Before reading this it is important to say something said elsewhere in this web-site:
One has to feel some sympathy for democratic leaders because if there is something evil in the world, or something like the Christian God, (as Jesus says all power comes from my father), then those powers, be they claiming themselves Satans or Gods, then they are likely to target elected leaders to affect them somehow in order to “govern” as they see it. This is much as George Bush believes God told him to wage war on Iraq. Perhaps it was Satan sounding like God or anything else. I hope the point I am making comes across that what I am proposing is no more ridiculous than what the US citizenry accepted when they re-elected Dubya. As you will read here I have changed my politics often, but that is because my own perception of what advantage there can be gained for mankind by voting in a particular government alters. My recommendation therefore is that it is foolish to be a life-long supporter of any party without applying any thought to that. The thoughts to apply are “Are my original reasons for supporting them well-founded and still extant?” and “ Is the current leadership becoming corrupt or corrupted, perhaps subconsciously?”
And lastly before starting my this section, I should say you may detect animosity to socialism in some of my writings. This is because I am trying to say what has angered me about their treatment of sympathisers who do not follow their absolutisms. A good short piece about this was produced for The Independent, a British newspaper, by Philip Hensher in January 2007. I have nee a member of Trade Unions and a hippie and a member of the Labour party young socialists as well as many other political groupings as my vote floats. Mr Hensher wrote, “the assumption - not even assumption, but the firm knowledge- that no Tory could possibly be regarded as human, worth arguing with, worth speaking to or putting in a work of imaginative fiction under any other terms than the grossest caricature is still held by many on the left in quite unapologetic terms” I can’t hate that much or for that long and nor should anyone reading this. I actually love Ben Elton’s books but his stand-up comedy did much to generate the myths of us and them that have persisted in politics for sometime now. My plea is that whatever your politics, respect others views because they may come over to your side eventually, but not usually because they now agree that the last person they voted for is exactly what you said.
Politics, as an Anglican chorister and the child of an aspirational couple who had survived the war and wanted to get on with a middle class life meant I was leaning to conservatism. Without much interest in studying the social history of the country it was inevitable that until something forced a re-think I would be content to reach adulthood without much change from those values.
I did not calculate on the influence of my mind being changed in church (put a reference to description here)
After I left church the influence of left wingers or at least children of left wingers started to undermine me and what confidence I had left
PD and GD
Hippie influence on me (largely for the better)
During the years I drifted I was a sensible hippy if there is such a word. I talked to communists but always had at the back of my mind that it did not seem to work since they always became autocratic states run by an oligarchy.
I dreamed of a loving world but still resisted much involvement with unions while in factories and hospitals. My jaundiced view of socialism was bolstered by incidents such as listening to a trade union leader in a hospital where I was a porter answering the question, “What should we do if they don’t supply us with the proper cleaning fluid?” with “don’t do the cleaning”. The fate of the sick in an unhygienic hospital seemed lost on him. “Do what you can and let me know so we can alert the management” might have been a better answer.
When I was 22 my world of love and peace fell apart for the reasons given elsewhere in the site (reference to page when complete). I returned from Denmark dazed and confused via Amsterdam where things became even more bizarre. Eventually I got a job in a cotton factory in Stockport in August 1978 and joined a trade union, [USDAW], (wooh getting a bit political there - how daring of me!). After 18 months i left there to live with my Auntie in Newcastle-upon-Tyne so that I could take my A-levels, (finally), and then hopefully go to University.
While waiting to get a grant I wlaked through Gosforth and was approached by a member of the local Labour Party Young Socialists. I bought a paper, (Militant), and started going to meetings.
In my first year of A levels I was a noted socialist, but I was still in pain from the effects of my experiences in Denmark and after and i searched for something spiritual. I went into a catholic shop for only the 2nd time in my life and some days later, having bought a few things, read my LPYS membership card with alarm. There was clause 4 - a communist manifesto - and all my paranoia about living in an autocratic state, which Danish pinkos and hippies had done nothing to reduce, quite the opposite in fact, came flooding back. I had read a cople of years earlier in the Daily Mail that some children had had a vision where she had said, unless people convert, communism will take over the world. Would my conversion help, I did not know but I gave it a try for a while. So when I got to Coventry Polytechnic I joined the Federation of Conservative Students, FCS. They invited me to stand in student elections as a cardboard candidate, assuring me I would not get elected, but of course I did. I has spent the year before elections shouting down socialists and communists at Student union meetings because I was sick to death of my paranoia about not having religious freedom, which I saw as necessary to get away from evil twits like the Danes or at least give one hope. I immediately alienated some of my voters by screaming “Kill them Niggers” as the Lynard Skynyrd tune “Free Bird” played in Warwick University Student Union. I did that because on an edition of “The Old Grey Whistle Test” on British TV, that band had unfurled a confederate flag as they played that tune and I always associated confederates with slavery, which is wrong. Finding conversation difficult as I did in those days, I did not have the time or reason to explain to those listening why I said it, but Warwick Students Union shortly afterwards put up a notice saying racist behaviour would not be tolerated so there was a bit of success for my intent even if I was damned for my method
I started standing for town council during my last year in Polytechnic but when I got to Nottingham to do a masters degree the Tory party sent me a pack telling me how to argue for Apartheid in South Africa on the doorstep. This made me angry and I voted green in the European elections that year, 1989. Over the next few months I wrote three letters to Margaret Thatcher explaining why this was wrong. the last reply from one of her minions finished with words along the lines of “but I can wait along time before seeing an end to apartheid” Happily within a year Thatcher was out and South Africa was on the way to freedom.
In the meantime, states under Russian control had been freed in middle Europe, my prayers and my reasons for trying Catholicism, answered, but perhaps only because when I attended a Protestant church in my final year at polytechnic a choirboy handed me spill at the Xmas festival service and when i took it from him he looked at me a bit taken aback and said “Thanks” which seemed a repeat of what I had said to the two people who threw water over me in the sauna in Christiania, Copenhagen when I had been touched by Buddha or whatever it was. I had turned off catholicism as it seemed the price of my conversion helping people suffering under communism was to become incapable of learning. My brain had become full of pissiness again as it had been before so once again I had gone looking for relief from pain elsewhere. This time in a Protestant church in Earlsdon, Coventry.