Hear my voice

So we have today a lovely piece in the guardian today from Tom Watson.

Let’s just take a few moments here to digest the headline.  The article here.

Tom Watson guardian article
I thoughts about how to respond and I though how unfair it is that he gets to express himself in this national newspaper which I think to be honest is also having an existential crisis if that is possible for a newspaper.

And I thought about the response to and the events happened because of a recent blog I posted.

What’s the deal with this guy
My words inspired someone to write a comment which inspired many.  This then lead to the responder amongst other things giving a speech and my being asked to write for a website.

What would happen if that voice had larger audience?

Also today I read another post by someone like me.  Trying to calmly explain that we are not idiot or fools, we are not the ones hell bent of the distraction of a political movement that we love nor are we all coerced into blindly following one man like a brainwashed cult.

So I shared it on here as it made me think two voices are better than one.

But we have 500,000 voices.  Not all of them will sing with us but the majority would.

So here I will post Sarah’s response again to my blog and I am asking you to do something .  It is one small thing but we can make it massive.

Take a few seconds to like and then reply.  It can be a long or short reply .  I want to hear how you feel , why you support Jeremy, why you became interested in politics even why you joined.  No insults or derision , no personal attacks or hate.  Just why you want Jeremy as leader.

Let’s have a central collection of voices . Share blog posts and links so that all of this information can be put together so all our single voices become one and this can then be shared even more to show people who we truly are.

We have been demeaned and vilified for too long – we need to respond with a united voice.

Please share and post and reblog and Twitter and print and do whatever it takes for this to get off the ground and start running .

Thank you #wearehismedia

Sarah says:

July 31, 2016 at 4:09 pm

Hi there! Erm… I’m the woman in the photo! Someone recognised me and sent me your article (very surreal experience). I just thought I’d write a bit to expand on what you’ve said, to give a bit more insight to why I was so lit up.
Growing up, I used to ask questions about what I saw when my dad watched the news. My dad would say “shush I’m watching the news” and my mum would say “I don’t know, I don’t bother with that stuff anymore.” Any mention of something political and she would shut off with a look of faint disgust. As a kid I didn’t really put two and two together, but it made sense later on. That my mum had difficulties with mental health, that she had been prevented from being able to be employed by that and was placed under the additional crushing weight of poverty, trying to get together enough food to keep me and my brother well. That she had no access to any support and at the same time was labelled one of those council estate scroungers… what would that do to your faith in politics? What was the point? They would come along with their promises, rarely aimed at you in any case as you’re below the level they’re pitching at, and would break any designed to shatter poverty/inequality and improve mental health anyway. That’s the thing, even Labour had stopped aiming at families like ours. The rhetoric across all parties became increasingly aimed at those lucky enough to dream of buying a house, not those who struggled to buy bread.
Jump forward to me being a teenager, brought up to treat others nicely, as you never, ever know how bad a day someone is having, so you should try to behave like they might be sad. Because there’s no way of knowing. To have a deep knowledge of how bad things can happen that nobody expects or would will on their worst enemies and that those things can make life hard enough that basic functioning can be a major struggle. Knowing my mum was bitter about politics but that she was proud of having a daughter who cared about stuff, even if she wasn’t sure it would ever end up helping anything. I ended up with my own mental health difficulties, also Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Was knocked flat out of education. Got a middle class boyfriend. Had to explain to him that he couldn’t just say I could help myself to anything in the fridge, that the idea terrified me (anyone who has been in a similar situation might understand that). Hearing his parents talking about politics and feeling hurt for not growing up in a house where politics was something to be discussed, not given up on, and feeling so very, painfully stupid. Relearned that I was different and didn’t truly have a space at the table.
Early twenties, and I’ve have been cajoled into trying university, discover I like it. Study sociology, as it seems to look closest at the things I find fascinating but don’t understand. Hierarchies. Intersections of oppression. Why I have always felt in some vital, essential way different and lower than my middle class counterparts, to those without illness. I learn about inequalities. I learn about micro-aggressions. I learn about it not being all my fault no matter how much my subconscious screams that I’m stupid in spite of my grades. Not that it made much difference, I felt no connection with Labour as much as I wanted to, as it wasn’t fighting for those who desperately needed fighting for, and I felt there was nowhere realistically to turn.
I manage to get a scholarship for a post-grad I could never have afforded otherwise, eventually decide academia is not for me for various reasons, then what happens? The world starts to feel like it’s turning on its head as it looks like someone that’s actually loudly talking about poverty, about mental health, about the benefits of immigration might get into a position of power. Can you imagine? I watch a video and here’s someone talking about how they always, even in times of great stress make sure they *make* time to do nice and relaxing things – promoting self-care for mental health. I see someone suggesting that they aren’t sure about a plan for single gender train carriages and that they need to look at more evidence and *speak to women* to find out if it would really be appreciated. I see someone saying they refuse to be involved in slanging matches, that vociferously campaigned against apartheid, that supported numerous campaigns in spite of them not necessarily being the best for his career. Helping those at the very very bottom is never good for your career. They don’t seem to have the power to immediately make it worth your while. They’re often disenfranchised and bitter about politics and don’t see the point in bothering.
I called my mum to ask her if she’d think about joining as an affiliate (if I sent her a bit of money to cover it) to vote for Corbyn as I felt he could actually do something. She laughed angrily and said “I don’t think so.” She had only recently written to Cameron to explain that the bedroom tax meant she couldn’t afford a winter coat. That there wasn’t a smaller council house for her to move to with her son. He explained in his cookie cutter letter that we all have to make sacrifices and tighten our belts. Can you imagine? Can you? Still, she realised how important it was to me and asked me to explain what I thought was so different.
My mum watches the news now. She watched newsnight even. She calls me to ask me to explain political stuff. She is engaged. She calls Corbyn “our Jeremy, bless ‘im.” But it’s not about just one person, it’s about someone trying to turn the oil tanker that is the Labour Party, trying to get it back on the course we need it to be, when we don’t have any access to the steering wheel. I feel like there might be space for me in the Labour Party now, and my mum. There might be more people who care as deeply and will let us in, not just tell us we’re naive, not tell us we’re stupid, not tell us we’re fanatics, not crow over bits of news reveling in difficulties the campaign has, not rubbing salt in that open wound. There might be a way to feel empowered. To allow my mum to feel empowered. I won’t have been the only one with a story like that either – I can’t tell you how it feels, but “unrestrained joy” comes pretty close.
That’s what was running through my head as I stood there smiling.
Liked by 21 people


