Marius, 57, Plymouth
Occupation Computer developer and minister of religion
Voting record Voted Labour last time; would normally vote Lib Dem
Amuse bouche Is a pastor for two churches, including a Romanian one
Peter, 76, Plymouth
Occupation Retired headteacher
Voting record Has never voted Conservative. Would usually vote Labour, but couldn’t bring himself to while they were against the EU, or under Corbyn
Amuse bouche With his wife, set up Plymouth’s twinning with a city in Ghana, and has hosted the Ghanaian Olympic team
Peter Because Marius has a very unusual name, I Googled him and was expecting a computer specialist or a psychologist.
Marius I thought: he looks just like me. And when we started talking, we found we think in similar ways.
Peter I had something smoked, then a cinnamon brûlée with chocolate sorbet.
Marius I really think it was the best restaurant meal I’ve ever had. It was a tasting menu – they wouldn’t even tell us what it was until we’d tried it.
The big beef
Peter We disagreed on retirement age. It’s pretty rich me saying this, because I got early retirement as a teacher and have been retired for over 20 years, but the right thing to do as a nation is ask: what is a reasonable number of years that people can expect to be retired for? We should base it on life expectancy, which means women are going to have to work longer than men. Whatever the figure is, people like me will have got a lot more than that.
Marius He was saying he doesn’t think it’s fair for someone to receive a pension for maybe 45 years. He was worried that somebody could be working maybe 30 years, then spend longer receiving a pension than they spent contributing to that pension.
Peter I don’t pay enough tax. The silly thing about inheritance tax is that people hold on to the principle that you must be able to leave your home to your children. When people die at 91 or, like my mother, 95, all of their children have pretty well bought their houses and it’s windfall money.
Marius He sees it in terms of money: how much did you put in, how much do you take out? My view is that everybody’s life contributes something to society, so rather than looking at how much we put in, in terms of money or work, we need to look at how much someone’s life contributed. A mother who stays at home and raises children isn’t less important than someone in a full-time job. We need the next generation.
Marius We agreed we don’t like the Tories – we’re very much against anything to do with the present government.
Peter I’m embarrassed by our government. Every time a conversation starts about Boris Johnson, I say: “I’m Irish.”
Marius People don’t think before they vote. Or they vote about a few issues they care about, and they don’t think about what’s good for the country overall. Peter is more optimistic.
Peter You shouldn’t start me on Boris Johnson – I’ll never stop. I picked up on this stuff long before he was foreign secretary. To make him prime minister was incredible, and I didn’t think it would last.
Peter When I was at school, I wanted to be a missionary, but now I’m not religious in any way. Marius said he didn’t think God was an old man with a beard, but he believed there was a universal intelligence in the universe. A universal intelligence that invented Vladimir Putin? I didn’t say that to him, though. Religion is an identity, not an opinion.
Marius He is very involved in the Rotary club and various charities. Seeing that in somebody who is outside faith is quite encouraging. Because my purpose is to influence people towards being good and nice to each other. Peter is just the kind of person I admire and like.
Peter When I got home, I Googled “bromance”.
Marius I probably will try to go out with him again. We could meet and talk about stories and life. He’s a very interesting man.
Additional reporting: Sarah Hooper
• Marius and Peter ate at The Fig Tree at 36, Plymouth.
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