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The Working Class Needs a Clear Voice in Parliament

I am writing to tell you a little about my plans for getting elected to the United Kingdom Parliament. I was selected by my constituency Labour Party nine months ago, to fight in the next General Election when it is called (on or before May 8th, 1997). It was the next step in a process begun in October 1994, when Harvey asked me whether I was planning to stand for election and I burst into tears and screamed, "No!" and spent the next few months discharging about how that was the last thing I felt I wanted to do!

In the spring, after I had organised some successful local election campaigns for other candidates and won against the local trend, I found myself waking up each morning with the same thought in my head, "I want to fight in Xñ." The Xñ Constituency is the one in which I have lived for twenty-eight years and the only one which I want to represent as a Member of Parliament (MP). All I have to do is to overturn a majority of 20,000! (In the last election, among 72,000 voters, 30,000 voted for the sitting MP and only 10,000 for the Labour candidate, with a Liberal getting 14,000.)

A lot of amazing things have happened as a result of my deciding to fight this election to win, rather than to only "show the flag" as would be expected in a place like this. Most amazing is that Añ has decided to run a support group which is called "Get C.N. into Parliament." Eleven people have joined, a mixture of those RCers who happen to be members of my local Labour Party and some who are not. Añinsists that each participant come absolutely for him or herself, and this contributes visibly to all our re-emergence. It has been a huge contradiction for me. In the constituency, many members and supporters are helping me do the work of door-knocking, campaigning, and getting publicity of various sorts. The pace is accelerating, as it must if we are to win.

I have had some insights:

  1. Here, despair is the most prominent factor (mine and that of others)ñ"It can't be done." I have been working on feelings of despair for months, and they have felt dreadfully real. Recently the despair has begun to give way in two directions: First to powerlessness feelingsñ"I can't do it." (That's easyñyou just rub out the 'apostrophe t'!) Second to the realisation that despair is just a feelingñI am getting good at flipping myself out of it if there is no opportunity to discharge. Hope is the major gift I can and do offer.
  2. Political parties, at least as they are constituted here, function mostly in poor ways. The mutual mud-slinging, which is most of what goes on, is pure distress. However, the parties are useful as indicators of the kinds of attitudes members might have and potentially as class-based support groups.
  3. There is an oppression of politicians, which does everyone a disservice. Motivation to improve the world is never ascribed to politicians, who are assumed to lack honesty and integrity. Leadership attacks abound, and there is no opportunity for discharge. Do we get the best thinking from our politicians in these circumstances? I can't wait to change it from the inside.
  4. The encouragement of addictions around money (the earning, spending, hoarding of it, etc.) play a big role in holding the class system together. Getting my addictions finally sorted out will be such a help!

I am gaining lots from this work and enjoying much of it. I have just come back from the middle-class workshop led by Caroline New, assisted by Sean Ruth. It was excellent, and its emphasis on connections was so good for me, especially in relation to my campaign team.

"Confident Noble"
United Kingdom


Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00