Friday, March 08, 2019

Watching the wheels go round

I have been relaxing for a few days leave, before going back to work for a few weeks ahead of radiotherapy treatment for the Prostate cancer with which I was diagnosed in the summer.

This means that, rather than participating in political life, I have had the opportunity to be a spectator – with a choice of what to watch.

Locally, I have had the opportunity to admire the participation of Labour women in the Brighton demonstration supporting the Women’s Strike on International Women’s Day, and to witness the social media launch of pledges from Labour to women voters, ahead of May’s local elections. These are examples of our mass membership Labour Party defending and advancing the interests of the people our Party was founded to represent.

Of course, I could have chosen to devote my attention to the national media, and to the obsession of both the right-wing and “liberal” press with ceaseless attacks upon our Party. Or I could have paid attention to the self-obsessed inhabitants of the Westminster bubble setting up little groupuscles within or without the Party.

There is, of course, nothing new about the media being fed stories from within the state to attack our Party. Nor are “new Parties” a novelty, nor caucuses of Labour MPs trying to fight against the influence of socialist ideas. The games played between Parliamentarians and the media are simply much less interesting than what is going on on the ground, where ordinary working people are taking control of our own political Party and fashioning it into a tool to defend and advance our interests.

I look forward to being cured of my cancer by NHS staff, my fellow public servants, and to be able to continue to participate fully in the real political life of our country, of which Parliament knows little and the media reports less.

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