Letters to Wo

- what do you think?

How can I make my bloke be politically correct in front of my parents?

My boyfriend sees himself as a bit of a rough diamond, so he tends to speak his mind without thinking about the effect it has on other people. He doesn’t give politics much thought but he still has strong ideas – for example he regularly calls the leader of the opposition a dickhead. He also refers to people claiming benefits as scroungers and migrants as invaders. I have been brought up in a house where politics is regularly discussed and now that we are going to get married my boyfriend and parents meet a bit more – and to say that it is causing friction is an understatement. My dad tries to make conversation but as all he likes to talk about is current affairs and politics he soon ends up going red in the face with anger and leaving the room. My boyfriend doesn’t even really notice, and when I explain afterwards he just says that my dad should stand up for himself and argue back if he thinks he is in the right. Somehow I need to find a solution to this before it causes a long term problem.

Wo says: Why not look at this from the positive side. Your boyfriend and your father have a topic, politics, that they can talk about. The problem is that your boyfriend hasn’t yet learned to avoid using terms that are generally considered to be a problem. I would suggest that your best route is to ask your dad to keep going with the political conversations that he likes, but ask him to try to gently educate your boyfriend to avoid using offensive terms by giving him better ones – for example, ‘uncontrolled immigration’ rather than ‘invasion’. He may still not like your boyfriend’s political views, but they can have hours of fun arguing about them.

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