It’s so good to see lots of people – thousands – joining the Labour Party after yesterday. Being a Labour Party member is kinda sexy now, and a bit hip – and I like it. I could get used to this.
So welcome, everyone. I always say being in The Labour Party is a bit like a religion, sometimes you have the strongest faith in it so intense it produces tears, on other occasions you wonder “what the fuck am I doing here?” So many highs and lows, but it’s the highs you crave, like a drug.
You’ve entered a world where as campaigner and activist, if that’s how you choose to be involved, grassroots and all that, you’re handing out leaflets and having long in depth conversations about wheelie bin collection and dog shit on pavements. With door knocking (yes, we knock on doors, asking residents about needs and concerns) you learn responses to stock phrases people learn from Facebook – stabbed his brother in the back, not a cigarette paper between you, you sold all the gold, the Moslems are taking all the houses.
Of course with our new leader that may change, and I hope it does. Because those stock phrases really do need changing.
You’ve entered a world of meeting men in car parks on grizzly Saturday mornings to go out on the door knock, of curry night fundraisers and bingo (I won two bottle of House of Commons whisky once, not too shabby).
You’ve also joined an organisation which bonds you, it’s thicker than blood, we have “intense debates” with each other – we wouldn’t be socialists if we agreed on everything, what’s the use in that – but at the end of it, The Labour Party is thing that keeps us together. It’s the invisible thread linking us that other parties don’t have and it’d oddly beautiful. The thread gets a bit frayed from time to time, but it’s still there. It never quite breaks. There’s nothing quite like it when dozens of you turn up the next day after a late night call to arms, ready to hit the pavements and campaign, clip boards clasped against chests.
Anyways, comrades, I really hope to see you in that car park on Saturday morning. Bring your waterproofs just in case, but me, I’m praying for sunshine.