Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Team Yellow: Hufflepuff and Liberal Democrats

Well friends, it is official - in both the political and wizarding world, I am Team Yellow; I have done the Pottermore quiz so it must be true. Seeing as one of my school nicknames was 'Bec the Red' for my famously left of centre views, this may come as a surprise to some. This result would have surprised the Adventurous Wilkinson of just 5 years ago though, who would have said Gryffindor and its associated hues were the colour of choice in both domains - I even have the jogging bottoms to prove it!

Dear Rebecca Citizen

My first forays into the world of politics (beyond my own front-door) occurred when ODEON built a cinema on top of a park in our town centre. My 8-year old self was very concerned as to where all the retail workers would now be able to spend their lunch breaks so I wrote to the council about it and signed the letter - Rebecca, Citizen - because I was a precocious little whatsit! The council worker who replied pointed out that there was another park town workers could relax in, but did genuinely believe my surname was citizen.  Since then I have sent other letters to governmental people and offices regarding; building a bypass over the grave of a Saxon king, provision for rough sleepers in Central Manchester and most recently the way asylum seekers are treated at interview. I believe in writing letters, and offering innovative solutions if you have any.

Loyal. Patient. Fair

You might have seen the facebook wraps on people's profile pictures recently declaring their Harry Potter House. When I took the test on Pottermore a few months ago I was sure I would come out as 'Gryffindor: Courage. Bravery. Determination'. I was so shocked to come out 'Hufflepuff: Loyal. Patient. Fair'; not least as I model myself in part on Dick King-Smith's Sophie (who is 'small and very determined') but also because Hufflepuffs seemed a bit dim, and peripheral in the Harry Potter Universe -  I am certainly centre stage of my own narrative!                                                                                     That said now Newt Scamander's day has come, perhaps the Hufflepuff star is in ascendance. If Hufflepuffs are 'loyal. patient.fair' I suppose there are worse things to be; I am not all that patient but I am a loyal friend, and fierce about justice which on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea I concede could be defined as 'fair'.

Liberal Democrat

I am not one for facebook debates about politics, I rarely even share petitions - its just not my thing. I find confrontation uncomfortable and would much rather have a reasoned discussion one-to-one with you; preferably with some cake present. But as I mentioned, I have joined the Lib Dems. As someone from a Labour background, and a student during the infamous 'tuition fees' election choosing Team Yellow might come as a surprise but for what its worth, here is why I made the leap and joined.

1. Crying in the wilderness has its place, but so does working inside political systems.
2. The positive influence the Lib Dems had whilst sharing power has become increasingly apparent to me since 2015.
3. Lib Dems have a genuinely democratic approach to creating policy. Any member can table a motion, it gets debated and then voted on. If the motion passes that member's policy becomes Lib Dem policy.
4. Sometimes small can be beautiful (and efficient) ;)
5. For parliament to thrive you need credible opposition, not infighting factions. 
6. My values are most in-line with an inclusive, liberal party.

Have you considered taking political action of some kind recently? If yes what was the catalyst that moved you to take action? Do you prefer to work outside the system, through lobbying and protest, or within the party system, why? And finally, were you sorted into a wizarding house that surprised you? How have you dealt with that? Can I still wear my Gryffindor jogging bottoms? Thanks.

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