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Encounter with 'The Other Side'

Updated: Oct 24, 2018

Lessons From a Liberal Journalist

Picture by Luke McPake, featuring YC Leader on Grafton Bridge.

Merely 11 days ago, on the 12th of June, 2018, New Conservative was contacted by freelance journalist, James Borrowdale. Writing for The Wireless, Borrowdale asked for the opinion of a ‘young conservative’ whose views might act the contrarian in New Zealand’s contemporary political context. He put into question the appealing factor of a minority of youth, who do in fact consider themselves ‘right-wing’. The request was forwarded to me. I considered his deadline, and so with little time to prepare, I agreed to an interview- at the casual (but ever pleasant) Columbus Cafe, in Grafton, 3 days later. The discourse was standard of any informed conservative, the questions were standard of any pseudo-apolitical modern media personnel. 1 week later an article was published; ‘New Zealand’s young conservatives’. Having done my due diligence on Borrowdale preceding the interview, the way the article read, was of no surprise to me. My research concluded that Borrodale had tendency towards the subjective. He doesn't often write about politics, but when he does choose to share with us with his prognostications of our polity, he tends to heavily scrutinise right, and centre-right minority parties. He employs ad hominem in commenting on personal characteristics of his interviewees, and Borrowdale is particularly perceptive of any phrases that may slur his interviewee’s authoritative dictation, such as “I do/don’t think” and “in my opinion”- in most other instances he does, however, omit frivolity. I did find him pleasant to talk to, however. He was also born in South Africa, of a small town of great sentiment to me. We sympathised with each other on more personal levels, pre and post-interview. Rarely did he attempt to refute my explanations, he often stuck to his list of questions- which I appreciated. This was certainly no Cathy Newman experience! Borrowdale was also not as aggressive a liberal interviewer, as I thought he might be; he politely lets his interviewees finish their statements, beyond satisfaction.

So, what was it like to be interviewed by the other side? It was entertaining, novel, trivial. It was a cultural experience- one I had not encountered before. It was about an hour of deposition. An hour of interrogation. Perhaps, on a deeper level, it was an hour of self-reflection. What really did I believe, and was it worth me believing? Overwhelmingly, yes. But, for someone alien to the thought, maybe not. While, I could understand the need for brevity, Borrowdale often censored my explanations of conservative philosophy. To be fair, he did include my (mostly verbatim) summaries- and was generous enough not to distort any of my words. His integrity as a journalist stood in tact, by my verdict. Rather than becoming further polarized, I believe, I witnessed Borrowdale passively becoming more sympathetic to our views. This is a sign of hope. Many young people might look over this article- brush it off as social anomaly- but there will be an exponential amount of youth taking the time to investigate what we’ve said. They will take the time to analyse- and they may even become convinced.

So, lets be ready for when that does happen.

Let's equip ourselves with knowledge.

Let’s Catch that Wave of Rising Conservatism!

ENDS, Leader of Young Conservative, YC Live

Read the full article:

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