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Voices of Labour: members have their say

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This article examines the reasons why some of our members joined or some cases re-joined the Labour Party, it’s the authentic voice of grassroots Labour members.

 

Phillip writes …

Why I re-joined the labour party, well having listening to the telly I was sent a blog posting of this back bencher who was friends with Lord Tony Benn and what he had to say want he felt was he say things going in the labour party with some of my research and checking of his voting over the years. Got to listen to him more and remember why I joined the labour party in the first place in 1974 Feb elections, I was 13 years old and joined the young socialist section and by 15 I was on the C.L.P. and the rest is history in 1985 I fell out with the labour part as trained nurse we were promised a 19% rise in line with a report on wages but we got 3.5% over three years not back dated and over a further 3 years, and I had enough, so I left the services and with the birth of S.D.P. after Shirley Williams failed to become our leader I felt that the labour party was moving towards the right, so I decide about this time it was my time to leave that as well Over the years I thought and re thought about joining again but left it, but I saw the fright of the Tories was shifting to the right, and the labour was moving to it old left, and so I decided to get a labour government back in as everyone as a breaking point, and this was mine. Since then it as got worse and only will get worse over time, and the people need our support as they did in the eighties with Thatcher government and we needed to fight back in the same way When I started back I was not willing to take anything on but we are in such a desperate state that I have stepped up and taken on the vice chair of Morecambe branch and threw my hat into the ring to stand as the treasurer of Morecambe and Lonsdale Labour party and if successful it is intention that everybody does their part including all town, city, and county counsellors will have to accept that if elected they have to come to our meetings and hold surgeries on a monthly basis just like so have done and continue to do so. We have to take back our area from the Tories, and this can be done if we all play our parts and show our voters that we are not just after votes we wish to change the world one brick at a time .and seeing us around hearing use on radio and getting out there in force we will not only say the word but mean them and walk the walk to prove it to them if we want to get the seat back 1000 votes in nothing but it is everything and getting numbers out will help

Since then it as got worse and only will get worse over time, and the people need our support as they did in the eighties with Thatcher government and we needed to fight back in the same way When I started back I was not willing to take anything on but we are in such a desperate state that I have stepped up and taken on the vice chair of Morecambe branch and threw my hat into the ring to stand as the treasurer of Morecambe and Lonsdale Labour party and if successful it is intention that everybody does their part including all town, city, and county counsellors will have to accept that if elected they have to come to our meetings and hold surgeries on a monthly basis just like so have done and continue to do so. We have to take back our area from the Tories, and this can be done if we all play our parts and show our voters that we are not just after votes we wish to change the world one brick at a time .and seeing us around hearing use on radio and getting out there in force we will not only say the word but mean them and walk the walk to prove it to them if we want to get the seat back 1000 votes in nothing but it is everything and getting numbers out will help

 

Since then it as got worse and only will get worse over time, and the people need our support as they did in the eighties with Thatcher government and we needed to fight back in the same way When I started back I was not willing to take anything on but we are in such a desperate state that I have stepped up and taken on the vice chair of Morecambe branch and threw my hat into the ring to stand as the treasurer of Morecambe and Lonsdale Labour party and if successful it is intention that everybody does their part including all town, city, and county counsellors will have to accept that if elected they have to come to our meetings and hold surgeries on a monthly basis just like so have done and continue to do so. We have to take back our area from the Tories, and this can be done if we all play our parts and show our voters that we are not just after votes we wish to change the world one brick at a time .and seeing us around hearing use on radio and getting out there in force we will not only say the word but mean them and walk the walk to prove it to them if we want to get the seat back 1000 votes in nothing but it is everything and getting numbers out will help

Since then it as got worse and only will get worse over time, and the people need our support as they did in the eighties with Thatcher government and we needed to fight back in the same way When I started back I was not willing to take anything on but we are in such a desperate state that I have stepped up and taken on the vice chair of Morecambe branch and threw my hat into the ring to stand as the treasurer of Morecambe and Lonsdale Labour party and if successful it is intention that everybody does their part including all town, city, and county counsellors will have to accept that if elected they have to come to our meetings and hold surgeries on a monthly basis just like so have done and continue to do so.

