DEBATE, I feel has descended into darkness, with discourse being dumbed down into who can scream buzzwords at the other louder.

Civilised debate is still relegated to quiet nooks and crannies of small societies and my hope for it ascending beyond that dwindles.

I argue that the left/right dichotomy has become a polarised shouting contest that is becoming harder to hear over, with words like ‘nazi’ and ‘soy boy’ being bandied around to the point of meaninglessness.

Jonathan Wheatley’s data published on political polarisation on the LSE’s site and research conducted by the Pew Research Centre shows that UK and US politics alike are becoming increasingly divided.

Whilst this isn’t inherently bad, observing various political discussion groups showed me that people’s sole defence of their ideology is to attack the other without any evidence.

This is tragic to watch, but also shows that people have become incredibly fragile in their microcosms to the point of becoming aggressive when their ideals are challenged.

You can believe in anything you want, providing you can defend it calmly and rationally when someone inevitably challenges it.

By Oliver Streather-Paul