Sadly, I too, was among those eejits who thought I knew all about politics, but didn't really. For me Margaret Thatcher represented a bravo step in the right direction for feminism. I was that stupid. Now I could give you a gritty, kitchen sink drama about my slow awakening to socialism, but a General Election may soon be upon us, so I will try to get straight to the points I often hear raised.
1. I've got the foreman's job at last, so the working class can kiss my arse. OK, rarely verbatim, but among the fecks, you get the gist.
Answer: Sadly a Labour government creates Tories. Sounds a bit of an oxymoron, but ordinary people do well under a Labour government, and move up to the middle class level of the social ladder. Tory now, but their favourite line is 'I was born in a Council house'. Pointing out that said Council house was probably provided by a Labour government, rarely goes down well.
2. Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite
Answer: Usually put forward by people who do not understand what anti-Semite means. Opposing Israel's inhumane treatment of Palestinians has no connection whatsoever with the antisemitism of Europe in the 1930's, those who try to make a connection are despicable. What happened in WWII does not excuse Israel's cruel and barbaric treatment of the Palestinians. Those turning a blind eye to it and shouting anti-Semitism should be ashamed. Nice Jews, and there are millions of them, also oppose what Israel are doing.
3. Jeremy Corbyn will go on a spending spree
Answer: Oh God, yes, yes and yes. Ffs, we have had 9 years of Tory inflicted Austerity, we have seen our country, our infrastructure and our NHS run into the ground by a government more concerned with paying off bankers' debts than the health and wellbeing of it's citizens. Pumping money into the economy revives the economy, it gives it the kick start it needs to boost every industry a thriving society needs to flourish.
4. It is the Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party's fault we have been put on trial by the Benefits Agencies, had our money sanctioned and been subjected to humiliating interrogations.
Answer: Oh no it isn't! Jeremy Corbyn throughout his long political career, has opposed every tory benefit cut. Among his new policies is a Legal Agency of specialist lawyers to represent the sick and disabled to ensure that everyone gets the benefits they are entitled to. The Tories have waged war on the sick and disabled, Jeremy Corbyn has opposed them every step of the way but he hasn't had the power to stop it. As PM, he would.
5. I don't want a Socialist/Communist/Nanny State.
I hear you my friend, and neither do I. I'm already locked and loaded, should any do gooders try to bring in sugar and alcohol taxes. Imagine the poor kid in a sweet shop with his rich mate buying whatever he chooses. I was behind a little lad in a sweet shop last week, who didn't have quite enough to pay for his carefully chosen hoard. The shopkeeper took one sweet back, and my heart was touched. Oh give it to him said I, I'll pay for it. 'Fanks' said the little lad, 'I only had 3p left'. 'We've all been there' I assured him, whilst feeling very pious and making a mental note to tell everyone about my good deed. My fantasy however was shattered less 30 seconds later, when I exited the shop and saw the little git refusing to share his sweets with his friends. I was tempted to go over and shout, 'oy, I did you a good turn, now pass it on'.
But I digress. Labour's hardest job right now is getting through to those who do not spend their lives on social media. For those of us who use it constantly, that is hard to imagine, but it's very real, and it is a huge demographic that is largely being ignored. Probably because it involves actual legwork as opposed to the hope of creating a tweet that goes viral. The 'grey vote' may swing elections, but it is not enough to drag wannabe political media stars away from their laptaps. A 1,000 likes means more than 100 votes yeah? or we'll pretend it does. UKIP, the BNP and all like minded nutters, do at least go out and knock on doors and take the time to reassure the old dears and all those away with the fairies, that Britain First is the only way to go.
Tony Blair was the first Labour Prime Minister to stop listening to the grey vote. He represented the Young Upwardly Mobiles, the Yuppies, the PLU (People Like Us), the generation born in Council houses, but who went to University. He didn't work his way up through the docks, mines or unions, he was a career politician, born and bred for a leadership position. He changed the face of the Labour Party, from donkey jacket wearing Michael Foot, and corduroyed trouser wearing, pipe smoking Tony Benn and bearded, hand knitted sweater wearing Jeremy Corbyn to sharp suited American Psychos that they named New Labour.
New Labour quickly discarded all those working classes who protested against the tory systems that oppressed them. In fact they took up those very same oppressive systems and improved on them. It wasn't the Tories who brought in ATOS, it was Tony Blair. Something Blair supporting MPs Tom Watson and Jess Phillips should be reminded of. Often. Happily those Tony Blair days are gone now, and in the past they should remain. The people have voted overwhelmingly, twice, for Jeremy Corbyn, a man who truly represents ALL the people, not those seeking personal advancement from being in government.
I urge all those who's impression and understanding of Jeremy Corbyn is based on tabloid headlines and biased media reports, to take a few moments to watch and listen to Jeremy Corbyn and base your judgement on that. There is a good reason for the young people to sing 'Oh Jeremy Corbyn' wherever he goes. They are inspired by him because they know he will do everything in his power to ensure they have a brighter future. This terrible era of Tory oppression is so close to it's end, we must all do everything in our power not only to vote, but to make sure all fair minded, forward thinking friends and neighbours get out to vote too. Our children's futures depend on it.