Monday, 26 October 2015

Its groundhog day in the country

Angry of Wealden sends off his letter to his elected member, a Tory, naturally. The rebuff is received, polite but firm. No dice for humane revisions to policy. Lets try the Labour Party? Our concerns meet a dead end, with no elected members. End of politics for the rural dweller. What other recourse is there?

Well, there must be some, because the values and passions of socialists cannot simply be ignored, brushed aside. this way lies extreme blood pressure or a complete negation of Labour Party membership.

The first realisation must be that isolation does not mean total solitude. Surrounding each of us there are others, if only we are lucky enough to find them. shared values are a terrific social bridge. In our secret minority we may not wear our hearts on our sleeves for fear of pariah-dom; but perhaps we should, so that we can find or be found by these kindred souls. They too shout at Question Time, despair at the lack of Labour rebuttal, want to express their reasoned views. Linking up is the first step. This may be done informally - the pub is a good start - or in a more structured way, via the constituency party or other arranged group. There is strength and confidence in numbers as well as solidarity and company.

The collective view or rant achieved may then also remain unheard, of course and for the same reasons. What then? can Labour really ignore or afford to deny the local knowledge and passionate support of thousands of such individuals and pockets of socialism spread throughout the no-hope constituencies, merely treating them as cash cows and target-seat fodder? No. a way must be found to bring their voices, energies and know-how into play, not least because these represent a common experience of rural living and political needs. Living in the country is not all cows and Range Rovers. It is expensive; has fewer and poorer services and the transport to reach them. It is not to put us into Defra's hands as off-shoots of a now minute farming world. Link us up and we few are many. Turn the party towards our needs instead of just looking at party efficiency. Meet these needs and urban needs will probably be satisfied too.