If only there were a social media sleep-on-it button - Verity Lush

Anti Trump protest in Guildhall Square.
Anti Trump protest in Guildhall Square.

The week that Trump came to Portsmouth. Never has a person in recent times so divided opinion. Personally I find it astonishing that a man who has piped up with the stuff he has now finds himself in such a position of power. 

I once wrote a column that wasn’t even staunchly anti-Trump but  nevertheless generated a whole lot of Trump Love on social media.

Woe betide those who make a polite and respectful argument for personal opinion in the age of the internet.

Ironically, the most I have seen on social media about Trump has come from folk who are suggesting that people should not protest during his visit and simply respect the D-Day veterans.

It’s ironic because I’ve seen very little about actual protests – the hoo-hah has all been about not protesting.

It seems that we get ourselves all in a dither and a fuss over nothing much at all. If you believe protesting takes away from the crucial message of this week, and the lessons of war, then don’t give it coverage.

Likewise, if you do wish to protest against Trump, fill your boots. Just don’t do it in a manner that gets physically in the way of the celebrations and commemorations.

We all seem to be hot-headed these days, banging out vitriol because we are buoyed up and anonymous online.

There is no ‘sleep on it’ when the internet shuts down and everyone gets to consider whether or not the response they are desperate to type is appropriate or respectful.

Instead, there is immediacy; a dangerous tool to have wielded about.

We all demand respect and comment about that which we find offensive, but so what? Unless you show some respect yourself and stop offending everyone, you’re going to get nowhere.

Freedom of opinion and speech are key in democracy.

But they should be preceded by a quick self-check as regards how our opinions are going to be taken, whether we have formed them with a grain of intellect, or whether we are just outright rude and no better than the person with whom we are bickering.

We owe war heroes our lives and must always remember

It has been wonderful this week to see so many of our infant and junior schools commemorating D-Day and teaching children from a very young age about what the generations that have passed before us have done for the UK.

The bravery of those young lads and women is astounding. The horror they faced and the terror of making it through each day – and wondering whether your loved ones would – is an unimaginable pressure to live with.

We owe our lives, our freedom, and our actual country itself to those who lived and died through the years of war.

Easy words to lay on a page, but the depth of meaning behind each is tremendous.

We should feel an enormous sense of pride in our city

I was once in a relationship with a partner whose father could not understand why Portsmouth is the focal point for commemorations and the navy. 

I believe that his thoughts were somewhat biased by the fact that he worked on a voluntary basis at Chatham dockyard, and seemed certain that this was a more suitable venue for all things navy-related.

Well, nearly 20 years on, I must continue to agree to disagree with him.

Who could help but feel a sense of pride in our city this week?

There was such a buzz in the air with veterans, key international political figures, and royalty.

Pompey pride indeed! ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​