Right and left redefine good manners


Sir, – After painting an excellent portrait of the kind of casual boorishness anyone who uses public transport is regularly exposed to, (Opinion, October 31st) Fintan O’Toole concludes that being polite has become unfashionable in recent years because “the right has succeeded in redefining good manners as ‘political correctness’.”

“Progressives” therefore need to reclaim decent conduct from the grasp of these shadowy right-wing forces, so that ungentlemanly yobs can deport themselves in a more socially acceptable manner.

Could it not be argued that the erosion of the rule of law and the dismantling of traditional family values, as advocated by those on “the left”, also has some part to play in the coarsening of society?

The article seems to imply that self-identifying as a left-leaning “liberal” is some guarantee of innate virtue. Given that the dreadful Harvey Weinstein, whose behaviour presumably spawned this and a thousand other column inches, was a Hillary Clinton-supporting New Yorker with impeccably progressive credentials, this seems a rather dubious conclusion. – Yours, etc,


Clontarf, Dublin 3.