The Politics of Colour

These days my political activity has been in the background, or rather, I have been exercising the art of the invisible. Politics is an art. One of the more startling discoveries that I have made is that the most action does happen behind the scenes and within the political household that “the party” is.

Recently I have had a few eye opening experiences that make me feel totally wet behind the ears. Yesterday I held my first speech of any significance in the Rathaus, and put in a good word for the motion from Barbara Streit-Stettler and Daniela Lutz-Beck that asks that the city make drinking water available at no cost to the fans and visitors of the EURO 08. That our city mayor – Alex Tschäppät, a socialist – would be against such a measure was a real surprise, but then he is known to not be much of a fan of water. What do I really know about socialists? Anyhow the motion got through unanimously, and that is indeed a rare occasion in that parliament. Ah! Free drinking water, how very refreshing!

Now, if you are following the political gossip in this country, you are aware of the fact that the “right wing” parties all have a bit of a problem and not very good press at the time. The CVP has seen one of its own having a drug problem of which we do not yet know the details, however I am told that this happens in the best of families. The SVP – the populists – are throwing a temper tantrum over the election of Federal Councillor Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, and my own party – the FDP -does not know how to keep its internal household problems away from the pornographic greed of the press.

In view of all of this I decided to stick to what is important to me: bags and colours. One week ago I approached Reto Nause – the proud owner of an iPhone – and asked him what one had to do to get one of those orange bags that he carries around. Reto told me that he would give me one at the next session, and so it was that yesterday he gave not one, but two. See, I like that orange bag for the colour and the functionality. I also like the idea of doing political work across party lines and bringing in what is co-operation. There is absolutely nothing wrong – not in my book – with the fact that each party focus on a different aspect of what is important in our society. Oh rats! I am colour blind and on a good day totally politically uncorrected! Forgive me for having a mind of my own, if you can, and if you can’t…

Dick Marty, a Swiss Senator

Yesterday I had the good fortune of listening in on Ron Abbegglen, General Secretary of the NEBS/NOMES interviewing Swiss Senator Dick Marty at the café of the Federal Parliament in Berne. Dick Marty is also a member of the Council of Europe. The interview will appear in their print newsletter europa.ch. I was there to take photos, and since we decided on shooting after the interview, I sat and listened to the interview. First the Senator asked us if we wanted a coffee and then proceeded to serve us the coffee before I even realized what was going on. It was the first time in my life that I have been served a coffee by a Senator. Dick Marty is that kind of man, he is the kind of politician that knows the difference between values and interests, and in my opinion, there are very few of those.

If you are interested in human rights and what is going on in Europe, then I recommend that you read this interview. europa.ch can be downloaded as PDF file. I do not know when it will be published.