Thursday, 17 September 2015

Sailing on the good boat JC

In my work I meet up with lots of people. In these last weeks I have been surprised how many  tell me that at some time or another or in some place or another, they have met Jeremy Corbyn. As the kind of politician who has always made sure he does get about meeting people, I am sure it is possible my acquaintances and friends have met him, but even if they have not, surely there is a new feeling abroad, invoked by JC, that people can be involved in politics rather than feeling that politics is something that is 'done' to them. He and those around him have also reminded us that politicians are to be found who are both ordinary and unique persons genuinely interested in working with, and for, those other ordinary and unique people who worry about paying their rent, feeding, clothing, sheltering and otherwise bringing up their children, or those who struggle to get through the day and who need practical and financial help.  Corbyn's approach suggests that a politician need not necessarily be, as many are, the type of person - invariably from the rich or not too badly off minority of our nation -   who tells us humble folk about the harsh austere life which they, however regrettably, must impose upon the rest of us.

On the matter of meeting up with people, no one has ever told me they have met David Cameron nor, indeed, that they have met Tony Blair, but that may say something about the quality of the company my friends, acquaintances and I keep. I have encountered Gordon Brown on two occasions, once on the Lomonds in Fife when walking with my nephew, C, and on another occasion when rambling around  in Kirkcaldy town centre with my elder grandson, S, on the day of his brother's, my younger grandson, J's, birth, but those are stories for another time.

I don't think Jeremy Corbyn and the crew of helpers who have so successfully achieved this overwhelming democratic Labour leadership victory are unsullied paragons but they are pioneers navigating the river of life who have caught us by surprise and sailed their small boat well past that little island stuffed full of a shipwrecked cacophonous crowd made up of the self-satisfied which includes among others : capitalists, the chatterers of the printed and broadcast mass media, members of the Conservative Party and, New Labour Blairites. For a moment one is almost tempted to pity them as they huff, puff and strain, stranded on their isle of patrician politics.

Still those of us who want a fairer more altruistic way of dealing with the world must be on our guard because these "know alls" on the island are, as I write, fighting among themselves for any odd spars they can find that will float them to the river banks where they will desperately romp and stomp their way down the embankments in an attempt to gain back control by damming the river before the good boat JC is able to reach its next berth.

We mustn't let them do this but we need not panic.  It is so easy to distract and stall them. Tell them that JC  will refuse to kneel down in front the Queen, or better still inform them that in a recent secret ritual he carried out with a coven of socialist witches, JC recited the words of the national anthem backwards. Providing them with these sorts of scenarios is guaranteed to arrest the smarty-pants and occupy them for days in mindless discussion and so allow people who lead real lives to get on with their daily struggles as well as giving them the time and space to make decisions for themselves free from the imperative filled babble of those who in their grandiosity really do believe they know what is best for us. It would be helpful if some of these 'unco guid' found a shady rill by the river and sat down for a while to reflect upon their pomposity. Some may already be doing this but I see no obvious signs of it yet.

The Tay Ferry


I am sorry to be paddling around in these political waters but right now it seems important for me to do so. I will try to forgive myself for all this counter-pomposity and I hope I will be back soon sailing on the Tay Ferry in 1950s Dundee.
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