We have to take back our area from the Tories, and this can be done if we all play our parts and show our voters that we are not just after votes we wish to change the world one brick at a time .and seeing us around hearing use on radio and getting out there in force we will not only say the word but mean them and walk the walk to prove it to them if we want to get the seat back 1000 votes in nothing but it is everything and getting numbers out will help

Tom writes …

I had been an armchair socialist for years, having voted Green a couple of times and Lib Dem back when they were on that side of the fence. Feeling betrayed by the Coalition, I became very disillusioned that there was no real difference between New Labour, Tories and Lib Dem. There was no major party to represent me, and so I was resigned to a life of holding my nose and voting tactically.  Then from back bench obscurity Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership, sparking a bitter split in the party between Blairites and traditional socialists, that had evidently been brewing for a long time. The feud escalated and Jeremy Corbyn hung on, quite narrowly at times and when a vote of no confidence led to a second leadership contest I joined the party to give my support.

I didn't want to miss the chance to be represented by a major party with a socialist agenda and a reasonable shot at government. Corbyn won an increased majority, the New Labour contingent quieted down and I felt like I'd done my bit.  Fast forward to 2017, the snap general election is two weeks away and the opinion polls say the Tories have it in the bag. Despite a steady rise, Labour had started out from a hopeless position and Theresa May knew it when she called the election. But I had been watching those poll numbers and thinking "Labour is full of expert campaigners and professional politicians, they are doing all they can," when I realised that those campaigners are only ordinary humans like me. And they might appreciate some help! So I called up my local branch and volunteered for some doorstep campaigning and election day telling.  It was not nearly as daunting as it first seemed and the people I met have been so kind and supportive, we quickly made friends. And watching the exit polls together at 10pm on the 8th was quite the bonding experience, when we had all given our time and effort to help achieve it.

Not a win, but a result that puts socialism back on the map as a viable ideology and Labour in a very strong position for the next election.  I don't agree with Jeremy Corbyn on every policy; I believe we are better off in the EU than out and I strongly support investment in nuclear energy, for example. But for opening the door to socialism again he gets my vote (without needing a peg on my nose), and as an active party member my own voice helps shape the policies of the next government.

Andrea writes …

This is hard for me to say but I am going to say it anyway in 1987 I voted for Thatcher, after all, i am a Thatcherite that bit was easy to say, the hard bit is this, well here goes I am voting.... Labour for the first time in my life. Why I imagine you say, well because after watching Teresa May's performance over the last 9 months it has as been poor, to say the least, all we hear is strong and stable yet what we get is weak and feeble, whether you voted for Brexit or not, to wait that long to trigger article 50 was feeble.  When asked, that is when anyone gets a chance to ask the M.I.A prime minister anything that is, about a breach of election rules by her party she said “Candidates did nothing wrong. It’s very important, and I repeat that – I have said it many times – candidates did nothing wrong.” so the £70,000 fine was for good behaviour, that's just weak. The entire Conservative message seems to be, don't I dress smart look my trousers cost £900 and I did a photo shoot, vote for me not the scruffy one, that's both weak and feeble, I would take scruffy honesty over well-presented nothings, Einstein was scruffy so we better stop using E=MC2 sorry mate you should have combed you hair, instead of pushing forward the frontiers of human knowledge, maybe a nice £10,000 suit, we might take you seriously then. But when you think of the cuts to Education it makes sense that the Torres don't value academic achievements, their idea of education is the Bullingdon club.  As for Housing Thatcher (Thatcherite remember) wanted a country of home owners not homeless, they do nothing while the number of homeless go through the roof, sorry about the pun just warming you up for May's cracker about food banks “people use food banks for much different reason's” LOL, no people use food banks because they are starving, they go without food for days so their kids can eat. Now Policing, May was the first conservative Home Office minister to be booed off stage by the police federation, now that's funny almost as funny as her attitude to the Brexit negotiation's which can be best summed up by “I'll scweam and scweam till I'm sick” way to go Theresa, be a bloody difficult woman if you want, but someone with that attitude negotiating with me would result in me saying bye not worth the trouble. I could go on about the Environment and reports they were trying to hide until after the election or the armed forces with squaddies buying their own equipment, the aircraft carriers which will not have any planes and they voted down the military covenant, Infrastructure spending no thanks who needs roads were going seems to be the Tory attitude. I have heard it said in the media that May is like Thatcher let compare their character shall we and just for fun let’s put Corbyn in this as well.

