Instead of everyone trading insults and shouting at each other, why don’t we look at things a different way.
Let’s stop obsessing about the Politicians and simply look at the…
The word itself has, for many people, become a turn off.
I speak to many young people, my niece included, who have the idea that politics is something that older people talk about. Something that has nothing to do with their lives.
But Politics is everywhere in her life.
She is a student.
She is now currently accruing a massive debt, because of a political decision to introduce Tuition Fees.
She will no longer have a maintenance grant, because of a political decision to abolish these.
Luckily, she has lived in good student accommodation, but if her dreams take her to London, it’s unlikely she will find somewhere suitable to live, because the rents are too high. A political decision could introduce rent controls to stop private landlords charging extortionate rents for, in some cases, unsuitable accommodation. A political choice to build social housing, would take the pressure off private, rental accommodation.
And so on.
Politics (from Greek: πολιτικός politikos, definition “of, for, or relating to citizens”)
Politics is us. The citizens
We have been told that politics is deciding between left wing and Right wing, capitalism/socialism, Labour and the Tories. We have to make up our minds one way or the other.
But for me it’s having a vision of how I would like society to be, finding other people who believe the same things and working together to see if we could achieve it.
I don’t support Corbyn because I believe he’s the messiah,
I support Corbyn because he is talking about the things that I think about.
- I recently had solar panels put on my house and I wondered why we don’t put solar panels on every house instead of building a nuclear power plant?
- I came back from Berlin and wondered why London doesn’t have rent controls?
- I tried to buy a train ticket to London and was shocked at how expensive it was and how confusing it all seems to be. I wondered why someone doesn’t just admit that the privatisation thing is worse than the old British Rail and maybe if we can renationalise it, we can use both experiences and make it work? Other countries do it, why don’t we find out how they do it?
- I see a government get into power on less than 50% of the vote. I wonder why we can’t just have proportional representation. We’re not still going to believe that writing the numbers 1, 2 & 3 on a ballot instead of just an X is too taxing for your average Brit to handle, are we?
- After all the cuts, all the misery, the deficit didn’t go down. I started to think, surely there’s a different way to look at the economy?
After the Brexit vote, I refused to believe that people voted because they were inherently racist. Something else happened, a general annoyance with the way things are going? A protest vote? Dissatisfaction at austerity?
Sons and daughters of immigrants were ganging up against immigrants. I felt that something was wrong. I started to think more and more about media manipulation.
Working in schools, I became more and more dismayed at the general depression in the teaching profession, especially in the state sector.
I wanted someone to talk about these things. I wanted to talk to other people about these things.
I hadn’t had much to do with Politics (with a big P) since I experienced the birth and inner workings of New Labour back in the 90s (long story, deffo for another time). This turned me off and made me think, why bother…
After the election, when I heard the nonsense spouted on the TV about why Labour lost, I decided to join the Labour Party. (Read my explanation here).
I listened to that first televised leadership debate and I was actually pre-disposed to Andy Burnham before I switched on. A friend of mine had told me that he was a great MP for Wigan. So I was fully expecting to like him, but I was turned off by the ‘put together by focus group nature’ of him and what he said.
I was rooting for Yvette, because I wanted to support a woman, but she didn’t say anything that spoke to me.
When Corbyn spoke, I said out loud,
“That’s what I’ve been thinking.”
I read about the policies, they matched up with many of the questions that I’d been pondering. I was so used to thinking I was alone, I was astonished that someone else had not only been thinking these things, but they had decided to make them into policies.
When I went along to a Jeremy Corbyn event, I turned up way too early and spent an hour or so chatting with everyone I met.
There was a buzz of excitement, people were standing in a long queue for a POLITICIAN and they were excited. The people I met that day were not politicos, they were people like me, who hadn’t really been engaged for many years, some had never been engaged, but they were there, on a Saturday night, waiting in the queue to listen to a politician. There was a mix of age, ethnicity, class, it was so diverse, that I couldn’t quite work out how they had all managed to find themselves there together in the same spot, hence the intense questioning. Asking them about themselves, why they were there and every one of them said what I had said.
“He’s saying what I’m thinking”
That’s why people voted for him to be the leader. Not because they thought he was cute, not because he’s the most powerful orator they’d ever seen (he’s not).
They voted for him, simply because they agreed with him.
I then started watching more news programmes and reading more politics in the newspaper and I was surprised at how my experience was so removed from what was being reported. The more people I talked to, the more I noticed that there seemed to be a party line on Corbyn, he’s unelectable, he’s not a leader. People started talking about how he cannot be a leader if the Parliamentary Labour Party don’t respect him.
So we get down to the nub of the problem.
Who is more important? The MPs or the members?
I would say, think about it this way.
Without members, there would be no MPs.
The members are the ones who campaign, communicate, assist, they do all the footwork, they get out the vote. It’s the members who select an MP they can get behind and then they get behind them. If they do a good enough job, they can propel them to Government.
An MP is there to represent the view of the constituency. Their own personal view, is not worth more than the views of those people who voted for them, nor is it worth less.
However, if they cease to share the views of the majority of their constituents, then they will find themselves rejected by their constituents. This is not a threat; it is their job description.
Those MPs who listen to their constituents and continue to reflect their constituents’ views will remain. Those that don’t, won’t.
Somehow, some elements of the Parliamentary Labour Party believe that they are entitled to make all the decisions in the party, they and they alone should have a say in how the party runs. This may have been the way things worked before, I don’t know, I wasn’t involved in the Labour party pre-election.
All I know is this.
Jeremy Corbyn’s election signalled a Paradigm shift in the Labour party. So far they have resisted shifting with it, but 172 MPs CANNOT and SHOULD NOT drown out the voices of 400,000 people (which is the least I think Corbyn’s majority will be)
So stop arguing about whether Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable or whether he is a Leader.
The FACT that he is an MP means that he is electable (he has won many elections)
The FACT that he has won (will again win) a leadership vote makes him a leader.
Now, you can argue your opinion on this, you can argue degrees and levels, you can say whatever you like about how this relates to the general public, when it comes down to it,
No-one has a crystal ball, no-one can say for sure what will happen in a General Election.
Everything else is nonsense and distraction –
simply conjecture and/or opinion.
We should forget about other people and make our own personal choice.
Don’t let someone else make you think that their vision of the future is more valid than yours.
Think about the kind of world you want to live in, find someone whose vision of that world closest matches yours.
Support that, discuss that, campaign for that
focus on that!