Archives for posts with tag: Mhairi Black


Just for the moment, forget policies and even the general election, and let’s look at humanity.

It’s been said many times, ‘elections are not about personalities’, and every time, they are wrong.

If you want to experience a world devoid of personality and humanity and based solely on policy, take a trip to your local Jobcentre and sign on, or face the arrival of an ESA50 form in its hideous brown envelope, fill it out, and await notification and then attend a Work Capability Assessment. If you get lucky, you’ll get an assessor who will engage with you at a human level, but the process is designed for that not to happen. And here’s the important bit, for many, if not most, people, these experiences are traumatising because they are dehumanising by design.

We face an election that mostly revolves around two parties, but that’s just because it is a rotten system of first past the post and is not representative of the voting public, but all of the parties will be campaigning, and the art of campaigning is the art of persuasion, and the majority of people will vote based on a complex mixture of upbringing, social status, whether they are essentially deferential or not, prejudice, personality, media influence, and so on, and tagging along somewhere at the back, there might be a greater or lesser awareness and understanding of policies.

Like it or not, the popular rise and rise of Jeremy Corbyn is about, and because of, Jeremy Corbyn himself. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. And why? Because he relates to people, speaks to the people, is open and behaves in a sincere and honest way to which people can, and do, relate.

If I were to name a few others in a loosely similar vein, I’d say Caroline Lucas, who just strikes me as a thoroughly decent human being, Mhairi Black and good old Dennis Skinner.

We’ve had seven years of Tory misrule and they don’t come anywhere in the humanity stakes. Theresa May, by any sane standard, has nothing going for her, lacking personality and common or garden decency and empathy. She has no people skills and is clearly deeply uncomfortable around ordinary people, lacking any qualities of spontaneity, warmth, personality or humanity. She is ahead simply because she is ‘establishment’, along with royalty, Lords and Ladies, pomp and pomposity, and she appeals to a deeply conservative streak in Britain which views anything remotely challenging to the status quo as tawdry, lower class, suspicious and ‘not the done thing’. She is the perfect ‘upstairs, downstairs’ candidate, and mixing with the lower orders is definitely not her thing.

Who wants a Prime Minister who is at home in Safeway or Lidl? Oh gawd! If Theresa May went into such places, they’d have to clear everyone out and those who remained, to show her a packet of cornflakes, would be carefully chosen and expected be on their best, deferential, grovelling, behaviour. Sound familiar?

Why was Thatcher so popular and even got away with adopting the royal ‘we’ when talking about herself? She was establishment through and through, even though she wrecked all our national industries and put the boot in, literally, to the unions.

It is said that ordinary people voting Conservative is like turkeys voting for Christmas, and it’s absolutely true.

And Corbyn? He is anti-establishment and has no time for cap doffing, he’s trying to head the turkeys off at the polling booth and asking them to think again.

The establishment and their media nearly had a heart attack when Jeremy Corbyn didn’t bow deeply enough at the Cenotaph. What did David Cameron mockingly say during Prime Minister’s Questions? He said his mother would advise the Labour leader to “put on a proper suit, do up your tie and sing the national anthem”. And, god help us, Corbyn has an allotment and grows stuff and gets his hands dirty and that, according to the Tories and the right wing media, makes him unelectable. Really? Yes, really, and in so doing they mock each and every one if us in our ordinariness, in our unprivileged, unpretentious, profoundly and deeply human, lives.

That’s what this election is about. For millions of us, it’s about fighting for our lives and our right to exist, to have somewhere to live, food on the table, heating in our homes, medical treatment when we need it, a decent education for our children, care in the community, help with disabilities, hospitals, fire stations, police to help against crime, doctors and GP surgeries, nurses, junior doctors and specialists, A&E departments, and enough security to live our lives without fear or want.

It’s about humanity.

KOG. 14 May 2017



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,518

Wednesday 10 August 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

There is a seismic political change happening in this country and not before time.

For myself, I am tired of besuited political demagogues and stateswomen and men talking down to us, prepared to press the nuclear button without a seeming shudder of horror and serving the interests of money over people.

It is interesting to note that Jeremy Corbyn and Mhairi Black have much in common and it is their plain speaking, unpretentious, humanity which resonates and holds. The point is, ‘they get it’, it is obvious and it stands out in a way that establishment figures cannot begin to emulate or even understand.

To much hilarity, it seems that the charm school numpties employed by your party suggested that standing with legs splayed somehow displayed statesmanship and competence when it did exactly the opposite. Wherever the idea came from, it was clear that they just didn’t ‘get it’.

It is not possible to fake up our essential humanity, humility, empathy and respect. If you’re not living it, you don’t have it. When Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world,” he was saying something so profound that it can never be reduced to a sound bite or a catch phrase. He was talking about the politics of being: engaged, committed and sincere. No spin doctor in the world can offer that, they can only play act it. Children have an innate sense of who’s being sincere and who’s turning on the smarm charm, they may be young but they are not stupid, stupidity is pretty much the exclusive domain of adults.

What this country needs, and why people are flocking to Corbyn rallies and supporting him, is a politics which relates to ordinary people’s lives, yet we are reviled and insulted by the media and politicians alike. Jeremy Corbyn represents the greatest threat to the self interest and greed of those in power since WWII and the post war consensus. It is time for politicians to shape up or ship out. The people have been milked dry by the greed of the bankers, by companies exploiting their workers for profit whilst paying poverty wages, by self interested politicians more concerned with their expenses than serving the nation and by a jeering, sneering, media which denigrates us. The gravy train is headed for the buffers, the planet is groaning under the pressure of corporate greed and resource grabbing, not from the modest lives of ordinary people. There is enough for the many, just not ever enough for the rapacious, grasping, few.