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.

Worrying, perhaps.

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.


Posted on October 16, 2011, in Political matters and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I agree with all of those things, and that’s why I’m not Labour. The party has whored itself out to the rich, and taken the side of the strong against the weak for too long. There has to come a point when you take your values and leave, because the party, beyond its rhetoric, has no use for them.

    • I hear you but I am not prepared to give in to the pragmatist “whoring” as you call it. Principles need to be shouted loudly and long. Its always too soon to give in.
      I am a stubborn Son of a bitch though. I feel your disappointment but we would be better with your voice.
      Thank you for commenting, I appreciate you taking the time to share.

    • You’re never going to get those things from any other party either, and its much better to be inside the party, fighting for the things you want it to be, than outside with no influence over the direction it goes in.

  2. I don’t usually comment on blogs but:

    I am Labour because I believe in social justice, a fairer society and for a system that doesn’t leave the weak behind.

    Only with Labour will you get that. 🙂

    • Ryan, thanks for the comment. Agree entirely with you.

    • It’s a nice thought, but the fact is that even with Labour you don’t get that. Did the New Labour period pass you by? Labour had 13 years of Commons majorities to play with – and, credit where it is due, made some important advances (minimum wage, especially, and Land Reform in Scotland). However, the gap between rich and poor was even greater than it had been under Thatcher, and how a party of social justice allowed the disgrace of Dungavel is beyond me.

      • The gap between rich and poor was slowed but not reversed that is true (the gini coefficient).
        Dungavel should never happen, and it was beyond me too.
        No new labour didn’t pass me by, but left me with a feeling of disappointment, some good things but not enough of them.
        Too many Meh things and a few that drove me mental.
        We were too timid at the start and too managerial from Iraq onwards. Missed opportunities most definately.
        However, we can do better in the future and we have to learn from the New labour failings.

  1. Pingback: watching conference through my fingers from behind the couch. « grumpyscotspolitico

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