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Back to reality

Well I ain’t in the Labour Party any more and I am really enjoying re-discovering speaking my mind. Here are three things that need saying everywhere and often, and that it’s damned hard to say in the Labour Party.

Anti-semitism?

Be VERY careful what you say about anti-semitism, and think very carefully about what you hear said. We are living in times where the resurgence of the far right with all their pernicious lies are growing confident, so you may well come across angry and frightened Jewish people. They deserve respect, credence, support and protection.

Our politics is HIGHLY toxic so you are JUST AS likely to come across bloody good actors crying wolf, and people weaponizing anti-semitism claims. They need to be called out every time.

Tricky, isn’t it. If you’re not sure which one you’re dealing with, keep quiet and carry on listening, and seek out hard evidence. Don’t risk adding to the harm being done.

Sometimes, your own best comrades who have seen through con after con can be completely blind-sided by this one.

Transphobia?

Be VERY careful what you say about transphobia, and think very carefully about what you hear said. We are living in times where the resurgence of the far right with all their pernicious lies are growing confident, so you may well come across angry and frightened trans people. They deserve respect, credence, support and protection.

Our politics is HIGHLY toxic so you are JUST AS likely to come across bloody good actors crying wolf, and people weaponizing transphobia claims. They need to be called out every time.

Tricky, isn’t it. If you’re not sure which one you’re dealing with, keep quiet, carry on listening, and seek out hard evidence, don’t risk adding to the harm being done.

Sometimes, your own best comrades who have seen through con after con can be completely blind-sided by this one.

Racism? Sexism? Misogyny? Homophobia? Class hate? Delusional extremism?

There is no doubt – absolutely no doubt – that we live in a pernicious, capitalist, PR-weilding culture the drivers of which are world-class masters at using sex, race, class and fear of difference to divide and rule. These are the prejudices and attendant cruelties that are happening to millions of people, every single day and they go both in plain sight and in disguise. These are the issues we need to understand and work on.

Pay attention – question your own beliefs and assumptions (even the “virtuous” ones). I do this every day, and I’m very good at telling others to – BECAUSE I know enough to know that there are still things I’m missing and getting wrong. The worst thing about realising you’re being conned is the attendant realisation that half of what you assume you know is probably wrong.

Sometimes, your own best comrades who have seen through con after con can be completely blind-sided by this one. Sometimes, people you’ve learned to see as your friends on one issue are your enemies on another, and vice versa.

Try reading some of Caitlin Johnston’s stuff on ‘the dominant narrative’ if you get lost in the smoke and mirrors. You know what finally made me leave the Labour Party? This:

The worst divide in the Labour Party

It is the divide between those who know Starmer’s team are liars and manipulators who just stole the party, and don’t care

and those who know Starmer’s team are liars and manipulators who just stole the party, and do care.

Inside or outside the party, please help us climb back to politics based on reality.

Reality

Left and right wingers, black, white and other ethnic and national groups, women and men, all kinds of people can have healing human contact moments across every possible divide EXCEPT “confabulation” – that is, the pathological, persistent denial of reality.

This song has been in my head for a while now – let’s give it a re-run, and dedicate it to party politics!

Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel

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