Sunday, 3 April 2011

The sadness of it all

Over the next few weeks I'll bump into some old friends trolling round the mean streets of Northampton.They will be delivering leaflets and maybe knocking on doors just like me!
The sadness is that a few will be members of a party that I gave almost forty years of my life to, working for in in the good times and the more frequent bad times.Even canvassing in the very bad times when mention of the Labour Party risked a mouthful of abuse-or worse!
I did not leave the Party, and in a sense it didn't leave me either, it was taken away from me by a small bunch of regional hacks with their own agenda and their willing local accomplices.
The sort of Labour Party members whom Lenin once described,but in a different context as "useful idiots".
But those in Northampton Labour Party who ensured that Tony,Peter and the rest who were either expelled or just walked away are that small band without ideals or principles who just wanted a tiny finger on power.
When Lee Barron stepped down as Castle Ward councillor and told the then group that he would be replaced 'by a big hitter' then the little green eyed monsters took over.
In a more tolerant age the party used to accommodate all sorts of people, we only got round to getting rid of the SDP when they formed an alternative party and stood seperately.
But over the years the party has allowed all sort of strange tghings, why even on May 5th there is a candidate standing who last time round crossed the council floor and even stood as a Lib-Dem candidate!
I'm not surprised that Johnny is standing in Delapre-the folk down there are used to candidates who stand for one party then switch when it suits them!
But at the last elections we did nothing wrong, faced with a sudden emergency we had a properly constituted ward meeting, with District Party and Constituency officers present and selected Tony Clarke quite legitimately-unlike the ward next door!
But no matter,the Labour Party in Northampton, which once fought the NEC to the point of suspension(oddly enough over the issue of the SDP) found it lacked the courage to fight and had lost the idea of solidarity.#
The rest is of course history!
Does this piece mean that I miss the Labour Party? Well I miss what once seemed like comradeship and a common ideology that drove me into the Party in the first place.
The labour Party however seems now to be a hollow shell.Bereft of ideas and unwilling to be brave in defence of the rights of the people.
How on earth can Miliband stand in front of a huge demonstration and tell them that there should be cuts-but slower ones than this dreadful government is making!
No there should not be cuts, even the Americans have realised that cutting back on infrastructure,jobs and education makes no sense!
When Brown tackled the banking collapse I had almost a hope that there was a glimmer of socialism lurking in there somewhere.
But then a paltry tax on the banks and no attempt to challenge the tax avoiders made his decisiveness as hollow as everything else!
When only 13 MP's vote against the muscle flexing that is Britain's response to the situation in Libya(and one of them is a f*****g Tory)that seems to me just how bad things have gotten.
Every cruise missile they unleash to eliminate one tank and 9 camels costs more than the youth service in Northamptonshire.

One of the candidates for SOS in Northamptonshire has a poster that suggests it's impossible to get a fag paper between the three main parties.
There was a time when that was not true-but today? Ritzla does come in three colours but it's the same fag paper!
Politics needs to be rebuilt from the bottom up.Just as the trade union movement was built factory by factory,mine by mine and the Labour Party was built local struggle by local struggle it's time to do it all over again!
So when I bump into my old comrades I will smile and wish them well, and wonder why if they have a socialist idea left between their ears they are still working for a discredited organisation.
Maybe they feel like those around the turn of the last century-oh about 1911 - who still campaigned for the Liberal Party as a new locally based workers' movement was developing around them.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. (I just cannot spell these days!)

    I don't disagree John.

    I just think that if you believe in the same core values that the original party (be that Labour, Liberal or whatever) then there IS something worth fighting for.

    I agree people do seem to change parties more than their undies. But people also join parties for the wrong reasons too. Having said that, sometimes people have to join a party nearest to their own beliefs; doing what Tony and Malcolm are doing is hard ~ I am not sure that I could do it.

    Anyways, see you out there big man!