Ever wondered what someone else is thinking? We’re finding someone each month to tell us what they think about, and this month it’s The Student Politician.
Student Politics eh? The more I think about it; the more relevant that title seems. I look at it, and on occasions it just seems like an awful lot of petty squabbling between childish individuals who seem to think they have the answer to everything. Let’s be honest with ourselves, no one ever has it completely right, do they? The sooner we can sit down and just chat about things the better. Mostly it seems as though both sides couldn’t hold a rational discussion with the other without it dissenting into a cat fight of some description. One party raises a voice, then the other retorts with twice the virility.
I do think that it’s important that we discuss things. I mean, without debate, no side would ever be proven wrong over the other, would they? But I think that there has got to be a better way of going about it. Surely, all political societies want what’s best for the country/university? It’s not as though all Tories want to cut back the public resources out of spite? And surely, Labour aren’t all in it to overspend for the sake of it? Both want what’s best. And as soon as the other can realize that, perhaps the sooner we can actually get somewhere.
I’m pretty sure that if I ‘came out’ and told a few friends I was Conservative, I’d get a right earful. Likewise, if I told some friends I was a Labourite, they’d all assume I was some socialist neo-Stalinist. I’d rather not think about what certain folks would do to me if I turned around and said I voted Plaid or even worse, LibDem! I know it sounds petty, and I know not everyone thinks like that, but joking aside there are those who do have a tendency to paint over groups with a very clumsy brush. We tend to put up unnecessary boundaries, labels, which yes, unite some, but drastically divide others.
Don’t get me wrong, a bit of banter is fantastic! However, when people oppose others just for the sake of the colour of their tie, it’s all a bit wrong in my opinion. It makes you wonder why on earth we even bother with political societies at all. Societies that meet up to have a few drinks; only so that they can bitch about the “other side”, rather than discuss the politics they claim to care so much about.
What are we actually in these societies for? Are we here to promote our own interests. seeing it all as a ‘leg up’ because it looks good on the CV? Or are we here to promote political involvement within the student body? Surely were in it because we have values and standards that we want to be aired, these being the things that we hold most dear.
Perhaps if we were to abolish separate political societies in the university and chose to have value groups instead, groups where people of similar morals and ideals could meet up and conjure ways in order to promote said ideals. Perhaps we’d be surprised who we’d see in our value group. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about: values? Surely a system where societies could integrate values and agreed in some sort of coalition what’s right? Alternatively a single society that could convene and simply discuss their chosen issues.
All in all, I’m writing to ask the question: as political societies, what are we actually doing? If we’re not careful, and not a bit more compassionate towards the ideals and values of others, we are all going to run the risk of being painted by one, extremely broad brush containing the bristles of arrogance, spitefulness, and above all, conceitedness. At the end of the day, we don’t have the answer to life, the universe and everything, and I for one think we should stop acting as though we do. Otherwise we are going to look like a bunch of self-important fools who think they have the be all and end all of solutions. And that, my friends, is not going to encourage the regular Joe Bloggs on campus to vote for any political party.
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