'I know, yeah': Six platitudes for when someone shares an opinion you completely disagree with

WE Brits are such a spirited nation that when someone says something objectionable, we keep quiet and bitch about it later. Here are some great cowardly phrases to use. 

‘I know, yeah’

Note the clever use of the word ‘know’ – it sounds like you mean ‘agree’, but you don’t. You know what they’re saying, you know the cesspit that this particular conversation is headed into, and you’ve done nothing to challenge it. That told them!

‘What’s the world coming to?’

A wonderful statement of nothing. Everything is bad, without specifically endorsing their fascist take on immigration. Problem successfully swept under the carpet. 

‘It’s crazy’

Actually they’re crazy. But you’re not going to tell a crazy person they’re crazy, so say this instead. It may make you a coward, but at least cowards don’t have to awkwardly leave dinner parties early because they called someone’s husband a bigoted prick. Also the roulade looks really nice.


You sound interested, but you haven’t committed to an opinion. Chances are they’re only talking because they like the sound of their own voice, so ‘Really?’ will make them waffle on pointlessly or start pulling articles off the internet that support their view, giving you the chance to edge away and disappear. They won’t be offended, just look for their next victim.

Just tut

You don’t actually have to listen to a word they’re saying. Give a little head shake, a tut, and now and again an eye-roll. From their point of view, you’ve given who or whatever they’re complaining about a real dressing down too. 

‘What are you gonna do?’

The perfect transition away from a horrible conversation topic: politely tell them to give up. Now you can move on to uncontroversial topics you both agree on, like the weather, where the only danger is boredom-induced brain damage.

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Oxford Union trans debate concludes it takes all sorts to make a world

THE controversial Oxford Union trans debate has concluded that everyone is different and we should just live and let live.

Last night’s debate, an attempt to clear up this transgender business once and for all, ended with all parties agreeing it is really complicated when you think about it, so best let sleeping dogs lie.

Attendee Hannah Tomlinson said: “It began with the speaker saying that she wasn’t one to say anything but it’s all a bit well, you know, isn’t it?

“The moderator agreed that you used to know where you stood but it’s all different these days, adding quickly ‘not that there’s anything wrong with that’ to murmurs of assent from the crowd.

“The speaker then said she personally didn’t mind what anyone got up to as long as it wasn’t hurting anyone. A member of the audience made the point that it’s better not to get involved with things that don’t concern you and just get on with your own business.

“At the end they concluded it would all come out in the wash so there’s point in worrying yourself and just have a nice cup of tea, to polite applause.”

Activist Jack Browne, who glued herself to the stage midway through the debate, said: “I had to stand up and say ‘Hey, we’re all the same underneath our skin so let’s not do anything hasty’. It was my moral duty.”