Pulling Together


Party Advice

I met a friend at a party on Saturday. Nothing unusual about that; it’s what parties are for. On this occasion, however, it led to me receiving some advice I decided to follow up, though in some ways I wish I hadn’t.

Actually, I have cause to regret going to the party at all. It involved not being available for a close friend, and that might have much more serious repercussions for me personally than a night of dancing while preoccupied with the friend’s problems.

But back to the party. I mentioned to a friend there my problem in findimg a party of the other sort – a party to vote for, as I do not feel any party represents my political views. I wondered whether I had to form my own in order to have someone to vote for. My friend asked me if I had heard of a journalist who is apparently trying to start a centrist but independence-supporting party of the sort I might be looking for. I thanked him for the man’s name and said I’d look up his position on line. Two nights ago I did. Again, I wish I had not.

There are times when one wonders about ones friends. Do they really understand us? The first article turned up by an Internet search was a Wikipedia page about the journalist. It was not very promising. The man had been in frequent trouble with press regulators and was considered controversial. Some of his comments were quoted. They looked disingenuous. This did not bode well.

Eventually I found some of his own writing, It was not encouraging. It seemed to confirm the impression given by the Wikipedia article. He certainly did not seem like a centrist from his style. He mocked his opponents in an intolerant-sounding polemic. That is not how I would understand the political centre. Intolerance is something I hate so I couldn’t support a party based on it. Provocation might sell newspapers but it does not calm quarrels or reassure opponents. Rather, it provokes fear and anger and discredits the argument it tries to support. That is not what I seek to do.

So I still find myself unrepresented. I still seek a party which reflects my perspective on life. I still wonder where I will find like-minded people who would promote what I believe in, who might form a party for which I could vote. Nothing has changed.

Maybe that is what I get for leaving a friend in need to honour a prior social engagement.

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