Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The True Democrats

In August 2015 I watched a rank outsider, a pacifist, socialist, a vegetarian, jam-maker romp home against a skilled and polished set of opponents to become leader of what is now, thanks to him, the largest Social Democratic Party in Europe.


I am referring to Jeremy Corbyn, and as those who read my blog will know, I joined the party during his acceptance speech, having voted as a Fabian.


Jezza, as I hardly ever call him, has had a rough ride since August 2015. Establishment figures of every hue have mounted a pretty relentless campaign of vilification against him: HIM, personally, not his policies: I remember a few of the squalls of outrage: he doesn't bow, he doesn't wear a tie. He rides on trains, he rides a bicycle, he is weak, he is a bully, he has no charisma, he is a cult figure ... And on and on and on.


What I first noticed about him was, that he always answer the questions put to him. I was, frankly, amazed! Politicians have 'Media Gurus' that train them in avoiding doing so, by any means possible. If appreciating that he treats me with that kind of respect makes me a dupe of a Cult Figure, so be it.


Moving on. Having joined the Labour Party I am now faced with a choice. Will paying the fees and turning up for the vote suffice, or should I get involved. I got involved. I started going to meetings. There are six of us who meet regularly, eight sometimes, though hundreds have joined the Party in our region recently, few others come to meetings.


I am now the Chair of our Branch, because I caved when it looked like no-one would stand, and here I am leading meetings giving away jobs, smiling a lot.


I like talking about myself, I expect most bloggers do, but this isn't about me. I breezed in, and as I once made abundantly clear if the bastards finally get their own back, and Jeremy Corbyn is ousted, I'm off! I do a great flounce. I know how to cancel a standing order!


Cherry looks at me and says, quietly ( she is a quiet person) " You can't. There's too much inequality"


I looked at Cherry, and Chris and Roger, the old-timers, so recently enthused by the arrival of a true left- winger as Party Leader. They know the score, they sit it out year after year, doing the donkey work, knocking on doors, distributing leaflets: a thankless task in a Tory town.


These are the true democrats. They do what they do because they want people to know things can be different. They give people a choice.


And Corbyn? Well, if the attack-dogs hound him out of office, he'll carry on doing what he's always done: Steadfastly standing up for the vulnerable, defending public services, calling out the profiteers and the war-mongers. And me? How could I possibly let Cherry down.


  1. Thank you for this. I try to follow politics in the UK by reading the BBC every day, but it's so much better to get it from people on the ground.

  2. The BBC is not as impartial as it once was. All it's political pundits are Conservatives, so Corbyn doesn't always get a fair hearing. It's not too terrible though, just be a bit sceptical.

    I follow American politics via NPR, usually out of Seattle. I am a great fan of Diane Rehm. Her podcast is a must for me!