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Disrespect or Accountability: Should We Boo or Heckle Politicians?

A woman displays a sign comparing Turkish President Erdogan to Adolf Hitler at a protest against Turkey’s invasion of Syria

Cardiff residents open up about letting elected officials know how we feel about them.

Is it appropriate to heckle or berate politicians in public settings, or should they receive more respect? As Nigel Farage recovers from his courageous battle against flying desserts, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump have both recently fallen victim to the harsh jeerings of angry crowds in a hospital and at a baseball game, respectively. Ought we treat our public servants with civility and respect, or is a solid screamed insult a valid means of holding powerful figures to account? I took to the streets of Cardiff (enduring many sound verbal thrashings of my own in the process) to ask people if they thought politicians deserve respect or accountability in the public sphere.

Tom, P.h.D Student

“I don’t think you should treat a politician with less respect than you would treat anybody else. Would you like it if someone started berating you while you were onstage?”

Phil, Physics Lecturer

“Booing is okay! You’d boo a footballer, why not a politician? However, you should have some human decency because these people are still people, after all.”

Tim, Civil Servant

“I think [heckling] is quite an innocent way to show your disapproval towards someone. There are much worse things you can do to politicians.”

Craig, Civil Servant

“I think they should be held accountable! These people are only being held to account in part because the vocal Left is making their voice heard in this way.”

Ruben, Guitarist

“I love it. I honestly think that a lot of politicians belong in prison, so they’re getting off lightly just by being booed.”