Now then, I have written many times about my dislike of the way the Labour Party has changed since the media and the Tories destroyed the Corbyn project by fair means or foul, mostly foul actually. UK politics began its headlong descent into sub gutter levels in the time of Cameron, it has since accelerated at a scary pace. There is now no coming back, I can safely say that UK politics will not be an honourable arena in my lifetime (i'm 60). This is a very demoralising thing for me to behold. But, that is how it is.
I first interested myself in politics in the mid to late 70s, my God how things have changed. MPs really were people for those of us on the street to look up to. I genuinely believed that as an ordinary citizen there was a direct mechanism by which things could be affected, even changed by raising ones voice. It was known as Democracy. It worked.
Being from a northern industrial town - Warrington - and living mostly in the run down areas I soon realised that my political leaning was to the Left. It has stayed like that.
Seems to me that the social divide is more extreme now than it was back then by quite some margin. To sum that up I would say this country is more Victorian now than it has ever been. To be blunt, this utterly disgusts me. That Corbyn project wasn't about one bloke, it was about an ideology, one that was actually based upon middle of the road policies and was designed to spread around the wealth, for the many not the few.
I took great heart from it, 100% believed in it. Still do. Always will. It does trouble me that anyone who thinks along the lines that I do is seen as some sort of risky militant out to smash everything down. This is actually carefully stage managed crap of the lowest order. This is where the media in the UK shows itself up as nothing but a biased circus functioning only to serve the establishment in a now quite obvious and brainless way.
The Tories have a huge majority and are acting like it. They are off the leash and are running amok. Lets jump back to the mid 70s when I first became aware of my natural affinity with left wing ideas and political motivation. That was driven by seeing poverty all over the place, in the case of my hometown seeing shabby council estates in close proximity to estates that consisted of expensive houses built on lush ground with leafy avenues called things like "Otters Clift", this drew my attention to the inequality. I lived in rubbish council housing, worked in a steel rolling mill. Hard and dangerous work, I was one of the lucky ones. Many had no work. Their life standards were shocking.
So, here we are in 2020, things have very definitely deteriorated on a massive scale. The personal fallout from the GE was hard to cope with. The scale of it unbelievable. There was always going to be a reaction. I teetered on the edge of just walking away from it all.
Labour elected a new leader. One who, for me, represents a nice warm seat on the Tory party substitutes bench. Things went from unbelievably terrible to unbelievably unbearable. Just in recent days we have seen this new Tory reserve party abandon renters and then came the disgraceful antics re the immigration bill. Yvette Cooper jumps out at me, this is NOT what Labour should be about.
At one of my lower points since that night in the Rotherham count room I resigned my Labour Party membership. It wasn't a snap reaction, I thought about it long and hard. I became fixated with Starmer and Phillips and the like. Clowns like Adonis kept popping up on my twitter feed gloating. Even little turd Austin appeared to gloat and trumpet his mard arsed rubbish, to say this infuriated me would be a great understatement. As time rolled by something occurred to me, that being, why should I let myself be occupied with the likes of them all the time? By coincidence, at this time I became aware of something called The Socialist Campaign Group of MPs. It is led by Richard Burgon, at the time of writing it consists of 17 real socialist MPs.
17 is a very small number.
One can only imagine how isolated they must feel just now. Everything they had struggled to build within what used to be the Labour Party is being dismantled all around them. They all know that by identifying themselves as real socialists they are basically ring fencing themselves from any sort of meaningful recognition. Starmer will indeed offer them no encouragement at all. None of these people actually want a seat on the Tory subs bench. Interesting stuff this.
During the GE I trudged about a bit (a whole lot actually) on behalf of our candidate in Rother Valley. I was there when, against all the odds she was elected. Sophie Wilson is her name. At the time she was described as one to watch. She still is. Never faltered during the campaign, always had time to chat and go over stuff. Something wonderful happened on that trail. Day after day in crap weather we all kept turning up and enthusiastically did our stuff. The seat was lost. The hammer came down. A mixture of Brexit and the media caused that. NOBODY on that campaign team was at fault.
So, time to reflect again was taken. As I look around now during this crisis I see more and more stress and the awful consequences of poverty. NMW is the new way, ZHs await our kids as they leave school. Council Houses should be preserved in museums.
Public services are declining at a rapid rate. Homelessness is rising and will continue to do so. Thousands of jobs are being lost. Things like airlines continue to pay out share dividends whilst taking bailouts from our Government. This illustrates clearly that the inequality I first disliked back in the mid 70s has multiplied vastly.
I now occupy my mind with people like Richard Burgon and Sopie Wilson, and, all those others who have stuck to their guns despite the appalling setbacks they have all endured. It is not just because of those people though. To me, it is more about the families existing in dire circumstances. Struggling with debt. The postcode they live in sentencing them to lives of crushing poverty. To be classed as "financially illiterate" due to no fault of their own. I simply cannot look in the mirror without being able to tell myself that I am contributing in some way to the almighty struggle to help them.
The road will be long and hard. No other honest way of putting that. It is a road that will see the end of me, I am very unlikely to see the end of it. In the stark realisation that this is the case, I see the only realistic way I can possibly affect the dire state of this shithole Victorian society is by reinstating my Labour Party membership. So this I have done.
There are many splinter groups springing up. They all mean well and can be quite good at rousing rhetoric. Fact is, only the Labour Party can offer a real , though slim, chance of affecting positive change. Those 17 MPs require help. Each one of them has nailed their colours to the mast, in the midst of a huge storm. For this they deserve the recognition and thanks of every socialist mind in the country. I am offering them mine.
What will you do ?
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Society not Economy.