Thursday, 3 September 2009

In the company of friends

Guest blogger Marcus Warner writes:

In the company of friends, we can afford to be a bit more willing to speak honestly about politics. Many times I have felt slightly embarrassed talking with other young people about politics – how many of your friends dismiss any mention of politics as ‘all the same’, ‘rubbish’ and ‘doesn’t matter who I vote for’? You just clam up and just not really argue back, despite what you think.

I still feel a bit weird when my football team see me out delivering leaflets before a game, no one is immune from ribbing from peers, they take great pleasure in taking the proverbial. Bear in mind these guys think I am Albert Einstein because I bring The Guardian and not The Star to football.

But what I have found is that by not being embarrassed, not trying to hide it and being positive about politics, you will be surprised the head way you can make. Previously I would shy away from talking about my politics with peers, largely because I could not communicate the weighty political books I would read into the everyday language I use with my friends. But joining Plaid provides you with many reasons to raise discussions and not hide your politics.

My friends couldn’t tell you who Gwynfor Evans is, or indeed Adam Price, but you get them onto a conversation about a Welsh sporting team and you see a sense of national pride spew out of them. You see a belief that we can stand on our own two feet in any context, that Wales is a unique and distinct place which has common culture. That might be the drink talking with some of them, but ultimately you sense those guys were onside with the notion of Wales being a proper nation. Why should it not be? Given the way we play on a sports field.

Don’t get me wrong, this was very much baby steps, they still think politics is full of liars and con artists, but there is always ways to get people to give their views on political issues without resorting to politics.

Next week it will be the new Welsh Medium school they are opening in Griffithstown next year…wish me luck.


Anonymous said...

Enjoying Marcus' posts here. There is a sense of him speaking for a part of Wales (south-east) that needs strong Plaid voices, and him bringing a different flavour of Wales to the table. Torfaen voices are desperately needed, not because Plaid does badly there (they get a good base vote but don't have the activist base to win yet), but because those voices aren't really represented in Plaid's online presence yet.

But to you Marcus Warner well done for voicing your views and challenging your own views.

Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...

Cheers anon, muchos gracias!

Not only that, i hope i try to show that it is hard sometimes being young and into politics. There is no shame in considering that...

Luke James said...

Totally agree about being open about politics, you get a lot more respect from everyone if you are willing to talk about your views and sometimes defend them.

Also as far as realising a national consciousness goes a really exciting moment for me was being in the Cardiff end at a game at the Liberty Stadium against Swansea and in reply to the unfurling of a huge union flag in the Swansea end a chorus of 'WALES, WALES, WALES!.

The Swans fans had a pretty big Welsh tri color of their own too mind.

The heart says yes...just got to keep winning the argument of the mind.

Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...


Agreed, I think it is a fine balance between being passionate about your politics, but not being seen as your friends as some rabid shouty mad person who is best avoided!