It’s funny, I joined the Labour Party straight after the General Election, mainly because I wanted to get involved with electing a new leader, because I never wanted another Ed Milliband (sorry, Ed, I’m sure you’re a nice bloke and everything…) I nearly didn’t vote Labour because Labour didn’t speak to me or for me, in fact I couldn’t work out who the hell they were speaking to and for. I’d been out of politics so long, I had no idea who any of the contenders were, but I was predisposed to like Andy Burnham, because I’d heard a few nice things about him.
The last political thing I took part in was an Anti-Apartheid demo, which dates me, but I look younger than my years, so I don’t care 😃
Everything changed that first televised debate, because for the first time, someone was saying out loud what I was thinking and had been thinking for a while.
That man was Jeremy Corbyn.
I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, but with each speech, I found myself actually let go of my general cynicism towards politicians and began to hope that we may have actually found the equivalent of a political unicorn, an honest man with principles (which actually aligned with my principles).
I consider myself working class, others consider me middle class, because I taught at a boarding school.
I don’t like violence, I like a good (sometimes even heated) debate, but I don’t believe in personal slurs. I only swear when swearing is called for, I don’t believe in swearing at other people.
I do believe in treating others the way you want to be treated.
I was, until recently, a Modern Languages teacher, and lived for many years in Germany.
I am a black woman.
The only thing I know about Trotsky is that he was killed with an ice pick.
I have read Das Kapital in English, German and French, in fact I have a lovely leather-bound volume, bought in East Berlin, when it was still in the DDR. It cost me about £2.50. I enjoy politics and thought it was an interesting read.
I also have biographies of Gorbachev, Clinton, Obama, Mandela and Reagan and I enjoyed them all.
I not only eat croissants, I’ve made them from scratch (see here) and I also make gorgeous Brioche!
I consider myself a thoughtful, occasionally considered person.
I’m trying to become a kinder, nicer more considerate person.
I hate the fact that our society has become such a toxic, dark and negative place to live.
I hate walking past homeless people when I don’t have enough money to give to them and I don’t understand why we have so many people who have to use foodbanks to survive when we are one of the richest countries on this earth.
I don’t understand how the country’s wealth is so unequally divided that in the north people are having to choose between heating and eating, while in the South (east) people are choosing between the gold plated Jaguar or the Ferrari.
I am a member of Momentum.
I have been to one meeting, at which I found out about the history of the Labour Party, I had the very confusing organisational structure of the party explained to me. I was encouraged to go off and read the Labour Party rule book. I was informed of how I could get involved in the party, what the rules are if you want to stand for election and how the process works. I was given the opportunity to ask questions about the party. A very nice man explained to us what all the acronyms (NEC, PLP etc) meant and how they worked. My local MP talked about what an MP does. Plus I met some thoroughly nice people from all walks of life and we all had a drink and got to know each other.
Can someone please explain to me how this sort of thing is ‘destroying’ the Labour Party? And why this organisation should be expelled from the Labour Party?
Can someone please tell me why every anti-Corbyn Labour MP and all those Ex-Labour leaders and ex-Ministers are going to the press to call me names and question my motives? Why, with every nasty interview, they are so intent on smearing a party they say they are trying to save?
I just don’t understand…
What are we doing to each other?
What are we teaching our children?
I watch the news and I hear report after report of people being attacked and some even killed, some of the attackers in their teens and I ask again
What are we teaching our children?
Are we teaching them compassion?
Are we teaching them to look for the good in people?
Are we teaching them to treat others as they would wish to be treated?
Are we teaching them that violence is never the answer?
Children learn by example.
They are not born with hate and prejudice.
They learn hate and prejudice.
They can unlearn hate and prejudice.
What are we teaching our children?
What are you teaching your children?
A long time ago, when I was coming to the end of the sixth form, I decided I wanted to do a Teaching Degree. I went to seek expert advice, which I received from the Careers Teacher, whose expert advice was, and I quote:
“You? A teacher? (2 minutes of hysterical laughter) You’d be a rubbish teacher (more laughter) Nah, stick to languages…”
Because he was the ‘expert’, I bowed down to his superior knowledge and dutifully went off and studied languages. It wasn’t until after graduation, that I decided to do a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE).
On this course, there was another expert – my tutor
The second expert taught me everything I know about teaching. He motivated me, challenged me and encouraged my, let’s say, ‘inquiring mind’!
He saw me teaching in front of a class and formed his opinion.
I was told that I was ‘a natural’
Two experts, two different opinions.
Had I listened to the first expert, I would never have experienced the second expert and I certainly wouldn’t have experienced all the fabulous things that I did while teaching.
As for my abilities, well, I talk about my teaching time here: Job Done
Make your own mind up.
Why am I taking this nostalgic wander back in time?
