Wiriehorn, Bern, Switzerland
Yesterday was a fabulous day on the slopes. A group from the Bernese city council were invited by the business people operating the chairlifts at Wiriehorn to go give it a try. To accept such gifts is one of those apparently uncomfortable relationships between the world of job creation (read, economic development, business) and the political community (read influence, and hope for leadership). Think again, is it really uncomfortable? There we were, politicians with varying degrees of engagement, and certainly with very different approaches or fundamental principles, and we found ourselves wearing these impossible boards snapped to preposterously cumbersome shoes and swiftly sliding down open ski runs on a perfectly sunny day! We enjoyed fresh air, sun, and good company. Keep thinking.
As individuals we bring in a fraction of the social that constitutes the whole fabric of our society. As a social opportunity, yesterday skiing offered the possibility to face my own bias and prejudices towards other political colleagues who think differently from me, and who often find themselves arguing on the other side of the issues. After yesterday I can no longer argue that the socialist party does nothing towards job creation and towards supporting industry and commerce. To my surprise the better skiers were the socialists, and that means that they are avid consumers of the ski industry, and contribute positively for the development of the local ski and tourism industry. The more I observe this cabaret of politics, the more convinced I am that we need all these facets and ideologies in order to make sure that in government a balanced approach to the resolution of the conflicts of interest is taken.
By the way, you can rent skis, boots, poles and helmets at the bottom of the hill by the chairlift cashier booth at an independent Ma and Pa shop with a charm all of its own and reasonable prices. To keep transparency where it belongs, the Ma and Pa shop did not sponsor our day on the slopes, the Wiriehornbahnen AG in 3756 Zwischenflüh did so by providing us with lift tickets. Travel to and from Wiriehorn was out of our own pockets.