  1. had/has a vision for the country Thatcher yes, May no, Corbyn Yes
  2. courage of their convictions Thatcher yes, May no, Corbyn Yes
  3. did what they said they would Thatcher yes, May no, Corbyn Yes
  4. the right for all to a home Thatcher yes, May no, Corbyn Yes
  5. change their mind repeatedly to win votes Thatcher no, May yes, Corbyn no
  6. talked to people, not hand-picked followers Thatcher yes, May no, Corbyn yes
  7. believe in what they say Thatcher yes, May no, Corbyn yes

No it can't be true Corbyn is a man of principal and good conscience the same as Thatcher, don't forget I am a Thatcherite, May to use an old term is a WET to trust her with the country would be like trusting a pyromaniac with a box of matches and a jerry can of petroleum.  For these reasons and more I am voting not for Labour but Jeremy Corbyn. Yours Andrea Vettese a Thatcherite and now a sum what surprised Corbynista  I wrote this on the 13th of May it was not enough so on the 8th of June I became a member of the Labour party, I felt I had to do more to support the only logical choice for the country, for the many not the few

James writes …

I joined the Labour Party because I was inspired by Jeremy Corbyn. Whilst I did have a soft spot for the party when Ed Miliband was leader, my passion for a fairer society came to life when Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party. His policies of peace, an economy that works for everyone and a National Education Service really appealed to me. I am just 18 years of age and I’m heading to University in September, and the attitude that the Labour Party and the Conservatives have towards young people is distinctively different.  The Labour Party really appeals to young people like m because of their commitment to abolish tuition fees, reintroduce housing benefit for 18-21 year olds and to introduce a proper living wage for people 18 or over.  As for the Tories, they’ve more than tripled tuition fees in their seven years of government, scrapped housing benefit for 18-21 year olds and their so-called ‘living wage’ is only for people aged 25 or over. Theresa May’s administration offers nothing but more debt for young people. I am proud to be an active member of a party that is anti-austerity, pro investment, pro young people and for the many.  The Labour Party is on the brink of government and I am excited of the prospect of a socialist Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

Matthew writes …

I have been very interested in Politics since I was about 14. I have always had an inquisitive mind and it turned toward Politics after watching the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. On the back of this I decided to go University and study Environmental Science and Politics. I studied these two seemingly disparate subjects because my first love was nature and the sciences but I knew that there Politics was always gong to be the way decisions were made. I can sum up my studies very simply by saying that; in my environmental science class I was taught ‘we are screwed’ and in my Politics class I was taught that ‘there's nothing you can do about it’; because neo-liberalism had won ‘the End of History’. In light of this I came home some what worried about the future and feeling paralysed by the lack of discussion about it. I had gone to University slightly hopeful, Politicians were talking about environmental issues, then the 2008 crisis happened and it was like we had never realised that our civilisation as a basic fact was unsustainable. We know our future is very uncertain and not because of Politics but resources, which will manifest in politics… I was desperately searching for something I could put my energies in that would help steer our country, and hopefully the world, on a brighter trajectory and if I am honest I did not believe that the Labour Party under Ed Miliband stood for that. Obviously they did in a relative sense and we got my vote but I could never get behind ‘austerity light’, not for ideological reasons but because austerity is anti-economic. So for many years I felt like I had no representation in politics. You may (almost fairly) assume that given my degree I would be Green but I fundamentally disagree with them on energy policy in that nuclear is and needs to be part of our energy grid if we are to maintain our society. A thorny topic so I will leave it there but energy is the basis of modern civilisation and thus is fundamental to my view on politics. Here’s a rough idea of where I stood in 2015: We need to green our economy and build sustainable future. There are natural monopolies that do not require free markets for price discovery. The banking sector had caused the financial crisis and our economy is heavily financialised. Austerity is anti-economic and the economy needs stimulus through infrastructure investment (Keynesianism) Democratic businesses have been shown to be more productive than conventional authoritarian structures and the UK has one of the lowest productivity scores in the OECD. We need jobless people in order to have a job market (they are a core function of our economy) and the demonising of the jobless and working poor is abhorrent. Then Jeremy Corbyn came along! I will say now that I do not agree with everything that Jeremy says, but he has moved the public discourse in the direction of where my views are. I am not a Corbynista in the conventional sense, I am more a socialist 2.0 (look up Richard Wolff). People and politicians rise and fall but ideas can persist. I did not join the party until Jeremy was elected as I wanted to see what the party decided for itself and I feel we chose wisely. After coming to meetings it became clear that there was still a socialist heart to the party that I never got to see through the media. I have not looked back (until now) and if I’m honest the most exciting part is ahead of us, we can build a brighter future!

