Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name. (William Morris - A Dream of John Ball)

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Vote Labour for our chlldren - and our parents.

It has become a cliché to refer to each General Election as the most important since, well, the last one. This time it might be true, and I haven’t been blogging much because the little time I have is better spent in the real world.

Today though I was neither blogging nor campaigning, but rather being pushed in and out of equipment that cost our NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds. In the USA I would have been charged fees I could not afford to pay for such treatment – unless I had an insurance policy to pay for treatment for me which others would be denied.

If Johnson wins his majority the NHS that is working so hard just now to save my life from cancer may have a life expectancy considerably shorter than it is giving me – and that will the least of our worries.

A Tory Brexit would also pave the way for a “Fortress Britain” in which the racism and xenophobia which would worsen our economic plight would be magnified in response to the problem they themselves had caused.

As a parent it is obvious to me that, of course, I want a Labour Government not so much for myself as for my children (even if only one of them could avoid all tuition fees immediately as a result of our victory).

Labour’s Green New Deal offers some hope for the future, which we know we won’t be offered by a Tory Government, and our Government would offer improved employment rights to the next generation.

A Labour Government might offer my children some part of the hope which I had at their age, that the creativity inherent in our humanity could make our world better, rather than worse, as the years go by.

Like all parents though, I am also a child. I am lucky to be a child of two parents still living. I want a Labour Government as much for my parents as I want it for my children.

That’s not so much about immediate material interests. My parents are in their eighties and, although a Labour Government will offer them greater dignity and respect in old age, I know they aren’t looking for anything for themselves.

I want a Labour Government in my parents’ lifetimes because I want to validate the love and hope which they passed on to the children they brought up in the 1960s and 1970s.

I was brought up to believe all people equal, that love is more powerful than hate and that we are all responsible for each other. For decades this rotten society has abandoned those ideals (because “there is no such thing as society”).

But I know my parents were right. I want a Labour Government not just for myself and my children but also to show my parents a victory for our ideals that while they are still here to see it.

It’s not that victory will ever prove we are right (any more than years of defeat have ever made us wrong). It’s just that, like all good children, I want my parents to approve of what I – and all of us – have done.

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