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Keep off this touchy subject
THERE are three things you should never talk about at dinner parties - religion, sex and politics.
Religion tends to get people all flustered and morally outraged, which can ruin the digestion.
Sex is tricky, as this area of debate can cause the faces of the more demure guests to redden unfavourably. Meanwhile, other more intrigued diners may forget decorum during the conversation and dip their tie in the soup. How uncouth.
However, I never understood what was taboo about politics.
Surely, you can’t cause too much offence with a discussion of laws and taxes and councils.
At least that’s what I thought.
I realised my mistake one spring lunchtime, while sitting in the office eating a tuna sandwich – the sad modern day equivalent of a dinner party.
“I don’t believe this,” my colleague said, and nearly choked. “You are not serious?”
“I’m afraid so,” I said. And I admitted: “I have never voted.” My friend leaned back a little on her swivel chair and took a good, long look at me, with eyebrows raised so far they nearly disappeared over the horizon. She was not happy.
That is my confession - I have never voted for a political party.
I’ve heard strong reasoning for it. You are exercising your democratic right, standing up and being counted and so on.
I know this is not X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing – which I don’t vote for either. This is how society works,, how we function.
However, while I’m not apathetic, I think there’s a risk involved in casting a checked polling card. In my mind, to pledge allegiance to a man, woman or party that then rules the country, or even just a fraction of the county, involves the chance of being let down.
I remember how gutted some of my friends were when they voted Labour and then found England embroiled in the Iraq war.
“I’ll never trust them again,” they said.
I have the confidence, in these situations, of knowing I never trusted politicians to start with.
Local council elections are today (Thursday). If you’re voting, I wish you all the best.
And if you were having dinner and I’ve put you off I can only apologise.