Dinner across the divide: ‘I was expecting a vegan wearing a European Union hat – one of them’ | life and style

Jody, 44, Hastings


Occupation dj

Voting register Mainly labour; after the war in Iraq, Lib Dem; then back to work under Corbyn. Now Jody is considering George Galloway’s British Workers’ Party. He voted to leave in the EU referendum, but he is pro-immigration

Amuse bouche Jody is related to David Attenborough. He has to explore his family tree to find out exactly how, but his grandmother’s maiden name was Attenborough.

Michael, 43, Hastings


Occupation NHS manager

Voting register A mix of Labour, Lib Dem and Green in national and local elections. Michael voted to remain in EU referendum

Amuse bouche An elephant burst into his mother’s garden. There were elephant rides in the local park, the elephant got loose and pulled out a fence panel

To start

Jodie He seemed fine. Smart guy. I expected to have a “soy boy”. You know, someone who drinks a lot of soy milk, vegan, Ukrainian T-shirt, European Union hat, one of them.

Michael I’m not sure what he told you, but I was hammered so the encore might be a bit slow. We got along pretty well, I think. The food was delicious.

Michael (left) and Jody

The Big Ox

Jodie We did not agree on positive discrimination. Positive discrimination is still discrimination.

Michael We agreed on the lack of fairness, the lack of a level playing field. But I think that whether it’s race, gender, sexual orientation, or whatever else you choose to name, affirmative action to address that imbalance is not only justifiable but desirable.

Jodie I’ve come to the conclusion that if it’s done for the class, giving a boost to the poor, then I’m a pro. But when it comes to racial or sexual division or any of these other kinds of arbitrary division, it gets a little skewed. If you take black kids and white kids downtown, they’re both going to suffer the same disadvantage – it’s not the color of their skin, it’s the fact that they’re both poor .

Michael He said he was color blind, that he didn’t care if anyone was male or female – he would treat them all the same, and if everyone did that, that would be fine. I’ve been through a process, from believing pretty much the same thing to thinking that because we’re in such a predicament, if you’re some kind of minority, there’s a need to actively do something good to restore that balance. Whether it’s things like, in an interview process, removing someone’s name or educational background to remove as many indicators of unconscious bias as possible, then that’s a valid thing to do.

Michael (left) and Jody

Plate to share

Jodie I am for free movement. I like the idea of ​​genetic mixing, a bit more of a healthy gene pool.

Michael I don’t believe in the notion of the state, I don’t believe in borders. I think these things are completely artificial.

Michael (left) and Jody

For the after

Jodie There have been something like 400,000 civilian deaths in the “war on terror” – Afghanistan, Iraq and other wars. Ukraine suffered approximately 4,000 civilian casualties. So what the West has done is far worse than Putin is doing right now – but while Putin is an outcast, worse than Hitler, Tony Blair roams the Earth. And the refugee thing, everyone is like: send these Syrians to Rwanda, but yes, we will bring a Ukrainian into the house. It’s dripping with hypocrisy.

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Michael I thought he might be pro-Russia, but his feeling was not that we shouldn’t be unhappy with Russia’s actions, but rather that it was hypocritical to fuss about Ukraine when There is much less talk about Yemen, for example. A lot of our differences were about this real skepticism he has about what he reads in the media. I don’t think Ukraine was over-reported, any more than other things are under-reported.

Michael (left) and Jody


Jodie It’s weird when you meet a stranger, sitting there, both of you trying hard – you’re trying to find common ground. Online, you’d be at each other’s throats.

Michael It was interesting to see how different our worldviews were, but it ultimately led us to a number of similar conclusions. It got me thinking about the importance of understanding people’s motivations for saying and doing things, rather than reacting on a superficial level to what they say and do.

Michael (left) and Jody

Additional reporting: Naomi Larsson

Jody and Michael ate at First In Last Out in Hastings, East Sussex

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