Why I’m supporting Jeremy Corbyn – Part 1

OK – I’ll admit it…I once voted Liberal Democrats.  In my defence, I was young and someone told me that the Lib Dems were going to legalise weed if they got into government (this was my first and foremost political concern at the time).  I quickly realised the error of my ways.

I was brought up in a Tory-tastic, Daily Mail reading environment.  I can remember the 1992 election very clearly, and my Dad using the fridge magnets to spell out ‘JM IS PM’ on the dinner table when my mum got home from work.  I couldn’t understand why they were so happy that the grey puppet from Spitting Image was the Prime Minister.  And, as a kid, I once saw Edwina Currie in Belper Safeway carpark getting the trolley lad to load her shopping into her car, which made me think that all Tory MPs were dicks.

Secondary school history lessons were my first introduction to a slightly wider world of politics.  Despite hating my history teacher at school (it was definitely a mutual thing), I always enjoyed learning the subject.  And despite that teacher telling me that I would most likely end up as a drug addicted prostitute (a man who really knew how to inspire his pupils), I managed to scrape together a B grade at GCSE and retain a love for looking into past events and seeing how society had evolved.  I remember so clearly learning about poor houses, debtor’s prisons and huge social divides, and all the while believing completely that these issues were in the past.  My youth and blinkered life gave me a strong faith in humanity and the belief that All the World’s Issues were now sorted because everyone had learnt lessons from The Past.  And of course, only fools would repeat the same mistakes that lead to poor houses, debtor’s prisons and widening social divides, right?

Up until the 2010 election Labour had been in power all my adult life.  And up until my Lib Dem wobble, I have always voted Labour – maybe initially to rebel against my Tory upbringing, or maybe because Tony Blair had a good PR team (‘he parties with Noel Gallagher! He must be cool’).  But during these years I never really felt a connection with any politician – they all seemed a world away from my own reality and, for me politics always seemed like a strange archaic performance.  Surely these posh shouty people aren’t the ones in charge of the country?!  The way I saw it as a young teenager, the way that politicians behaved would have resulted in a month of detention.  My view on this has remained.  I find PMQs and parliamentary debates utterly cringeworthy to watch.  In what other profession is jeering at and openly mocking your peers an acceptable practice?

I hate the fact that it feels so clearly that history is on a repeating loop.  Many of us feel it and can see the social injustices going on right in front of us.  I’m cautious of sounding like a stereotype, but for the last few weeks I have often wondered if we are heading towards some kind of revolution.  As ever more underhand moves are played out, the numbers of the disillusioned hopefuls grow and we are desperately looking to someone who we can believe in.

This post initially set out to explain why I am supporting Jeremy Corbyn, but instead I have explained some of my life experiences and feelings which have lead me to believe in the things I believe in.  I’ll do a Part 2 on this subject, but right now I urge people to register to vote in the Labour leadership election (see link below – you have until 5pm today!).  The £25 issue is beyond shocking and I know this will put a lot of people off, but if you do believe in Jeremy Corbyn then please show your support.  We all need to show our commitment to helping to create a fairer society – all the old ways (Tory, ‘New Labour’, Lib-Con Coalition etc) haven’t worked so please help by being a part of a new approach to the issues which affect us all.       

https://donate.labour.org.uk/leadership/1?utm_source=sourceA&utm_medium=mediumA&utm_content=contentG&utm_campaign=campaignA

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“You feel that? The way the shit just sticks to the air? There’s a shit-blizzard comin, I always know”.

This blog has nothing to do with the shop directly, but I need to spew out some thoughts and feelings about the utter shitstorm we have found ourselves in and then maybe I might feel a tiny bit better about things.

 

I am not a support worker, I am not a counsellor, I am not a doctor or a teacher.  I own a shop.  So why, in the last 3 days on 2 separate occasions, have I had two young women with mild learning difficulties crying on my shoulder?

I will tell you exactly why these women were crying – because on Friday we all awoke to a climate which has given a green light to racists, making them think that they are now free to say whatever they want to anyone.  These women were crying because someone had said ‘Go home Paki’ to them.  For one of the girls it was the first time in her life that she had ever experienced this.  She told me that she is now scared to leave her house.

Of course I know that not everyone who voted Leave is a racist, but this won’t matter to the far right, who now think they have over 17 million kindred spirits.  They are now feeling empowered.  And somehow we have reached a point whereby when someone brings up the subject of racism/xenophobia within the Leave campaign, they are shot down with gurning cries of ‘Sore loser! Lefty Liberals! Get over it and move on!’ (more on this matter further down).  Again, if anyone tries to point out that all the major university cities (London, Oxford, Edinburgh, Manchester etc) had a Remain majority, and that people with degree level education voted mainly Remain, they are accused of classism and snobbery – after all, ‘people are sick of experts’ aren’t they Gove? 

It is hard to be heard in a sea of crappy, hastily cobbled together memes.  It is frustrating when you know that the majority of the 17 million have had their views moulded, and thus ultimately legitimised by the newspaper that they have read all their life.  The majority of these people are under the spell of a man who offers them lies and tells them what to think.  This man has the power to tell his people to vote Blair…so they vote Blair.  And when he decides that Cameron is his new bitch, he tells his subjects to vote Cameron…and they do.  I can’t even write his name because I despise him so much but we all know who I mean.  But people chose to read and act upon his inflammatory headlines and ignore those pesky scaremongering experts.  As patronising as I know it sounds, I truly feel for these people as we all know that they will be the ones who will feel the reverberations from this the strongest.  And it won’t be pretty.  ‘Turkeys voting for Christmas’, ‘Lambs to the slaughter’ – however you want to put it, these people, on the whole, have been blinded and tricked by a whole world of lies.

So now what?  There are so many aspects of this sorry mess which have, over the last 3 days, fuelled our shock, our grief, and now our anger.  The lightening-quick rise of open right wing attitudes is just one factor of many.  And what do we do next?  Continue to repost the aforementioned memes on social media and cry when we watch the news? This is why I feel so angry when people (both Remain and Leave supporters) tell people to just move on and get on with things as normal.  Although I do understand why they say this, how on earth is it possible?  How can any of us just carry on in the same way that we were doing this time last week?

I really could go on and on.  My mind is clouded with this.  There are just too many factors that scare the fuck out of me, and many more besides that I don’t even fully understand.  All I do know is that I am not the sort of person who will just lie down and accept things when my gut tells me that it is wrong.  And things feel very wrong right now.  To paraphrase the great Mr Leahy: “Great Britain, you just opened up Pandora’s shit-box”.