Nobody changes their mind

I read the Booker prize article in the Graun a week or so ago (which was structured as a short memoir from one of the judges of each year). One of the common claims was about how fruitless the discussions were – everyone has their favourite book(s) and no matter how much the books are discussed with other judges, nobody ever changes their position or their mind. I think the same is true in politics, as I realised this week after watching a newsnight report about floating voters (which is a phenomenon I’m suprised exists). I’ve voted Lib Dem since I was old enough to vote, back in the Paddy Ashdown days, and now I’m a Nick Clegg fan, though I’ve yet to see his forty-odd minute speech from the party conference recently.

It’s sad that so few people my age vote, and I can’t decide if apathy or uninformed voting annoy me more. I really believe that the Lib Dems are the party for my generation, though now that ‘old’ people far out number young people, even if we could all be bothered to go to the polling stations and make a mark for the yellows, I’m not sure it’d be enough. I find it incredibly annoying that the media, amongst others, think that democracy in this country is a two party race, and it does wind me up when people vote for either Conservative or Labour simply because they don’t want the other party to get in – because they don’t want to waste their vote. Proportional representation would stop all that nonsense, wouldn’t it?

My father-in-law jokes ‘If you don’t vote liberal when you’re young, you don’t have a heart, and if you don’t vote conservative when you’re older, you don’t have any sense’. But this wasn’t supposed to be a post about politics. Back to the theme of changing ones mind. I was in a tricky position yesterday regarding some writing I had been commissioned to do. The writing was edited, which was problematic for two reasons: one, that my writing hasn’t been edited before, and anything unfamiliar can be a shock to the system; and two, that I thought the edits were intrusive and ‘out of character’. The tricky thing here is, to what extent problem two was caused by problem one?

Worried that I was becoming too precious (and up my own arse) about my work, I made a few consultations, which helped allay those fears. I’d like to think (and I hope) that when it comes to my writing, I’m not too proud to take on constructive criticism, and that I’m willing to make improvements where necessary. I understand now that the problem is not the work needing to be changed (and by implication, my mind) but that the work maintain its integrity. That said, I’m willing to make changes, but I have to do it my way, so in actual fact, I’m still not changing my mind 😉


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