11 comments on “Hear my voice

  1. Tessa Ogden says:

    I am 55. I was a Labour supporter, although never a party member, from the age of 18, and always voted Labour in General Elections and local elections. My active involvement was pretty much limited to raising funds for the striking miners (through the NUS), although I played a more direct role in the anti-Poll Tax campaign and volunteered my help during some local elections.

    When Tony Blair and his shadow cabinet involved my country in an illegal and unnecessary war in Iraq, I stopped voting Labour in GEs and voted Lib Dem instead, although I still voted Labour at local elections. When the Lib Dems went into coalition with Cameron, I stopped voting completely.

    I finally stopped believing that politicians had any interest in the people they claimed to represent; it was so obvious to me that the majority of MPs in Westminster had utterly abandoned us. With the exception of a few honorable Labour backbenchers, none of them seemed capable of telling the truth (or even recognising it if it had fallen on them in a box marked “TRUTH”, frankly!)

    Then everything changed for me almost overnight. My party of choice finally elected a leader I could trust in Jeremy Corbyn…one who had a track record of standing up for what he believed in and telling the truth. Somebody I could trust…finally, somebody who was aware that Labour politics is supposed to be about helping the people of this country and improving the lives of those in greatest need. About building bridges with other countries based on ethical values, not shady deals behind closed doors. Openness, fairness, respect, and compassion.

    I don’t agree with every single position he had ever taken. I don’t expect I will in the future. But to finally have a leader that I absolutely TRUST to do his best to fight for the policies he presents is like a breath of fresh air. I guess I’m tired of being lied to.

    So I have signed up and paid my £25 to vote for Mr Corbyn. If he wins this latest leadership battle I will join the Labour Party as a full member. And I will get back out there campaigning gladly!

    No arms were twisted in the making of this Corbynite.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. majpurple says:

    I’m 61. No-one twisted my arm to join the Labour party. I’ve been a labour voter all my life but have joined the party because Jeremy Corbyn speaks to me – his views, his vision for equality in our society, his calm approach which seems devoid of spin. Whether or not he continues to be leader after the next general election, he is the leader now and should be supported as such. I believe that he will ensure the party truly represents the electorate – with women and BAME people being properly heard, and whoever follows him as leader will be someone who will stay true to his (labour’s) principles. Labour should represent all of us and strive for equality, and to reduce the vastly increased gap between rich and poor. Save the NHS, save and restore state education – bring it back under LA control. Get the minimum wage sorted – a proper, living wage. Housing must be built to restore stocks sold off, so that everyone can have a secure home to call their own which doesn’t have to be owned, but must be at an affordable rent with security of tenure. These things are what should be happening. Jeremy Corbyn tells us he will sort them. For the first time in my life I believe a politician has everyone’s interests at heart – not the banks, not the rich, but everyone. That is why I will follow him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tony Peacham says:

