I have recently joined the Labour party after the victory of Jeremy Corbyn. I had before this been a Green party supporter, but wanted to support labour. I had been brought up in a very strong Labour household, but what my family had said Labour stood for (or used to stand for), was not what I saw. I saw a party that appeared not to be the party that puts the workers before the rich, but a more moderate version of the Conservatives. I did like a few of Labour’s policies, the plan to get rid of zero hours contracts being one of their more admirable ideas. However, I felt like they did not represent me, they did not put my needs, and the needs if the people around me, at the centre of their campaign. The Greens were the only option, they really represented what I stood for, what I thought was the way our country should be run. They represented equality, kindness and hope, whereas the Conservatives and Labour provided austerity, lies and fear. This vision that my family had portrayed to me about Labour did not mirror what I saw as the Labour party before May 2015.
I may have been brought up in a very politically biased environment, but I have made my own decision on what I think the purpose of politics should be. And to me, that is equality and justice. Very subjective words but when I look around at the society today, I see inequalities that are totally despicable, I see the most vulnerable being made even poorer and the richest being rewarded. I see a gender pay gap that is just unfathomable to me. And I see growing tensions between countries, cultures, races and religions. I, therefore, looked for a party that would do the best job at destroying inequality and making sure that our society was a society for us all to be proud of. Labour did not offer this prospect.
Politics seemed to be a game for some. A way that they could play about with people’s lives, help their friends and influence people. A game that was only played by the establishment. I saw this as a major problem that our society had to deal with. When listening to speeches from the Conservatives, I was once reduced to tears by how much they were allowed to do, How much they want to do, and how much they will do if they are not stopped. I, myself am not well-off, but I am not less-off. I have the privilege of growing up in a house that my parent’s own, with no debts and stable jobs. It is a privilege that I try not to take for granted. When I see people who do not have these privileges and will never be able to have these privileges, I see a failing government. A failing system that only seeks to harm these people, not help them. The Conservative policies have destroyed people’s lives, people’s hopes, and their futures. I needed something that stood against this, that stood for equality and wanted social justice. Labour never offered this.
When the election results came in, I was devastated. I was in shock. I saw a country that was about to be broken, that was about to be stretched to its limits. I saw a society where the inequalities will only widen and the lies will only increase. I lost hope in our country, and I lost hope in politics. I distanced myself from politics from then, thinking that there is nothing we can do now. Thinking that the country had made the worst decision for a generation. I think we all knew what was to follow the election of a Tory majority government, class war. I swore to myself that as soon as I could, I would leave the country and get out while I still can.
My disillusion from politics did not last for long however. One day, when reading the Guardian, I heard that there was someone emerging from the Labour leadership race. Someone who represented something very rare in politics. Equality, justice, kindness and hope. His name was Jeremy Corbyn.
After this, I became absolutely galvanised by him, he was something different. He was a change that I thought the country needed. A change for the good, a change for hope and a change for some real opposition. I followed what he was saying and what he was planning. I listened to every speech I could. I even learned ‘The Red Flag’. I was now what people like to call, a Corbynite.
When Corbyn won the leadership, again, I became very teary. I saw something. Something I did not understand, but I was excited for. Something I was scared of, but I knew we needed. I saw the start of something. The start of change. Politics was no longer dominated by the rich playing games with the poor, it had a man who tries to stick up for the poorest and most vulnerable. I have been a member of the Labour party ever since and I never will regret this choice.
Now politics is something i see as a force that can be used for good. A force that can allow us all to prosper. A force that will only work, if we all get behind it. Corbyn is representing hope instead of fear, the many instead of the few and equality instead of injustice. He is a man who does not uses lies as a political tool, does not use spin and does not take any bait from the media. He is principled, determined and is an inspiration to all of Britain.
However, people are still living in vile conditions. People still do not have the privileges that I, and many others take for granted. They are still being hit by the Tory ideology, they are still in need of a real change. We need everyone and anyone who agrees in equality, justice, hope and kindness, to join us. To join us in a battle that will define a generation. A battle of ideologies of hope against the ideology of fear. A battle of straight-talk instead of spin. A battle of the many against the few.
We need you to join us against the Tories. We need to show them that they do not represent us. We need more members, we need more support, we need more help. It is going to be hard to fight the establishment, but they are already scared. Should we split in the face of our oppressors? Or should we stand together in a show of strength, kindness and hope, to fight the cuts, to fight the inequality, and to fight the ideology of spin and fear? We need you to join us. Because without your backing, Labour can never survive.