“I was spoiled for down-to-earth, practical, 20th century politics by a big crush in my teens on William Morris – though I did get excited by Harold Wilson’s “white heat of technology” ideas in the 60s. Since then I have leaned more to environmental groups – Friends of the Earth, Transition, and so forth. For the last 27 years I have been a small-scale organic farmer, which satisfied my need to be in front of the game, without having to tackle people who were in disagreement. (I don’t do well in argument – can’t think on my feet.)
And of course the dire quality of political debate in the last 30 years has been deeply depressing. There Is No Alternative, etc.
Then two things happened: the SNP proved that even now, political passion can be both live and inspiring, and can lead to real change; and then New Labour abstained from voting against the Welfare Bill. That made me increasingly, breathtakingly angry, and the feeling built up until on 8th August I joined the party and voted for Jeremy Corbyn, because there seemed to be no-one else who would stand up and call out the Tories’ appalling policies. In my late 60s I am looking forward to being invigorated and inspired by a politician who is nearly as old as I am.
Well, you asked!”
“Backawhile, I was a not very political public servant, who paid her Union dues because it was the right thing to do, and if pushed, described myself as leftwing, because that was where all the cool people were, and a feminist because I am an intelligent woman.
All that still holds true, but about two years ago, the damage being done to public service and the ethical backbone of my country propelled me into active political engagement. Having harangued and argued my way around anyone who would listen, and anyone who would help, I have – belatedly, you may reckon – concluded that there is only one party who stands for the principles that I hold dear, and that I need to pitch in and work to get the government we need: and that is the nub of it.
I listened to Ed Miliband saying 'Britain can be better than this' and thought 'that’s it, I am in'.”
“I was born and bred in the Rhondda Valley of working class parents whose lives were changed by the introduction of the NHS. They were Labour voters and I was happy to follow their lead and enjoyed discussing politics at home.
Over the past 45 years I’ve voted Labour at most elections although – confession time – in the past I’ve voted Plaid a couple of times, mainly because I’m Welsh and Welsh speaking and thought it was the right thing to do. Since moving to Monmouthshire some 20 years ago I went back to voting Labour then, to my shame, I even voted once for David Davies because, at the time, I thought he was a good constituency representative – how wrong I was!
What’s made me commit to Labour? I abhor what this current, and in my opinion, unelected government is doing to this country. Millionaires are being rewarded while ordinary people are being pushed into poverty and despair. It made me realise that, not only did I want to vote Labour, but that I also wanted to join the Labour Party. My contribution is small, I’m not good at broadcasting my allegiances and I’m not a ‘campaigner’. I’m much more a back-office sort of person but, if that helps, then count me in.”
“I’m Labour because I am opposed to the mistreatment of poor and medium-income citizens by Tories and Liberals.
The bedroom tax and university tuition fees spring quickly to mind.”
“I’m not from a Labour background – although my family was working class my mum was a big fan of Maggie Thatcher – but I am constantly aware of how fortunate I am to belong to the generation that grew up with NHS care and with good state education followed by access to free and grant-funded university education.
I started my working life when professional women were a tiny minority and it was perfectly acceptable to be asked at job interviews when I planned to start a family.
I grew up in the aftermath of the Second World War and in the shadow of the Cold War, and I believe profoundly that we are, and need to be, part of a strong, united Europe. Especially if we are to tackle the new threat of climate change.
I’m an economist by training, and I see the damage inflicted by short-sighted policies which perpetuate inequalities and under-value investment. So much of the progress that we took for granted is now under threat and I fear for my children and their generation.
I’m Labour because I want a better, fairer society funded by a progressive taxation system. I don’t always agree with Labour’s decisions or priorities – but I do think Labour offers us the best chance of getting there.”
“I joined the Labour Party because I wanted to get involved in developing policies that could make a difference to people’s lives. I have always wanted to help people get a fair deal and to bring a sense of fairness to the whole community. I love knocking on doors and phoning people across Wales to ask their opinions and their voting intentions. I enjoy debating current issues. I want to make a difference.”
“The Labour Party has always been a progressive movement for equality. With the power of the unions behind it, the Labour Party is the only force with real political clout, that can get Socialist policies on to the statute book.
I grew up under Thatcher and witnessed the appalling destruction that the Tories meted out on the nation so I was never fooled by Cameron’s ‘detoxified brand’ Tories. Even so I am shocked at the viciousness of the policies they have brought in such as the Bedroom Tax and back-door privatisation of the NHS.
I am therefore glad to support Ed and return the Labour Party to power. Only then can we reverse the damage the Tories have done and restore hope to future generations.”