Austerity is anti-economic and the economy needs stimulus through infrastructure investment (Keynesianism) Democratic businesses have been shown to be more productive than conventional authoritarian structures and the UK has one of the lowest productivity scores in the OECD. We need jobless people in order to have a job market (they are a core function of our economy) and the demonising of the jobless and working poor is abhorrent. Then Jeremy Corbyn came along! I will say now that I do not agree with everything that Jeremy says, but he has moved the public discourse in the direction of where my views are. I am not a Corbynista in the conventional sense, I am more a socialist 2.0 (look up Richard Wolff). People and politicians rise and fall but ideas can persist. I did not join the party until Jeremy was elected as I wanted to see what the party decided for itself and I feel we chose wisely. After coming to meetings it became clear that there was still a socialist heart to the party that I never got to see through the media. I have not looked back (until now) and if I’m honest the most exciting part is ahead of us, we can build a brighter future!

 

I was desperately searching for something I could put my energies in that would help steer our country, and hopefully the world, on a brighter trajectory and if I am honest I did not believe that the Labour Party under Ed Miliband stood for that. Obviously they did in a relative sense and we got my vote but I could never get behind ‘austerity light’, not for ideological reasons but because austerity is anti-economic. So for many years I felt like I had no representation in politics. You may (almost fairly) assume that given my degree I would be Green but I fundamentally disagree with them on energy policy in that nuclear is and needs to be part of our energy grid if we are to maintain our society. A thorny topic so I will leave it there but energy is the basis of modern civilisation and thus is fundamental to my view on politics. Here’s a rough idea of where I stood in 2015: We need to green our economy and build sustainable future. There are natural monopolies that do not require free markets for price discovery. The banking sector had caused the financial crisis and our economy is heavily financialised. Austerity is anti-economic and the economy needs stimulus through infrastructure investment (Keynesianism) Democratic businesses have been shown to be more productive than conventional authoritarian structures and the UK has one of the lowest productivity scores in the OECD. We need jobless people in order to have a job market (they are a core function of our economy) and the demonising of the jobless and working poor is abhorrent. Then Jeremy Corbyn came along! I will say now that I do not agree with everything that Jeremy says, but he has moved the public discourse in the direction of where my views are. I am not a Corbynista in the conventional sense, I am more a socialist 2.0 (look up Richard Wolff). People and politicians rise and fall but ideas can persist. I did not join the party until Jeremy was elected as I wanted to see what the party decided for itself and I feel we chose wisely. After coming to meetings it became clear that there was still a socialist heart to the party that I never got to see through the media. I have not looked back (until now) and if I’m honest the most exciting part is ahead of us, we can build a brighter future!

Carl Writes …

During the Blair era, I wasn’t interested in politics despite having a very political nature. I was completely alienated from the political process feeling that none of the political parties represented me. New Labour seemed to be too slick and glossy, I disliked/distrusted Tony Blair from the first time I’d seen him on TV in the pub, too much a product of the metropolitan elite which I felt New Labour represented. A large stroke in 2007 reminded me how precious the NHS & Welfare state is, it gave me a chance to rebuild my life. under the US system my family would have been reduced to penury, it is for this reason I am completely dedicated to the NHS & Welfare state. and take a very dim view of those actively seeking to undermine it. Fast forward to GE 2015 I voted for Labour despite having concerns about Ed Miliband’s Labour, the car crash interview Natalie Bennet had with Andrew Neill put me off voting green. After the result, I’ll be honest I was shocked and very concerned feeling that something needed to be done to prevent the unrestrained neoliberalism of conservatives ruining the country. At grassroots level on Facebook Id found ordinary Labour members very easy to get along with people who generally shared values with me, it was then I decided to join the Labour Party, I’d never heard of Jeremy Corbyn at this point but joined some of the many pro Corbyn groups on Facebook, made loads of friends there and now I’m a dyed in the wool Corbynista.

 

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published this page in News 2017-08-05 13:13:34 +0100

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