I wrote a post a short while back connected with the democratic process. In it I suggested that I intended to join a political party. Well I’ve done just that. I've just rejoined the Labour Party after a gap of thirty years. Why did I leave all those years ago and why rejoin now?
I left the party in 1979 in what could be described as a marked manner, and had no intention of ever returning. I was so disgusted with the broad labour movement giving Margaret Thatcher such as easy ride to power that I just felt that I no longer belonged in a party and a wider movement that seemed hell bent on self destruction. My feelings were such that I couldn't stomach to witness the inevitable bloodbath that was surely about to happen. I’m glad I didn't hang around because as history affirms it turned out to be more of a massacre than perhaps many of us imagined.
Why rejoin now?
I suppose because I was so incensed by the MP’s expenses 'scandal'. I was incensed that parliament had allowed it to get to the state that it had become, but I was even more incensed at the general public’s reaction. How dare people criticise when they are not prepared to play a part in the democratic process I thought. Then I thought, well apart from vote at every election, what do I do? Democracy is more than just putting a cross on a piece of paper. Democracy is about debate and influencing decisions. The degree to which you do this is up to the individual and what they feel comfortable with, but it is a healthy democracy that has a high degree of engagement from the constituency at large.
So I have rejoined the Labour Party to reconnect with the democratic process. I'm not sure yet to what extent my involvement will be but I intend to play my part however small. Watch this space.