Yeah, okay, so the title of this post seems rather Star Wars related and I won’t deny that this meme had more than a little bit to do with it:
Aside from mildly amusing internet memes though, there does seem to be an air of jubilance and hope surrounding Jeremy Corbyn’s appointment as the leader of the Labour Party. In fact, whilst sitting here on Saturday morning with my daughters, waiting for the announcement to come in, I must admit that I shed a tear when the results were finally revealed. I had to explain to Sausage that my tears were tears of joy (BB was mostly okay…she gave me a hug and then carried on bombing around shouting “CHIPS” at the top of her voice). For the first time in years, I feel hopeful.
I have to admit, I was an Ed Milliband supporter when he was leader. I felt that he was the closest thing to socialism that we’d seen in years and felt that his values matched mine…almost. However, when I first started reading about Corbyn, back when he was struggling to get enough nominations to even run for leader of the Labour party, I felt like my eyes were opened. Ed may have had his heart in the right place, but his version of socialism was down-right wishy-washy compared to Our Jez.
Many of my friends, people I respect greatly, after the general election commented that there was no point voting either way because there was so little difference between what the big parties were offering. Now, that is no longer the case and it feels like we genuinely have a CHOICE. We can choose austerity, big business, decimation of public services.
Or we can choose ‘Corbynomics’. (God, I hate that phrase. I hate how the Tory rags are STILL using it to denigrate Corbyn despite the fact that the vast majority of those in the know agree that it’s sound economic policy and that, actually, AUSTERITY DOESN’T WORK.)
We can choose to have an NHS which doesn’t want to charge us at the point of delivery.
We can choose the possibility of an education for our children which won’t leave them in crippling debt.
We can choose the chance to live in housing which won’t be astronomically expensive.
We can choose to say “NO” to exorbitant energy prices.
We can choose to live in a country where mental health is taken seriously.
We can choose to say “NO” to prioritising nuclear weapons above education, health and housing.
We can choose to tell the likes of Amazon and other wealthy global companies that they MUST pay their taxes.
We can choose a leader who will put a halt to what can only be described as “economic cleansing” by making rents and house prices in London so high.
We can choose to tell our kids that The Arts aren’t only the privilege of the wealthy.
We can choose a leader who won’t take us blindly into wars-for-profit which will benefit no-one but his mates.
Above all else, we can choose to make a move towards a kinder society.
So that’s why I shed a tear. Because the thought of a future like that for my kids, my family and my friends is something worthy of tears of joy. The Tories are running scared, that much is obvious from the horrible smear tactics that they’ve employed in the past few days. The right-wing press seems to have lost its damn mind, printing stories and headlines which look like they’ve been copied and pasted straight from The Onion. It seems obvious to me that they’re pooing their pants.
There may be 5 years until the next election, but those are 5 years in which we can feel hopeful about a brighter future.
Since the General Election, I’ve been feeling pretty disillusioned by what I perceived as a societal move towards cruelty. However, this has buoyed me immeasurably. I’m going to leave you with a quote which says it far more succinctly than I can:
“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl