Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Why I Joined Labour!

(Labour Party)
Hat tip to B4L:

I come from a fairly politically mixed family. My Dad's family were farming Conservatives and my Mum's family were industrial Labour, and I think that has had some influence on my politics.
I suspect my earliest political memory was seeing the Winter of Discontent on the TV. I have a blurred memory of being three years old and seeing the 5:40 news after Ivor the Engine and seeing an image of rubbish piled up in some area. It was just before we moved to Oxfordshire and it therefore certainly fits in that timeframe.
Cut to 1983 and I tell my Conservative voting gran that I wanted Margaret Thatcher to win because I thought Michael Foot looked like an angry old man. This does not look promising for a dedicated Labour Party member I know, but things did improve! ;)
I was aware enough to follow some of the 1987 general election and we had a discussion about it at the junior school I went to. All I knew for sure was that a lot of unemployment happened under the Conservatives, that Margaret Thatcher's style of leadership left me cold, and that I felt that therefore the Liberal/SDP Alliance ought to win, as they seemed nice and friendly and hadn't had a reasonable shot at power since the First World War. This was not something that politically endeared me to my classmates who were all Conservative or Labour because their parents were!
Eventually I got fed up with the Liberals. Their merger with the SDP was not without tears, they argued and didn't seem to have a realistic chance of power. Plus I was not too impressed with their ideas about PR and regional assemblies. In the meantime the country was starting to suffer under the Poll Tax and high unemployment, as well as a recession. Labour seemed to be a better alternative.
But like all romances, it starts with the shallow and develops into a love affair. I grew to appreciate their economic policies, the minimum wage, New Deal, plans for an ethical foreign policy, self government for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland etc.. I voted for them in 1997, but having personally benefitted from their being in government (I was unemployed for a while after my year out and was put on the New Deal programme) I took the plunge and joined them in 2002.
Yes it is like a marriage in that there are up's and down's. But I have seen such an improvement in the past ten years I have not regretted my decision.
So here's to that fourth term! :)

2 comments:

Praguetory said...

What about self-government for England. Are you in favour of that? This semi-devolution has been botched and damaging to the Union.

Paul Burgin said...

Of course I am interested in seeing an English Parliament, I have stated that before!