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Written on April 8, 2005, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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When I was young, I thought I would remove the things about myself I didn’t like. I could see that I had various habits, peculiarities of behaviour, loops, repeated patterns, and had this idealised version of me that I held the contemporary version up to for comparison. What a waste of time. It just doesn’t work that way. Self-denigration was masquerading as self-improvement, and eventually I noticed. I became funky as a result.

I still have this stupid habit of giving myself unachievably high targets. It’s one thing to be ambitious, but quite another to attempt the impossible. But I think I have really done it, this time. I set myself the task of meeting and interviewing all the prospective MPs for the constituency of Islington South and Finsbury, over the next 4 weeks leading up to our national elections. I think this one is going to be slightly more difficult than setting up a bass player with a date, if you know what I mean.

Then there is the stupid habit of my political loyalty. I’ve voted Labour, with one (local government) exception all my life.

My maternal grandfather Fred was a zealous socialist in the 1920s, a much-loved and respected Labour councillor and alderman.

In precise social and historical terms, my mother, who had studied the English Civil War for her teaching qualification, carefully educated me in the value of the Labour movement, with the added benfit of her personal experience. As a child, she would recall, all the family walked the streets on election day, ringing bells and shouting, to get the vote out. Yet her descriptions of the dark and spiteful world of of Politics convinced me that it was a place I wouldn’t want to inhabit. Fred should have been Mayor, she said, but they stitched him up in revenge. He’d embarassed some people, exposed a health hazard, saved lives, won the affection of the people, but made enemies. Years they waited, to pass him over for Mayor when his turn came. My mother never forgave them this slight.

As a consequence, I share the family passion for politics, but seeing the spirit of Fred in me, my mother successfuly weeded out all desire in me to be a politician. Its one of the few bits of blatant conditioning I thank her for.

1997, Labour swept into power after 18 years of Conservative recession, injustice, social unrest, betrayal and public deceit, and I gave thanks and praise along with the nation. Thank God, I thought then, at last a chance to fix things, to put things right. Everything and this is no exaggeration, was falling apart, and Labour have done a lot, even if they (like everyone) promise to do more than they can and put a brave face on their failures. But Blair did one BIG STUPID thing. Went to war, and lied blatantly about the reason for doing it.

Here we are in 2005, 8 years on, and I am questioning my stupid Labour loyalty. Also, having yesterday called the agent of the local Labour candidate Emily Thornberry, I am still waiting for her to call me back.

I am regretting my choice of subject already.

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This thing has 3 Comments

  1. transience
    Posted 10 April, 2005 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    you started it, deek. now finish it. with grace.

  2. injinuity
    Posted 10 April, 2005 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    I respect a man of loyalties though I don’t fancy the party your allegiance is with…. but mind you I kind of like Blair as an individual.. he seems human

  3. Diana Crabtree
    Posted 12 April, 2005 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    I still vote Democrat, even though Democrats are nearly the same thing as Republicans (the way Republicans used to be anyway)

    Maybe it’s different in a 2 party system, if you vote for a third party, you are withdrawing your opportunity to cancel out the vote of the worst party. Isn’t that lovely? Vote againt who you hate most. Now that’s a healthy Democracy!

    Your involvement is marvelous.

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