Eating across the divide: ‘I was baffled when she said Donald Trump was smart’ | Life and elegance


Alex, 58, Royston, Hertfordshire

works Semi-retired teacher and company manager

vote record Mostly green, or Labor if there is no Green – and Lib Dem to support friends from local advisors. Never conservative!

liking bush As a teenager, Alex cleaned the house of John Paul Jones Led Zeppelin

Suzy

Susie, 48, Royston, Hertfordshire

works accountant

vote record Work “maybe once or twice in the Blair years”. She is now a member of the Conservative Party

liking bush Susie enjoys reenacting history: “Every now and then I dress up as a Norman peasant to cook dinner for the Lord in different castles.”

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For beginners

Alex I’m a vegetarian and we both agreed to start by sharing the Greek mezze platter, so that was great. Then I ordered fusilli ie funghi with arugula salad, and tiramisu semifreddo.

Suzy I had steak, medium rare; Then the Eaton mess. Alex seemed friendly, open to the world, smart and strong, just as a woman should be. She doesn’t seem to like the idea that people really want to make a profit from the business – if you tax them more, or make them pay a living wage, there’s no incentive for them to do business.

Alex She kept saying that taxing big corporations and the wealthy at higher rates wouldn’t solve anything, while I thought fat cats should be taxed. It was clear that we were totally opposed to just about everything.

Suzy You said that the percentage of people who evade taxes and use offshore accounts is not large enough to make a difference to the economy. The majority of people are not wealthy enough to hide their money in the Virgin Islands.

Suzy and Alex

big beef

Alex Brexit is a disaster that cannot be mitigated and has done nothing to improve our economy. We are a small island, we are no longer an empire – and in any case, we had a veto over the laws of the European Union.

Suzy I wasn’t interested in the economic pros and cons of Brexit. My reasons for supporting her were political. We didn’t get the benefits of being at this club and David Cameron tried to negotiate a better deal and couldn’t. It has made life a little more complicated in some ways, but you can’t ignore the effects of Covid.

Alex It’s ironic because Suzy was born in Russia and came to the UK, but she is against Eastern Europeans coming here to work because she thinks they are taking jobs from young people.

Suzy I went to Sixth College in the UK, so I didn’t show up for work and wanted to go home, but I got married and stayed. The country should not depend on cheap foreign labor. You might want to hire someone with better qualifications and a work ethic – an engineer in his home country, who ends up piling shelves at Tesco – but that means some young people in Britain will lose out.

Alex I pointed out that young Brits did not want to work full time for minimum wage, but I felt that this sort of thing fell on deaf ears.

Suzy and Alex

sharing board

Alex We agreed to improve transportation. We live in a small market town and public transportation here is useless, as simple as that. We also agreed that we need more electric vehicle charging points and space to ride bicycles.

Suzy You have to improve the infrastructure because you can’t just crowd people into city centers. They have reduced the number of buses here and I have never used one because it takes so long.

Suzy and Alex

for what’s next

Alex She was so baffled when she said that she felt Donald Trump was very smart! i beg your pardon? I actually did the lax thing in amazement.

Suzy I have American relatives who are pro-Trump. He was the only politician who really tried to do something for the working class. I think if we stayed on this topic long enough, we might have come to some sort of acknowledgment of the fact that Trump was addressing a real problem.

Alex I said, “Do you think a world leader probably should be smart all the time and not just sometimes?”

Suzy and Alex

Takeaway

Suzy We had a lovely conversation! We have political differences, but we also have a lot of agreement.

Alex She kept doing this thing where, when she did not agree with something I said, she rolled her eyes, looked away and changed subjects. After a while, it really got on my nerves, but I didn’t say anything. You behaved very well

Suzy and Alex

Alex and Susie ate at Banners House, Royston, Hertfordshire.

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