Jody, 44, Hastings
Voting record Mainly Labor; after the Iraq war, Lib Dem; then back to Labor under Corbyn. Now Jody George is considering Galloway’s Workers’ Party of Britain. He voted leave in the EU vote, but is pro-immigration
Amuse bouche Jody is related to David Attenborough. He must explore his family tree to find out exactly how, but his grandmother’s maiden name was Attenborough
Michael, 43, Hastings
Employment NHS manager
Voting record ONE mix of Labor, Lib Dem and Green in national and local elections. Michael continued to vote in the EU vote
Amuse bouche An elephant once crashed into its mother’s garden. There were elephant walks in the local park, the elephant got loose and took out a fence panel
Jody He seemed okay. Wise chapter I was expecting to have a “soy boy”. You know, someone who drinks a lot of soy milk, vegan, Ukrainian T-shirt on, EU hat, one of them.
Michael I’m not sure what he’s told you, but I was hammered, so the recall may be a little slow. We got out of it well, I think. The food was delicious.
The big beef
Jody We disagreed on positive discrimination. Positive discrimination is still discrimination.
Michael We agreed on the lack of justice, the lack of a level playing field. But I think whether it’s about race or gender or sexual orientation or any other trait you choose to mention, positive discrimination to address this imbalance is not only justified, but a desirable thing.
Jody I came to the conclusion that if it is done for the class, to give a leg to poor people, then I am pro. But when it comes to race or sexual or any of these other forms of arbitrary division, it gets a little skewed. If you take black children and white children in the inner city, they will both have the same disadvantage – it’s not the color of their skin, it’s the fact that they are both poor.
Michael He said he’s color blind, that he does not care if anyone is a man or a woman – he will treat them all equally, and if everyone did, that would be fine. I have been through a process, from basically believing the same thing to believing that because we are such a difficult place, if one is a kind of minority, there is a need to actively do something good to correct that balance. . Whether it’s things like in an interview process to remove someone’s name or educational history to remove as many indicators of unconscious bias as possible, it’s one thing worth doing.
Jody I am completely for free movement. I like the idea of genetic mixing, a little more of a healthy gene pool.
Michael I do not believe in the notion of a state, I do not believe in borders. I think these things are completely artificial.
Jody There was something like 400,000 civilian deaths in the “war on terror” – Afghanistan, Iraq and other wars. Ukraine has suffered about 4,000 civilian casualties. So what the West has done is so much worse than what Putin is doing right now – but while Putin is a pariah, worse than Hitler, Tony Blair is roaming the Earth. And that with refugees, everyone is like: Send these Syrians to Rwanda, but yes, we bring a Ukrainian into the house. It drips of hypocrisy.
Michael I thought he might be pro-Russia, but his feeling was not that we should not be dissatisfied with Russia’s actions, more that it was hypocritical to make trouble about Ukraine when, for example, there is much less mention of Yemen. Much of where we had divergence was around this real skepticism he has towards what he reads in the media. I do not think Ukraine has been overreported, more that other things are underreported.
Jody It’s strange when you meet a stranger who sits down, both make an effort – you try to find common ground. Online you would be in each other’s throats.
Michael It was interesting to see how different our worldview was, but it eventually led us to a series of similar conclusions. It made me reflect on the importance of understanding people’s motivation to say and do things, rather than reacting on a superficial level to what they say and do.
Additional reporting: Naomi Larsson
Jody and Michael ate at The First In Last Out in Hastings, East Sussex
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