This morning I became involved in a political dispute in school because I didn’t want to ban lobbying as a practise. A girl who is very activist, very keen, very smart, and very forward about things politically raged that ‘the people’ should take back government from the lobbyists. I argued that there was a deep fallacy going on there in that argument. Then I went home and ran around like a squirrel on amphetamine for about two hours until the guests arrived.

Lobbyist vs_ Voter[2]The act of lobbying is, in essence, to organise people together, go to the halls of power, and argue your case in the lobbies where politicians gather. These politicians then are the people you want to nudge into thinking about your point of view, and maybe even when the time comes to vote, to vote ‘aye’ for your case.

So, when this girl says that we need to organise, act, and influence the ‘corrupt politicians in Whitehall’, what she is really saying is that she wants to organise a lobbying campaign to influence these politicians in the direction she wants society to go. She is suggesting lobbying as a political tactic.

The argument that ‘politicians are only beholden to money’ and that lobbying should be banned is therefore a strange thing to suggest. If you ban lobbying, you also ban your own organisation from acting for the interest of your position because you ban your own action too. Since I’m a democrat, I also don’t believe in banning the lobbying of groups I disagree with, while keeping the lobbying of groups I agree with legal. This is the gist of what I think the girl wants.

stressed_dessertsBut student politics aside, there were more important things on my mind than trying to talk some sense into an avowed partisan – you can spend hours doing that and it is like talking to a wall. There is always a come-back with a variation along the same lines that is supposed to improve the original horrible idea somewhat; enough that now I should agree with it.

What was on my mind was the dinner, so after school the race began with a visit to the butchers where I quickly changed dinner plans. Instead of doing a Stroganoff, the Hungarian butcher had a recipe for a ragout instead and he gave that to me when I told him what I was planning. This butcher is awesome, by the way, and we always use him. A ragout is kind of the same as Stroganoff, but more exotic and more impressive while at the same time not being more difficult. You only need more bell peppers.

The guests arrived at eight and were treated to this ragout, which they liked a lot, and all except one had a second helping. I served it with wild rice and haricot verts. Mark had slaved over this for well over an hour, and then I thanked him by patting him on his bottom and sending him away to drink with Stephen. He’s still not home, so I suppose they had a lot to talk about. Maybe about the evil bastard boyfriend that doesn’t let the cook eat the food he’s made.

ragoutleftoverI have saved a pot for him. Mark always makes too much food, on the principle that it is better to have left-overs than hungry guests. So, I have a big bowl of it in the fridge. If he’s eaten out he can save it for tomorrow.

While the guests were here, the new cat peeped out, and he’s starting to be more brave. He doesn’t run away all the time, and once the guests had left he deigned me with his presence. Actually he lay on my stomach while I watched the telly, and pushed his pads like cats do, and he purred quite a lot. I think he’s going to be all right, and he’ll settle in fine. Even Watson isn’t so curious about the new presence any more.