I have been tweeting and e-mailing a new social media friend whose politics seem very removed from mine. Something connected us up, borne from a mutual respect that we were both able to debate, disagree in a calm, politeful way and the fact that we use our intuition to guide our decisions and actions..
I especially appreciated that she blocked someone who has continually harassed me, to the point of bullying, for many months now and it was reassuring that she agreed, without any prompting from me, that he was indeed behaving unacceptably. I had blocked him many months ago but he refuses to ignore me and her strong stance against a fellow Lefty was much appreciated.
But I digress. To cut a long story short, my new political friend and I have been e-mailing and have found many things we have in common but we also know we will never change our minds about our political choices in making things happen for the better. She is an intelligent, kind person who I trust totally with any information I may give her privately and I know that we will learn from each other.
In one of her blogs she has mistakenly suggested that I think all Left are full of envy about wealth. This is not true. I know many well off left leaning friends and aquaintances. The point I was actually trying to make is that the left are too obsessed with individuals having more than they could possibly want whereas I do not have any such problem. I believe in equality of opportunity but outcomes can never be equal and nor do I want them to be. I believe in freedom of the individual to be, have, do whatever they want, as long as it's legal and it's not for anyone else to say it's too much. These people take risks with their own money usually before they become wealthy. Richard Branson was made bankrupt a few times before he became so successful. Many do good with their wealth as the likes of Branson and Buffet have proved & they employ millions of people all over the world. I like and admire them!
It's not anyone's business why they might want more or whether they can ever need it. It will get shared out across the community in one way or another, whether it's spent, left in a will or ends up in government coffers.
My income has reduced drastically in the last year but the one thing that has kept me afloat, along with others is that I saved in the good days and did not use a credit card. if Labour had adopted this same mindset instead of racking up the debt, we might not need to be having this discussion. However I have also reduced my spending, which is a must. Labour have no answers or policies, admitting that they did have an open door policy that damaged this country. Blame them! Not the wealthy who create wealth by spending their money on services and products and employing people.
But the one thing I understand when I communicate with those that have a different idea to me about policies, is that we do all want the same things ultimately. It's more about what those higher purposes mean to each of us and how we define the value.Nothing is more important to me than family and communities and yet somehow my new Left friend has missed this completely. I didn't become a councillor to tell everyone they need to be selfish. I became a councillor because I value all the different communities in my life, from the football crowd I meet up with every fortnight, to the voluntary associations who do so much good work, to people in my street. With my Italian upbringing, top of my list is family and I will put them above everything and anything including work, wealth and my council work. And I make absolutely no apology for that.
I also think that individuals need to look after themselves first before they can look after their family or others. Sometimes we need to be selfish first in order to give our all, going forward.
We do not fight for 'things' we fight for values and emotions like happiness. Humans want the same things and ultimately it's to be happy and secure.
I have given just some examples of the shared aims most of us want but there are many others. Freedom, justice, security and peace are top of the tree.
I believe that we have to strive as individuals as well as groups. If we don't meet our family's needs then someone else has to. If we don't look after our own health and wellbeing, then how can we care for others?
Yes I do believe in aspiration and confidence of the individual because it's confidence that enables them to help others see their full potential. I do believe in the good of the whole and that will inevitably mean that some will be sacrificed along the way in order to achieve that.
It's impossible for everyone to have everything and so we know, for instance, that driving cars will bring deaths each year but we don't ban it, because of the good of the whole. Policies must always be thus. As labour and this country found out, when you try to do everything for everyone - you go bust!