One thing I am really keen for this blog not to be is some whining woe-is-me justification of who or what I am. Neither is it to be a space where I, or others, vent their spleen about what others say or think. What I hope this will be (and I do use the word hope – the best of intentions and all that!) is an honest appraisal of how I see the world, politics and in particular the Labour Party. It is also true I will want to express my feelings about things which some will find more interesting than others. Status Quo for example, but I will leave that for another day!!
As the years have gone by I have noticed more and more people’s attitude to politics and political parties changing. Not just the public’s but the members of those parties too. It is too trite and naive to say people have never seen politics as a career rather than a vocation but my own experience has seen this type of person grow exponentially over the last few years. From university to an MPs office or some strange lobby or policy organisation and then straight in to the council chamber or Parliament. I don’t pick on just the Labour Party, though clearly it’s the one I know the best. The public see this and think to themselves: who is this person and how do they reflect or represent me? It’s not just that political representatives should “look” like those they represent. It should be they know those they represent. And that’s where as a party Labour needs to respond.
Mixing exclusively with politicians does not work and a representative it does not make! Let’s use actors as an analogy. You learn your lines and script, you see where and how to stand, you put on your make up and costume and get into character and like magic you are the Prime Minister! The audience suspends real life as you deliver your Shakespearian prose and you float off stage with the applause ringing in your ears. Straight off to your changing room, out of your costume and makeup, out of character and back to your reality.
Everybody suspends reality but it cannot and will not last. Real life will always get in the way. That’s why as a party if we really want to engage with the public we need to treat them with a bit more sense than sometimes it appears we do. It’s true to say that the public do not want just anybody. Being a public representative is tough. But there is a lot more out there than just the usual middle class CV. Our country has been built on hard working, intelligent, honest and straight forward working class people who get it. Not just struggle but aspiration for themselves, their families and their communities. Real Labour values. Values I will return to…………