A question that I needed to be able to answer
At my CLP meeting today a question was posed. We should all be able to say why we are Labour.
Having spent so much of my time and effort campaigning at the Holyrood elections and having knocked on hunners of doors to ask people to support my candidate I had to ask myself.
Why am I labour?
It’s easy to define one’s political position in terms of what we are not but defining in terms of why we choose to be labour is not always easy to say coherently.
Internalising the why and thinking through it I realised why I am labour isn’t a simple catchphrase.
It is a patina of my life experiences and background. It is the sum of who and where I am and where I have been.
So perhaps this rich tapestry was the reason I found it hard to nail it down into a simple little slogan that would make sense to anyone else.
It would be easy to say what I am not for (separatism, Neo liberal economics, free market exploitation, corrupt political system, bombing the shit out of people and hundreds of other nots.) but that hardly captures the why I am for.
Add to that the disappointments of many decisions taken in government by my party and it becomes harder to sum it all up effectively. I make no attempt to justify actions taken that I disagreed with.
It is not easy to be Labour, it is easy to be silent and mince away.
I am Labour because in the society I want the weakest are treated with dignity and respect and not left behind.
I am Labour because no-one in my society should go to bed cold for want of fuel, hungry for a lack of food and scared for a want of security.
I am Labour because everyone’s talent deserves a chance to shine and the barriers of birth and privilege should be removed.
I am Labour because the efforts of the many should reward the many.
I am Labour because a good education should be for all our children and not just for those who can afford it.
I am Labour because injustice and inequality need to be opposed and overturned.
I am Labour because I want to change my party to be the Labour Party it should be.
There are thousands of I am Labour because statements for me but maybe you should think of the reason you are Labour and if you aren’t define why you are what party you are.
I am Labour and I don’t always agree with the party. Sometimes we just have to disagree.