Just recently I was visiting my Mum, and she gave me a box of memorabilia which she had found, dating back to the 1980s, 1990s and earlier. A large part of my youth experience was taking part in various political protests.
In the town where I grew up there was always a cause to join, a demo to go on, and I loved to spend time in radical bookshops, there was Alley Cat in Durham, another one in York on Walmgate, there were many such shops in many towns in those days, but with buses being cheap in those days youth could range far and wide in search of such things.
These bookshops were genuinely independent (often staffed by unpaid workers), and I had a fascination with them even though a lot of the contents of the books was beyond me.
There was always a notice board in these shops, advertising Causes, and a postcard and Radical Mags stands. Postcards were a form of direct action. We bought the postcards, and sent them via Royal Mail, thus radicalising the Royal Mail workforce, who could all read our message on the back of the card, and also “Get the Message” which the postcard artist was trying to convey. Of course postcards were a fun way of communicating with our friends, before the internet and mobile phones came along!
Back in the day Royal Mail was the only way to send mail, and there was a unionised workforce, decent working conditions, Royal Mail Night train, where the mail got sorted through the nights, arriving ready-sorted at the delivery offices, and TWO deliveries each day!
This card is a photo montage by Cath Tate, published by the independent press Leeds Postcards.
I thought it was worth a few words.
In those days The Conservative Party was the party of big business, homeowners and the rich, and held total power over the UK. The Labour Party was the party of the workers, tenants, and the anti- nuclear movement. The image in the photo shows Maggie sneakily stealing the welfare, symbolised by taking her purse, off an ordinary Mum.
Little did we realised that Thatcher, by the introduction of Right to Buy, which turned working class council tenants into aspirational Home Owners, and the total obliteration of large industries, creating a whole new class of “unemployable” families, whole towns where the main source of employment had ceased to exist, had ensured that the political landscape of the UK would never be the same again.
As we come close to the UK General Election, the choice is not like the choice we had before 1997, when we elected New labour, what choice do we have?
Its no longer about Left and Right.
Think carefully when choosing, we aren’t voting for Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn. We have a representational democracy, we vote for a Member of Parliament to represent us in Parliament, we don’t vote for the Prime Minister.
We all need to vote for the Member of Parliament who we feel will represent us best, and the party whose policies we support. Read the manifestoes and make your choice.