    I rejoined the party as an affiliate member of my union after hearing Jeremy speak prior to last year’s leadership election. For the first time in years here was a man who truly spoke for someone like me. I was delighted with his landslide victory supported by all sections of the party. I joined as a full member last October, and even though disgusted by the hostile reception from the MSM, chose not to become active in my CLP for personal reasons. However, when the coup began I was infuriated at how Jeremy was being treated and decided that I had do become active and do whatever was needed to support him as the legitimate leader of the party and his loyal allies. It was time to stand up for a man who had spent his whole political career standing up for people like me. I quickly became aware that there are hundreds of thousands who feel the same way and I am proud of the social movement, true to the founding principles of the Labour party, that is building in momentum everyday. I have never known an individual inspire ordinary people the way that Jeremy is doing and believe together we can change our society for the better. That is why I am supporting Jeremy and his team 100%.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. From face book page unite and fight the £25 charge

    I am a 71 year old semi-retired university teacher and researcher on social inequality, about which I have written many books. I grew up with Labour voting parents , joined CND. In my teens and have been a leftie ever since. I have marched against nuclear weapons, against tuition fees, for abortion rights, against Iraq, and in support of the striking miners ( I was living in Durham at the time) among other causes. I have been in the Labour party for much of my adult life but since Blair came to alter it in and out. I put my political,energies into working for my union instead and served n its NEC. Ironically throughout my political,life I have been pulled into activist roles to fight Trotskyist entryism!!! Now I am proud to have been supporting Jeremy Corbyn since the start of his campaign in 2015. I have become a Labour councillor and will stick with Corbyn till the end. I deplore the arrogance and dishonesty of the 171. Tom Watson, if you have an honourable bone in your body, you should resign!


    Liked by 1 person

  5. From Facebook page Unite and fight the £25 charge

    Let me tell you something Tom Watson, I am 68 years old and politics has always been a big bore to me however when I heard that 172 MPs stabbed Jeremy Corbyn in the back I was furious ! He was democratically elected by party members but you and the other MPs in your arrogance thought you could bully him into resigning , well you thought wrong ! My reaction was to defend this man , to join the Labour Party and to pay my £25 , out of my pension, in order to vote, and vote I shall…for JEREMY CORBYN !



  6. From Facebook page United and fight the £25 charge

    I am nearly eighty years old and was brought up in a staunch Labour family. I turned in my membership over Iraq, and rejoined last October because I was impressed by Jeremy Corbyn and the fact that he was in tune with the values with which I was brought up. I benefitted from the Butler Education Act and went to grammar school and later was the first person from my family to go to University. I did not have any pressure placed on me to be a follower of Jeremy Corbyn. My arm was never twisted by “trots”! I made up my own mind. I also voted in the referendum to remain in the EU, as did the vast majority of my friends. I get a bit fed up with Brexit being continually blamed on the elderly! I am glad to be supporting a party leader who does not regard the economy in this country as the equivalent of the housewife’s shopping list. Tom Watson, stop insulting our intelligence and preferably resign your deputy leadership. You are contributing absolutely nothing useful to the present debate.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. From Facebook group United and fight the £25 charge

    I am supporting Jeremy Corbyn on the grounds of right and wrong. What the Tories are doing to British society. Is morally wrong, l’ll mention one example. Taking money off disabled people, what kind of government does this? Our government should protect the vulnerable. Not punish them or anyone else for that matter, whilst giving massive tax breaks to mega rich.


  8. Pamela Whitney says:

    You’re wrong, Mr Watson. I have neither “had my arm twisted”, nor am I “young” yet I, along with 1,000s of others like me, back Jeremy Corbyn because we agree with his policies! Too many Labour MPs, for too long, have not/do not act in line with Labour values, and the members have had enough! No “arm-twisting” is necessary as the 171 rebel MPs have caused us to look again at what is actually going on in the Labour Party ….. and the members do not like what we see!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gary says:

    I have been a rejoined member for over a year. I actually rejoined the party as a response to the election loss in 2015 with the intention of doing whatever I could to actively help the party. It was a happy accident that Jeremy Corbyn then appeared in the ballot for leader.

    Put in the most simple terms, I support Jeremy Corbyn because his policies are the ones most closely aligned with my own hopes for society that I have ever known as an adult. I am 35 years old, and in my voting lifetime the accepted, almost insisted upon, rule of politics was that the centre (meaning, because of neo-liberal shift, the right) must be pandered too. This was the primary reason that, even after a decade of Labour rule, deregulated banks and their subsequent crash were allowed to ruin the lives of millions who had been desperately exposed by a system which failed to properly tackle systemic inequality, but rather cajoled them with consumerism and credit. Corbyn’s policies will look to correct that. His policies seek to provide jobs with decent pay, properly funded public services which work well, welfare safeguards that are humane and levers for equality that extend to all. These are ideas that are truly worth fighting for.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Celia F Villa Landa says:

    I rejoined the Labour Party when Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Leader, having left in despair during the B***r years, after twenty years of membership. Jeremy Corbyn’s policies give me hope that Labour can go in a different direction and win the next general election with him at the helm. I am a great-grandmother, so hardly one of the simple youngsters who is supposed to have been subverted by Trotskyists. Though, on second thoughts, maybe Tom Watson thinks I am one of those Trotskyists! I’ve got a woolly hat and an old cnd badge.


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