If I’m so clever…

I am Vice-Chair (membership) of Hastings and Rye Labour Party. In many ways, I’m in the wrong job in this election campaign. I am constantly being asked to do things that I’m not good at, in ways that make no sense to me, and that are emotionally and physically exhausting. The people around me do not seem to notice this at all. Neither does anyone seem to notice that two campaigns in a row – the county and the national – have left me with my health, my business, my home and my personal projects in a state of chaos that it will take me the rest of the year to sort out.

Most of the things I want to do in this job appear to be disallowed for one reason or another but I’m not sure, because people say complicated things in extremely oblique ways when they’re doing politics. That’s part of ‘the game’. As a result, I am probably working three times as long as people think I am, in order to do things that look as if dashed off in a careless moment. I can see people thinking about me what I so often used to think to myself – if I’m so clever, how come I can’t do this? I’m not sure how to explain how normal this distressing and frustrating situation is in my life, as it is in the lives of unknown numbers of people like me, nor how to explain that I’m very happy, proud and optimistic about it all, and I think it’s going very well.

When I was somewhere in my 40s, my diligent daughter, who is an obsessively good researcher, worked out what the oddity is that runs in our family (it already had a name, though we didn’t know what it was or who it applied to, but she *worked it out*) and started work on how we might respond to it. She’s a marvel and is a great deal to do with how effective I generally am in this world – the world with people and politics in it I mean. (I never had any problem with the world that’s got grass and badgers and suchlike in it). It is largely thanks to her efforts that I’m doing what I am doing in politics. The prize is a world fit for my grandchildren to live in, and the prize is Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn, who is standing on a pledge for a society with ‘no-one left out, no-one left behind’, with John McDonnell in his team, bringing us a philosophy of neurodiversity and a discussion about the benefits to society and to individuals of Universal Basic Income, and other measures that allow all the rainbow talents in our society to bear fruit.

I am Vice-Chair (membership) of Hastings and Rye Labour Party. In many ways, I am in the right job, and it’s going brilliantly. I’m delighted to be floundering around in this election with a team that includes so many people who are in a similar predicament to mine. I have several urgent tasks to pick up on after the election. (The first concerns Trident. )

The second it to resume the discussions I was having with some very good friends in Hastings about an invisible disabilities group, with or within Hastings Disability Labour.

The third is to do some research for our Hastings team that are going to Labour’s Party Conference, to be sure we know how best we can help change the rules so that democratic socialists can never again be marginalised in what is supposed to be the party of ordinary people.

The fourth is to go into talks with the Progressive Alliance people, the Campaign for Real Democracy people, and the Greens and others locally, about how we can transform the monster that is party politics, and make sure there is never another election as hellish as this one has been.

Right, back to electioneering…

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2 responses to “If I’m so clever…”

  1. Invisible impairments should be treated with the same dignity and respect as visible ones. The added complication, of course, is that even those of us whose impairments can be clearly seen may (and often do) have unseen ones.
    In a way I feel quite proud to be involved with my local Labour Party at a time in history when we have a unique opportunity to elect a government and Prime Minister who appear to have, if not a working knowledge of the Social Model of Disability, then at least a genuine willingness to embrace diversity and look at ways in which Disabled members can play a larger (and indeed a very significant) part in taking the Party – and society as a whole – forward in the name of democracy, inclusion and freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

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