I recently joined the Labour Party. I got my official Party card yesterday. I suppose that makes me a card carrying Party member, if I actually carry the card. Why did I do this? Am I a political animal with my sights set on taking power in some local council or even reaching the heights of political power? Well, no I’m not and I’ve avoided joining a political party all my life. I have always voted Labour and I’ve never made any secret of that. I have been put off the Nationalist cause all my life for some strange reasons, the Tories are, in my opinion, an abomination and the Libs (Dem or otherwise) I find mediocre and not to be trusted.
Some might expect me to have Nationalist sympathies and in some contexts I have. My grandfather smuggled guns for Michael Collins and faught in the Irish Civil War. He put me off Nationalism. He was willing to die for Ireland’s freedom but told me he didn’t go there to kill Irishmen. The Irish Troubles which resulted in the Ireland we have today were necessary and, perhaps, inevitable. What happened after the handover still hangs over Ireland like an enormous skeleton in the cupboard. There are beautiful places in Ireland which have an uneasy feel about them. Bad things happened there; things that had nothing to do with Ireland’s freedom.
I find myself more of an internationalist. I think that people all over the world are basically the same. We all need the same basic things to survive. Some people are terribly disadvantaged. Africa is an extreme example of this . It has wonderful natural resources but has been plagued by a history of colonialism. Europe is now plagued by people flooding in from Africa, looking for a better life. Who can blame them? People from Scotland have moved to all parts of the world with the same aim in mind. Surely what we need is a world where all people have the basic necessities of life.
I’ve visited people who live in mud huts and send beautifully dressed children to school, clean and tidy. I’ve visited people who spend most of their day finding clean water or firewood to prepare food for their children. We are all linked together. We can not ignore the plight of others either out of love for our fellow man or fear of how they will affect us. Nationalism runs contrary to this. It is all about what we can have for ourselves. It is dressed up in the clothes of Scottish history, heroes and battles but that is all smoke and mirrors. It’s all about greed.
My difficulty now is having a vote in the contest for Leader and depute of the Scottish Labour Party. I’m new to all this and I don’t really know the people involved. They all seem to be good people and I would find myself on their side. So who do I vote for? In the end I voted for Neil Findlay and Kety Clark. Why?
Well, it all came down to their history. Both candidated have worked in other fields befor entering politics. Personally, I think that we have too many politicians who have never been outside the world of politics and I thought it was time we had people who knew something of the outside world actually running it. It was difficult because I like all the candidates but that’s how my votes have been cast. I wish all the candidates well and hope for nothing les than a Labour government in Westminster and the SNP having to face up to the truth about their administration in Holyrood. I also have a Euromillions ticket running on Friday.