Between news of Big Sam's £1m payoff (disgusting but I'm not longer surprised by the moneyed madness of English football) and the increased risk of heart attack from ibuprofen (a shame as it's quite useful for easing back pain on long cycle rides) I picked up this snippet on the Today Programme. We certainly don't lounge around hosting dinner parties at Renaisi and I rarely do at home but the key thing here for me is the point about seeking the lowest common demoninator in discussion to help others engage in the conversation. I think there's something in the claims I've seen elsewhere of the British blight of politeness, be it a hindrance in managing performance in the workplace or wider debate. For me, the big negative impact on wider debate, be it at a dinner party or more publically, is our utter failure for decades to have an informed public debate about migration. This has ultimately led to the EU exit vote which has filled the news so full that there's little room for anything else, apart from the weighty Big Sam greedy gaff, but what is a suitable topic for your aperitifs and olives? Perhaps all those other worthy items that are struggling for a bit of space, perhaps a few bits of bad news being buried too.
Small talk prevails because of the need to find a socially acceptable topic. But when it's removed, it changes the game