New member Nigel explains why he joined the Labour Party.
‘At the end of 2014 I hadn’t thought for a minute that 12 months on I would be a Labour Party member. I had always referred to the party as ‘us’ or ‘we’ but had never joined. An election was looming and in May I marched up to the Drill Hall as much out of residual loyalty, and fear and loathing of the alternatives, than any great enthusiasm. My expectation was, at best, an election result which would lead to 5 years of things not getting too much worse. Then came that sickening moment after the exit poll was announced and the realisation that things would be getting a lot worse.
The next morning I wisely resisted the temptation to shout loudly on Theobalds Grove platform ‘Fellow travellers, I think that many of you may have made a mistake, please explain yourselves’ (or words to that effect) and thought that this energy/anger should be channelled more positively. I had been critical of many aspects of the Labour campaign, for example even my cat could see that the deficit was caused by the global financial crash and not building hospitals but we seemed inexplicably silent on this, but I had done nothing. It was time to get off my backside and a few days later I joined the Labour Party. Apparently, I was not alone.
It has been a decision that I haven’t regretted. I have found the, increasingly well attended, Broxbourne Party meetings welcoming and refreshingly open. It has also been inspiring to see the surge in membership nationally and the energy generated by the leadership campaign. I have enjoyed contributing to the Party’s online presence and had my first taste of leafleting; good exercise and a lot more satisfying, although maybe less cathartic, than cursing at the TV during Question Time.
Mostly, it is great to spend time with people who believe that austerity is not only sadistic but is preventing the economy from growing. People who believe that foreign policy can be ethical and, not just narrowly self-interested, and who see through the nonsense that says that the top 2% of the population must be extravagantly recompensed to stir themselves into action while the rest of us have to ‘price ourselves’ into work in a race to the bottom in pay and security. In short people who believe that things can and must get better. (Must admit that I struggle to include Simon Danczuk in this category).
2016 is going to be tough, as any year under this government will inevitably be, but we have the challenge of local elections to look forward to as well as the inevitable spectacle of a Conservative Party in meltdown over the EU membership referendum. So, there will be lots of opportunities for us to spread our message. Bring it on!’