In 5 days time, I will be going out and voting Labour in the general election. It'll be the 2nd time I have ever voted Labour (The 1st was the Euro and locals last year.) Today, I'd like to share my journey with you and how I decided to get into politics.
I was born, and have lived, in the same working class council estate all my life. My mum and dad have bought the house we live in via a mortgage, and it's a fairly comfortable place to live. But it wasn't always like this. I remember when I was a little boy and we lived in a cramped, smelly, cheap and smaller flat. My dad had come to this country during the Thatcher era, and my mum came from a poor family as well. In the early days, it was a struggle for them. My dad found insecure work that never lasted, ranging from being a painter to a waiter and then eventually finding more secure work as a taxi driver, so we could move out of that house. But it wasn't always the way it is now.
Then along came the Tony Blair government. It changed my parents' lives (And my own) overnight. Suddenly, we had tax credits to give us a leg up when things didn't go right. Suddenly, the NHS was back on its feet, schools were functioning again, the economy was moving and my dad's wages started to increase. Which is why I often refrain from outrightly condemning everything New Labour did (Though I was and always will be a firm critic of Iraq, and I am very critical of the Blair government on many issues). But this enabled me to grow up with opportunities that I fear are being taken away from this generation of people who are my ages.
That is what made this working class kid from a minority background get involved in politics. The one decision that probably tipped me over the edge was the decision by my local Tory council to close the AandE at my local hospital (Trafford General) endangering the lives of many of the residents. If they were willing to cut AandE and put lives at risk, what else might they be willing to do? In a way, I'd like to thank the Conservative party for radicalising me. Imagine the kind of fury and anger required to turn an apathetic idiot into a politico/geek. I didn't come into politics because of some ideological attachment to the left or right, though I do consider myself to be ideologically on the left. I only read "The communist manifesto" by Marx for the first time 2 years ago (And to be honest, I'm not a massive fan!) I didn't come into politics because I want a career in it, heck, I don't think I could ever could, nor would I want to, become an MP. I'd much rather concentrate on writing and trying to influence people's opinions that way. The reason I am in politics is because I want to play my part in making people's lives better. So no one has to struggle ever again in the way we had to in the early days. On May 7th, as the country goes to vote, I believe Labour is the only party which can do it.