Well, because that was the last time, I, without question, took the advice of an ‘expert’.
After that, I realised that expert opinion, like all opinion, was filtered through that expert’s past experiences and personal agendas.
The first expert, the careers teacher, saw me as a troublesome pupil, who wouldn’t accept his answers and was prepared to argue my corner. He saw my teenage behaviour and formed his opinion. Maybe, at the time, he was right, from his perspective, such a pupil would probably not make a great teacher. He didn’t see the coaching I did in my spare time, he didn’t see the serious side.
He just saw the annoying gobshite who wouldn’t let him get on with his lesson.
Unfortunately, he didn’t have a crystal ball.
He couldn’t see into the future.
He had no way of knowing how four years of a degree course and time spent living abroad would change me as a person.
He took none of this into account, he simply made his pronouncement and I, to my shame, simply accepted his opinion.
So when I hear ‘the experts’ say that Corbyn is unelectable, I listen to their opinion, but I take everything they say with a hefty pinch of salt.
When did we stop questioning ‘the experts’? When did we start blindly accepting, without question, what ‘the experts’ tell us?
Are they on TV/writing in our newspapers, because they are ‘experts’?
or are they ‘experts’, because they’re on TV and writing in a newspaper?
I hear them tell me that Corbyn cannot win an election and I immediately ask myself,
I’m still waiting to hear a concrete reason, a logical, rational reason what makes him so bloody unelectable.
And to be honest, I’m getting slightly annoyed that some people don’t seem to have got around to wondering why?
They seem content to accept the idea, with no justification.
I wonder if we have lost the inquiring/curious minds that we all had as children.
Has society sedated the curiosity out of us?
Has society ‘educated’ the curiosity out of us?
(Don’t get me started on the education system! It’ll be an hour before you get another word in!)
I’ve always thought of the people of Britain as slightly belligerent.
We were told in History lessons of Londoners finding humour and friendship in life,
while sitting in the underground,
meanwhile outside, bombs rained down on their houses.
But now? A nation of sponges?
We listen the naysayers, fear-mongerers and doom-predictors.
Once upon a time, we would have said,
Bugger off, I’ll make my own mind up,
Nowadays, people simply accept and absorb these opinions.
I have noticed a phenomenon, which I call the “Anti-Corbyn Silence”.
This is the 30 seconds or so of silence, which follows the question
“And exactly why is Corbyn unelectable?”
In this time, it finally dawns that they don’t actually know…
This silence is usually followed by an angry, “Well, he’s not a leader!”
If you follow this with, Why is he not a leader? You can go round and round in circles
Because he’s unelectable
Because he’s not a leader
I’ve seen many versions of this argument in Feeds/Forums across Facebook.
My point is this:
No-one has a crystal ball. No-one can predict the future.
Just because some people THINK you will fail, that doesn’t mean you WILL fail.
You only fail if you don’t try.
So, dear ‘Experts’,
I have carefully considered your ‘expert’ opinion, but I’m going to do everything I can to bring about the change I would like to see in Society. I’m willing to work hard for the new vision. I’m going to help shift that Paradigm 🙂
I’ll join a phonebank,
I’ll knock on doors,
I’ll make speeches, bake cakes, attend meetings, start discussions and talk to random strangers.
But, no matter how pointless a task you think this is,
I won’t give up.
If you turn out to be right, well,
at least I went with my principles and I’ll know I did everything I could.
I’ll be happy with that.
Everyone is talking about Jeremy Corbyn, like the lead singer of the band, he gets all the press. And, like a clever Lead Singer, he has surrounded himself with talent.
In my own attempt to redress the balance, I would like to talk about the talented lead Guitarist, John McDonnell.
Normally, I’m not a fan of middle-aged white men seeking power, but I’m prepared to make an exception in this case. Mainly, because I actually believe him when he says he’s committed to increasing the representation of women and minorities within the Labour Party.
Look at the brilliantly talented MPs Rebecca Long-Bailey (@RLong_Bailey) and Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) among others recently promoted to the Shadow Cabinet. One of the few things we can thank the plotters for 🙂
I am prepared to declare a teeny tiny crush.
He’s like the bad boy to Corbyn’s goody two shoes.
I love the fact, that he gets warnings not to make jokes and not to swear. Like the naughty kid, you try not to like, you can almost imagine him, head down, being told off and apologising with a glint in his eye, knowing full well he’ll blooming well say what he wants 🙂
If you’ve never heard him speak, do watch the video below (it’s a bit wobbly at times, the poor guy recording said his arms got tired holding up his phone, so do bear with it. The audio is perfect).
Honestly, if after listening to him, you’re not sat there with a little smile, then you’re clearly a joyless individual who seriously needs to get out and have a laugh.
Featured image found here: http://tinyurl.com/glelh4e