

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