After falling foul to the Great Purge of 2016, where my language on social media was deemed not befitting of a Labour Party supporter, I felt a little bummed out. I mean, if you think that I am harsh to people on social media, you should see me with my mates in the pub. I come from Glasgow, a place where you call people you don’t like “sir” and people you love “prick”. Just the way I am. I won’t change that; I can show respect and courtesy and professionalism when I am required to. However, I will also call out bullshit when I see it, and I will on occasion resort to some less than savoury adjectives and nouns when smart people can’t see what’s blatant.
Thankfully, it transpired that my vote was not required. Corbyn was re-elected, and the Labour Party can keep my £25, and I trust they will put the money to good use, in fighting forthcoming council elections, and parliamentary by-elections that may come our way. And, with the swell in numbers and cash, use the money to start planning the most important election I can remember in the 35 years I have spent here in this earth thus far.
I spent four weeks wallowing in much self pity, feeling as if I were banging my head on a brick wall. Making no progress, becoming despondent. What can one person do? How can I change or influence the world? I am just a 35 year old geek who works with computers, plays computer games and enjoys the odd game of football. I’m normal, as normal as anyone my age. Then I started listening to the podcasts of Max Igan.
I’m going off tangent for a bit here because its important, to me. I followed the public breaking of Max and Ken O’Keefe’s friendship, and even blogged on it. I won’t apologise for what I said there, because it was what I had felt, with the information I had to hand, and what my gut told me. Since I wrote that, I have listened to a good few of Max Igan’s subsequent podcasts, and I’ve changed my mind on him. Of course, I may be wrong but I fervently believe Max just wants to do what’s best for people and will continue to do so, without much fear for himself. But there was one thing that Max talked about which resonated with me more than anything else; what can one person do. Max answered that beautifully for me, in this podcast here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNVDviYiC8U. As he was having the same issues, he talked about how he sometimes dreams of giving up his quest, and retiring to the rain forests of Peru and living out his days away from the stress of modern western lifestyle.
It was the question I had been asking myself for weeks. What impact have I had? What impact can I have? Why am I bothering, when most of my friends would sooner like a post I make with a cat meme than a post that depicts the horrific plight of the Native Americans defending their land from the North Dakota pipeline construction team’s bulldozers? Do people want to the truth? Can they handle the truth of the world they live in? Can I help to try and save humanity? Does humanity deserve to be saved? And I came to the conclusion that the size of the impact I have does not matter. If I can help one person in their own lives, if I can show the way for just one person, then they may take the mantle and do the same.
Once you become aware of something ill, or something wrong, and you do nothing about it, you become complicit in the wrongdoing. So I fight, to read, to learn, to write and talk and hope that I can just stay true to my beliefs, and hope that maybe, I can provide information I discover that helps someone else on their path. My friend Deb sent me a fantastic link, a short but powerful analogy that can help those in the same position as me: the starfish philosophy (https://eventsforchange.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/the-starfish-story-one-step-towards-changing-the-world/).
So, back to the main story. Jeremy Corbyn, the “hard left” Labour leader (who is in reality a moderately left wing person) has won his second leadership campaign within the past 12 months, not only remaining in position but increasing his mandate in what is now the biggest socialist party in Europe. We now live in a society where we are told by the media that someone who opposes austerity, someone who supports national ownership of key services, someone who promotes a fair and just social housing system and a living wage is “hard left”. It’s not, its just media bullshit for someone who has a real chance of leading a government that can provide real, progressive change.
Mostly, I believe, the issue lies with whose interests are represented. When anyone is elected using private, corporate sponsors, then the interests of said sponsors come first. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. With Corbyn, his sponsors are the people. He enjoys the same freedom from lobbyists that Bernie Sanders did in the US. It’s why the full weight of power from the establishment, from the corporations and their propagandist media outlets stand against them. If Corbyn wins a General Election, his responsibility and loyalty belong with those who got them there; us. Whilst this remains a possible outcome, those who are put into position by private finance will work to bring them down. It’s not some conspiratorial nonsense, its basic common sense.
When Jeremy was first elected, with a huge mandate, the machine got into full swing to demonise him, to ridicule him, to conspire against him and ultimately find an excuse to challenge him. They threw a lot of effort into this, but in spite of it all, Jeremy not only won again, but he came out of it stronger. The thing is, the normal mechanisms for influencing the masses are failing miserably. The manipulation of minds that the media was so adept at is no longer working. In the US, a recent poll of people suggested less than 1 in 5 people trust the media any more. The harder the media works to push an agenda, the more people get skeptical of the real reasons.
Now have deja vu. There has been a recess of anti-Corbyn posts on Facebook, and stories in the media recently. Since the result of the leadership ballot, its ramped up again. Now the biggest issue they’ve found today (and yeah, the Telegraph made a full story on it) was that Corbyn happens to sniff. Seriously? He makes jam too. I want an honest leader, I want an uncompromised leader, I want someone whose mandate is the electorate.
In Corbyn’s speech after the result, in true to his values he extended the olive branch to those who had opposed his leadership, and called for unity and amnesty, in that we can concentrate our energies on doing what needs done against a government which is decimating the working class and even the middle classes in society. We live in the era of food banks, of privatisation, of increasing public debt and failing public services. We don’t have to be like this! I mean, personally I am better off under Cameron/May and a Tory government than I was under Labour and than I would be under a Corbyn-led government. And I’d love to be worse off under Jeremy Corbyn! Because its not about me, its not about you either. It’s about us, as a society, working towards creating a better place for everyone. Where we aren’t wage slaves, tied to crippling debts and working our arse off until we get to retire, our bodies and minds broken from the 50 years getting there. Where we protect the dignity and the rights and the lives of those who aren’t as fortunate as me.
To those who are still campaigning against the “hard left” Corbyn, I plead with you to please, stop the bickering. If you are a true Socialist, if you have in your heart the passion and desire for social equality, if you really want to make a change to this society, work with the party we have. Together we can build a strong movement, inform people of the true nature of Jeremy Corbyn and his policies, and build a better future for everyone. If you aren’t a true Socialist, it would be with regret but perhaps you should find a political party that represents your values and beliefs. Labour is a Socialist Party, and rather than moderate left wing believers being branded as hard left entryists in the wrong party, I say to those who aren’t interested in social progress that its YOU supporting the wrong party, not us.