Imagine a political party that stood for election on a platform of Pissing Everyone Off. The Five-Year-Plan is to increase national irritation by 15%, paranoid ranting by 23% and make family-get-togethers 30% more fraught by 2029. MAKE BRITAIN ANGRY AGAIN, read the baseball caps. The choice of baseball caps — an annoyingly non-British form of headwear — is deliberate. It is part of an ambitious drive to increase stupid arguments about things that don’t really matter by 45% year-on-year.

Oh and this will be a tech-savvy Government too. Due to social distancing/general-issue 21st century atomisation (it’s rare these days that we actually get to meet the people we’re encouraged to view as our enemies), we can expect interventions in our waking thoughts too. You know your interior monologue? The narrator in your head who aims to bring coherence to the largely random events in your life? Yeah, that guy is going to go mental. He’s going to be arguing with invisible strangers ALL THE TIME. You’re going to hate it.

[I]f you polled pretty much anyone: “Would you like public life to become more angry and stupid? Would you like to fall out with your aunt? Would you like more of your thoughts to be dominated by dumb shit that when you look it up isn’t actually even a thing?” then almost all of us would say no. If we are to have Culture Wars, we need conscientious objectors, peace campaigners, impartial observers. We need to actively seek out things we can agree on.

Richard Godwin, Everyone’s a loser in the culture wars - UnHerd