Walk to the sea and make salt

We all try to make the world a better place. We all have our pet struggles. I try to make the world better for my fellow disabled people, specifically in the areas of inclusive education, access to public places and access to communication aides. I naturally have people who disagree with me. My father points out facts which he thinks I have overlooked. Yet there is absolutely no hostility between us: we both present arguments, debate what we see as the facts, and attempt to come to a solution which we are both happy with. Despite our differences in this area, we still eat together, we still hug etc.

This is as it should be – the paradigm of all argument. I have no doubt that messieurs Blair and Howard have dined together on occasion. They’re possibly good friends. Science too is full of debate – one scientist posits an argument in paper X, which his fellow scientist may disprove in paper Y. The two scientists may be good friends, and go to quasar together.

The only way to solve problems is through rational, logical debate. Through posit and counter-posit. In the inclusion debate, I often cite the CSIE – the centre for Studies into Inclusive education – among other places. This is how problems should be solved.

Yet, today in Britain, there are a few people who do not believe in this. They think their problems can only be solved through violence – through blowing themselves and others up. I find myself asking whether you can have a debate with the terrorists – can you sit down and talk through their grievances? I find the fact that the answer may be no truly scary. We do not know what their aims are. Indeed, some say their aim is to destroy the western world, a fact which I’d like to disbelieve due to its sheer lunacy but sadly cannot.

The problems in Ireland were solved through debate – through discussion. This week, the IRA agreed to decommission, which is truly great, but this happened only through debate, yet al Qa’ida seems to have no political arm – nobody you can debate with. Nobody from that organisation will listen to argument, and, frankly, this fact scares me.

It means this war is endless.

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