Which paper to read? Does it even matter these days when so much news is online, and we can switch (firewalls permitting) at will, and link to sites and sources around the world.
Let’s assume it does, for some of us anyway.
Compassion and a natural liberal instinct dictate the Guardian but I’m almost too much at home there. I am from Manchester after all. As it’s too easy for the opposite reason to read the Daily Mail: every article makes the hackles rise, apoplexy only just contained.
But I must be objective…
Middle ground, campaigning on key issues … maybe the Independent. Neo-liberal, small state… the Telegraph or Mail. Respectable, establishment, with several fine columnists… The Times. But The Times is the tame face of Murdoch, the not so fantastic Mr Fox.
Social welfare, social justice, yes, we need a big state, and a spending state. And yet, the welfare budget is too big, and benefits can act as a big disincentive to finding work. I accept both arguments. And so…
Read everything, or dip into everything. Try the Huffington Post online. Specialise a little and read Foreign Policy magazine. Go weekly and read the New Statesman, the Spectator or the Economist. Read The Week and be bombarded from every point of view.
Be brave and watch Fox TV. Restore your faith in humanity and watch Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. Try out salon.com My true colours show I’m afraid – but don’t dismiss the arguments of the other side. Avoid easy answers. Capitalism and compassion can and must exist side by side.
Follow the middle way, as the Buddha taught. Wisdom does not inhabit the extremes, it seeks to balance them.
Read often, read widely, read wisely. That is the zenpolitics way.