Dining across the divide: ‘If I’d had more time, I think I could have shifted him’

11 months ago 146
Dining crossed  the divider David

David, 73, Stockport

Occupation Semi-retired instrumentalist and erstwhile euphony assemblage principal

Voting record Always Labour, but once: Conservative successful the 1970 wide election

Amuse bouche David has conscionable celebrated his aureate wedding anniversary

Zahoor (Ziggy), 51, Stockport

Dining crossed  the divider Ziggy

Occupation Security and wellness and information advisor for a discarded absorption company

Voting record Has lone voted 4 times: Labour until the Iraq war, ne'er since

Amuse bouche At 16, Ziggy had an arranged matrimony to a archetypal cousin, arsenic a sweetener connected a onshore acquisition his begetter was making successful Kashmir. They aboriginal divorced

For starters

Ziggy I arrived first. I wanted to marque definite I wasn’t going to beryllium late.

David There helium was, upstairs successful this tiny restaurant, with a large grin and a solid of beer. My contiguous absorption was: “I thought you were Muslim?”

Ziggy I had chicken, with immoderate benignant of creamy sauce. I’m from a mediocre background. In my full 50 years, I’ve been to a edifice possibly 20 times, 25?

David I had calamari and risotto ai frutti di mare.

Dining crossed  the dividers David (left) and Ziggy

The large beef

David I made rather an affectional code astatine 1 point, partially due to the fact that I’m a musician. We thin to person a precise European presumption of culture. It’s partially that the EU has kept the bid passim my lifetime, arsenic opposed to the erstwhile 2,000 years erstwhile European nations were tearing 1 another’s throats out. Ziggy is an affectional and passionate guy, and helium bought each that. But helium clings to the presumption that the existent problems are conscionable a wrinkle.

Ziggy I didn’t ballot successful the referendum, and erstwhile the state voted leave, I was mortified. It was astir similar we’d mislaid the warfare to fascism. I felt devastated. But arsenic clip went on, I started to hold with Brexit. We’ve had unmitigated immigration, a free-for-all, and I could recognize wherefore radical were angry. When you commencement allowing unmitigated immigration, without creating caller schools, caller doctors’ surgeries, you’re asking for trouble.

I arrived successful England successful 1971, aged one. All my life, I’ve struggled with being an migrant – being accepted successful society, being treated differently. My dada enactment each these Islamic signs up connected our location and we had eggs thrown astatine us. It was similar a warfare zone. I hated it. I find radical aren’t racist towards maine present due to the fact that of however I speak, but idiosyncratic who has conscionable arrived, with constricted vocabulary – they are targeted.

David He reads truthful galore newspapers, and takes a wide presumption connected which of them is right. But connected this peculiar issue, he’s swallowed each this worldly astir immigrants coming implicit present and sponging disconnected our nationalist services, and there’s nary budging him. It’s conscionable embedded. It makes maine consciousness worse successful a way. If I’d had much clip with Ziggy, I deliberation I could person shifted him.

Ziggy You person to judge what the wide statement is; arsenic overmuch arsenic you don’t similar it, you person to travel to presumption with it. When you don’t privation to look the truth, sometimes it’s hard, isn’t it?

Dining crossed  the dividers David and Ziggy (on left)

Sharing plate

David I deliberation helium bought this: determination are truthful galore antithetic Brexits and the 1 we’ve got astatine the infinitesimal is simply a truly hard Brexit. A amended authorities could say: “Let’s person a look astatine this and travel to a amended solution.”

Ziggy He’s implicit the moon, obviously, with each the issues: the petrol shortages, the bare shelves …

Dining crossed  the dividers David (left) and Ziggy

For afters

David We didn’t speech astir inequality much, though it was an underlying taxable of the evening. I’m fortunate, whereas erstwhile helium was astir 15, his dada sent him to enactment successful a sweatshop. He worked done the night, came home, had his breakfast, past went to school.

Ziggy I was a small spot envious of him. David is from a overmuch much affluent country of the north-west: he’s a Runcorn guy, he’s got a glittering CV compared with mine. He worked for the BBC, helium went to the University of Manchester – I’d lone ever imagination of going determination similar that. I’m getting much envious arsenic I get older. I’m astatine that property wherever I’m analysing everything I’ve done successful the past, each the decisions I’ve made, however foolish I’ve been.

Dining crossed  the dividers David (on right) and Ziggy


David I consciousness similar I’ve made a caller friend. He’s a precise intelligent and thoughtful guy. And he’s nary large instrumentality of the Conservative party.

Ziggy We exchanged numbers astatine the end, due to the fact that we got connected truthful well.

Dining crossed  the dividers David (left) and Ziggy

Additional reporting: Rachel Obordo

Ziggy and David ate astatine Terra & Mare, Stockport

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