A Word From The Wife Part 1 (The Liverpool Lefty’s missus speaks…)

Cath The WifeSometimes it’s hard to be a Labour Party member, as the Tammy Wynette song almost goes. I never ‘got’ ID cards, HIPs, or David Blunkett.
But nevertheless I have voted faithfully every time.
That’s because the difference between Labour and the other main parties is that we love our party whether in good times and bad. The others might quite like some of their values or principles, but love their party? Nah.  
Lib Dems jump off their rudderless ship in droves when the water gets choppy, the Tories are led by the thickness of their wallets.
That’s not to say that Labour members’ affection isn’t tested. It really is. Frequently. Some of us may even indulge in a brief fling with non-membership for a short while, but our heart is with that little red card with the rose.
I see Labour as a party in recovery. People are coming home to us, as Gordon Brown appealed during the election campaign. The new leadership campaign is part of the reason why we’ve been a magnet to over 30,000 bright shiny new members – whether they be ex-Lib Dems, the formerly disillusioned returning or newbies incensed by the Tory government.
Because make no mistake, that’s what we have.
Let us not be derailed by this coalition nonsense.
Labour’s members have a big choice to make over the next few days – choosing a new leader. We have some outstanding candidates – leaving out a disappointing Dianne Abbot who spouts media friendly crowd-pleasing-for-a-brief-moment sound bytes and little else.
I’ve attended some of the meet n greets, but it wasn’t until I found myself at Andy Burnham’s Liverpool event on Sunday that my heart sang.
There was a huge difference between Burnham’s meet and that of others.
His audience – some not yet to make up their mind – was mixed – ages, classes, backgrounds.
He didn’t bring a celebrity with him.
Nor was he flanked by security guards.
He spoke about the NHS like it was the most precious thing the UK has (it is).
His 10% levy on all estates to pay for personal care for all made my heart sing. His belief that £39 to join the people’s party is out of the reach out of many – lower it and more will join – campaign, raise money, be a part of it.
He spoke about our young people who go to university, yes – but also those who don’t.
And he doesn’t think Socialism is a dirty word.
People came away beaming.  
I could go on.
But I noticed another thing. Members were talking to one another with enthusiasm, about politics, Burnham – and the party. Whoever gets the top job needs to unify Labour’s members, make us feel like we’re working for a common goal again.
I think Andy B’s the chap to do it.




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