So you arrive to a new town, where you are meant to meet a new group of people.
It took you a while to find this group. You um and ah about it, but you join the group and this is your first meeting.
Finally get to the destination, which was hard to find, you enter the bar and then you have to find the table. You eventually find the table, now, where to sit?
Next to the smart looking teenagers? The normal looking middle aged men? The rebellious looking girls or the experienced looking woman? Or maybe the token outcasts…
Well I suppose I could sit on a table near, not take part in the conversation but share the group or I could just find a new group. I think I’ll just sit next to the smart-looking teenagers.
This is what it is like joining the Labour Party, or any political party. On with the journey to find a seat.
“Holy fuck” they are smart, I don’t belong with the geeks. I lasted 5 minutes and then they started quoting financial policy, figures, predictions and financial models. This is what it’s like to have a conversation with someone who knows about economics. You start off meaning well but you get lost in the raft of figures and phrases. Let’s leave for another seat. Ah the rebellious girls, aka the activists.
They seem nice but passionate! Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice thing but I cannot keep up! I feel bad, feminism makes me want to cut my penis off. It’s a big job to change the system and I feel proud to share their views. They ask me along to a protest next week, I accepted. They are so lovely but I feel unprepared to discuss white people with dreadlocks, I suppose I’m to black and white, if I can say that? I don’t have the patience they have to try to educate Neanderthals.
I get up and go to the bar for a drink. Someone asks me to buy him a drink “whiskey?” I offer “no just a WKD” ah this is one of the teens. We discuss the group, get on well but he’s a bit to hopeful. I’m a bit of a pessimist. As I leave he warns me of the separate table.
They are part of the same group but four of them are sat round in their own little world. The young guy told me they had been there ages. They remember the good old days, but failed to accept the new management of the group. I go to sit down, there is a bag on the chair, I ask them to move it. They stipulate that club rules say they must vote on moving the bag. I leave.
I see a couple, two girls very much in love, they are participating in the group discussion which turns away from economics. I see what they mean, fairness, equality and trying to understand the way of the world. I enjoy the conversation but …Then they say a few names, I understand Marx but Hayak… Trotsky? Who are these people. I was starting to feel comfortable, and suddenly they ask my opinion! I blush! These are the political philosophers, who are fun to chat with but it I can get a bit deep on theory. I felt like I got lost in a maze by the end of the conversation.
I turn to a normal, quiet looking man, his name his Dave, he’s been a member of the Labour Party for over 25 years. He understands a bit about all areas and he’s also done a bit of everything. We have a nice discussion for the rest of the evening about current and past politics. He generally seems quite pleasant, however he tells me he’s just happy to watch nowadays. Although he wouldn’t mind door knocking again! Dave is everybody but somebody. It just proves you don’t need speciality to join in with politics.
During my time in the pub I felt overwhelmed and I didn’t understand anything, but there were people to help me understand and make my time there enjoyable. This goes is the same for the Labour Party.
We don’t all have to be experts in activism, economic’s, philosophy or be 100% up-to-date with the latest facts, figures, news and gossip to fit in. We can do a bit of everything and all try to get along. This won’t always happen but we can at least try. People are meant to disagree on some things, otherwise the party would be boring.
I’m going to worry less now about becoming all of the above and just enjoy my time here.