Not so quiet revolution

Last weekend, the British Labour party voted a passably left wing chap to be their new leader. This is pretty revolutionary, because for a long time now, the right wing media have been telling this country that only the right wing people are electable and only the right wing approach to economics is viable and acceptable. We’ve been painfully short of alternative stories. Yet in spite of the media barrage, Jeremy Corbyn is in.

It looks like his first challenge is going to be to sort out a party in which there are people who have no idea what the world ‘Labour’ might pertain to. We know this because a bunch of them just abstained from an important vote on worker’s rights. The majority of us either work for a living, or are, due to circumstances beyond our control, unable to do so (age being one of those factors). And yet we’ve been persuaded, and the political elite have persuaded themselves, that the right way to run a country is to squeeze the majority for the benefit of the few.

There are a lot of us. We the people who do not have our own jets, cannot afford to buy the time of politicians, do not have a media empire to put forth our views. We are the majority. To the tune of about 99%. What the right wing has cunningly done is set us up against each other, encouraging those who are working to hate those who are not working, those who have some to be afraid of those who have less. We of the 99% have more in common than not, and although we suffer to varying degrees in this system, most of us are not benefiting from it much. It’s difficult to see how this works when your daily news feed preaches a very different story.

I’m not a Labour supporter, but I like Jeremy Corbyn. I like him because he talks of solidarity, of working together and taking care of each other. He uses words like ‘decency’ and clearly knows what those words mean. He talks about people, shared humanity, common need. Rather than encouraging people to be afraid of each other, his words are about encouraging people to help each other. Culturally, this is a whole other thing.

I’m tired of the politics of fear. I’m tired of this constant flow of propaganda that tells us to cling tightly to what we have while looking around nervously in case someone wants to take it from us. It should be a matter of shame to have an excess when others are suffering. We need to stop obsessing about who ‘deserves’ help because this is designed to reinforce the idea that most people who are in trouble don’t deserve help. We need to look at who needs help, and then help them. We have the resources, we need the political will. Now at least we have a different set of stories in the mix and some political will. It’s a start.

I very much doubt I’ll be voting Labour any time soon, because I’m a committed member of the Green Party. What I will be doing though, is taking every opportunity to stand up for a different kind of world. Hope not hate. Help not resentment. Solidarity. Compassion. Working together to make things better for all of us. I believe we can do a good deal better than we are at the moment. I believe there are better ways of living, and after Jeremy Corbyn’s win at the weekend, I am cheered to realise that there are hundreds of thousands of people in this country who feel much the same way. Their party politics are neither here nor there. What matters is the culture shift, changing the political agenda, and challenging the toxic right wing stories of fear and institutionalised mean-spiritedness that we have at the moment.

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

9 responses to “Not so quiet revolution

  • druishbuddhist

    I hope that American voters make that same kind of statement next November by electing Bernie Sanders. He has a long history of working for the common man, the veterans, and women rather than wanting to balance benefit for the 1% on the backs of the elderly and the poor.

  • Christopher Blackwell

    Our society has learned competition and consumerism very well, but somewhere down the line we forgot about cooperation and sharing the load that was the basis for creating human society. Our ancestors discovered life was hard it each person had to take care of everything on his or her own, but much easier if they could work with others, share their different skills, and share the bounty, or the pain and suffering together.

    We forgot that all that, then wonder why we feel so alone and alienated.

  • Leeby Geeby

    Call me a cynic, but you follow the money up the ladder you will find that the same banking cartels fund both sides of the equation. In a nutshell this is known as controlled opposition. Either way those in power, no matter how altruistic or populist they may seem they have one simple task and that is to maintain the illusion of representative democracy. The only significant ( and carefully calculated ) difference is that the right brazenly and openly say they will support the interests of the rich at the expense of the poor and the left say they are for the working people, but they still work for the same masters and are doing the same thing but in a more subtle way so as to keep the illusory wheels of change turning. The change ain’t coming from the top down. The change won’t come from politics at all. By it’s very nature the political system has always been designed by those in power to keep themselves in power. What if there was a vote of no confidence in the whole political system. The change will come from else where. What if there was a vote and no-one turned up? No one at all.

    • Nimue Brown

      I think part of the reason there’s been so much media hostility to Corbyn is that he’s not part of their system, didn’t join the right clubs, hasn’t shared in dubious rites that lock him into complicity in the way that politicians are supposed to…. clinging to my optimism 🙂

      • Leeby Geeby

        If he is running for office then he is very much within the system

      • Nimue Brown

        I’m not so sure – looking at the things emerging in the last week about rich boys clubs at elite schools, sharing bizzare rites that lock each other into needing to co-operate in the future for fear of exposure, thinking about the way whips offices apparently keep dirt on MPs to be able to force co-operation, and pitting that against the relentless media hostility. The press has gone for him as never before, and I wonder if that’s because he’s not part of their system, that none of them have photos of him doing something shameful that they can control him with. it’s speculation, but what i do know about him – a long term protester against injustice – it’s possible he’s the nearest thing to an outsider we could get inside politics. I’m not a Labour supporter, but am interested in the wider context for what’s happening.

      • gerrynuk

        Whilst it is still very early days and there will be many hurdles for him to negotiate, I do believe that Jeremy Corbyn is just what Labour needs at the moment and he is an excellent counter-weight so that the Opposition can do its job of challenging the Government. He has strong grass roots support, even if the Parliamentary party hasn’t whole-heartedly embraced him yet. I like his calm and measured approach and this is so unlike many vocal politicians and journalists that they don’t really know how to respond to him. The best early test of his abilities will be fighting a by-election, especially if the encumbant MP is not Labour. I wish him well and look forward to UK politics once agin becoming something for everyone to get engaged with after so many years when we were just ballot-box fodder.

      • Leeby Geeby

        All power to him if he can make a difference. I’d be happy to be proved wrong. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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