Thinking, Sharing Ideas and Listening

In My View… By Jerome Satterthwaite of South East Cornwall Labour Party

If you go on Facebook or WattsApp or Twitter it’s easy to get the feeling that we’ve all stopped thinking: we’re chattering away about nothing. Or else we watch TV: brain either fast asleep, or wandering aimlessly.

Do you ever get the feeling that what’s on your mind is what the media put there? Do you have a wormy little worry that asks: why don’t they want me to think?

Last July we started a discussion forum. We’re members of the Rame and Torpoint branch of the Labour Party – but the forum is not about party politics. We’ve had ten meetings so far, and covered subjects as diverse as philosophy, politics, spirituality, the environment, death and dying, feminist art, refugees, and economics. Anything that interests us, anything that matters, we give it a go.

Someone starts things off, for 20 minutes or less. And then it’s about talking to each other. There’s a chairperson to make sure everyone who wants to speak gets a turn. But there’s no pressure, and the conversation goes wherever people want to take it. We’re thinking, we’re listening to each other. It is a refreshing change.

What has this got to do with the Labour Party? Nothing. Until you remember that Labour is, and always has been, the party of the people: real people, people like us, people who want to understand, get things right, do what’s best for all of us. Is that party politics? Or just an intelligent, decent way of thinking and being?

So what’s the point of the forum? At rock bottom, we are taking each other seriously. We’re not always being dead serious, but we’re not fooling around either. We’re fed up with being lied to day by day, or simply kept in the dark while the big boys and girls decide what’s best for them and then tell us what’s best for us. The forum works because it is good to think, and it is good to be with other people who are thinking, sharing ideas and listening to other people’s viewpoints. You’ll go home feeling that you’re not alone, after all.

There are usually between 15 and 25 of us. We meet on a Monday once a month at the Halfway House in Polbathic, which serves great beer and superb food. The Halfway House is a lovely, friendly pub which gets everything right and is extremely welcoming.

The next topic for discussion is entitled ‘Truth and its Enemies’ and will take place on Monday July 8 from 7pm to 9pm. Come and join us. You will be made very welcome. For more information email jnsatterthwaite@gmail.com

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