Partially Reformed Content – #1

This ones going to be more of a ramble than an actual full formed blog today. The truth is that I’ve had a lot of small things on my mind recently and no one thing is fully formed enough to make a full formed post out of it. As a result this one may flit a little bit from topic to topic. But reformed blog content is a bit like reformed meat. It might not sound appetizing but damnit if it isn’t somewhat delicious as a sandwhich with a bit of tomato and salt. What im trying to say is; Im not exactly the most coherent person at the best of times. So this will actually be even more of a step down in terms of structure from my usual content.

(For anyone curious about what “Reformed Meat” is…)

I say that both as a warning and as a bit of a reassuring way for me to be open. Some people get annoyed by my chronic misuse of grammar and spelling, my flyaway structuring or my generally chirpy (If not slightly moany) attitude. So I completely appreciate it if you come here expecting even more film talk only to find me rambling about my Job or about anime or (As is the case here) a load of half thoughts that don’t really fit together. That kind of leads me into my first point really…

When I started this site There were three real motivations to do it. First and foremost I liked the idea of being able to blog about things that were off the beat and path of my regular content. While I love making the content that I do on my youtube channel I will admit that it can occasionally be a bit creatively stifling in the sense that I don’t really feel entirely comfortable making “Non film” based content on there. I’ve been umming and Ahhing about making some video game related content for a while but one of the big things stopping me is that I know that you dear reader (Along with a large chunk of the people who watch my stuff and arnt reading this) appreciate my film stuff and probably wouldn’t appreciate me badly talking over a video game play through I even considered making a separate channel just for gaming videos but when I realised that I barely have enough time to work on my other shows like “The comedy dining experience” or “Short film Spotlight” that it would be way too much trouble to try and grow an entirely separate channel (At least not until I’ve grown my main channel a little bit more).

The Second reason was that I thought by setting this site up I’d probably be able to have a better line of communication with you guys. I can talk to you through youtube comments but here it’s kind of a home turf. It means that I can engage with you all directly and hopefully be a bit more personal with you all about my life and where im going. Just watching my videos will give you one impression of me, I don’t want to be too personal in those videos because you come for the reviews not to hear about my life! That’s why I decided having a little space on the internet where I can talk to you all directly (Like this) would be a good way to give you a more well rounded idea of how things are going behind the scenes…That and I’d like to think that you lot would be equally fairly open with me because of this.

The third (And this is probably the most corporate reason) was that it gives my content a bit of a boost search wise. Im not gonna lie. Being a small channel on youtube has its highs and lows. On the one hand it means I don’t have pressure to produce content; Im not battling a tide of messages on social media and im given a lot of free room to shape my content. On the other hand though it means that the youtube system is set to work against me in terms of pushing my video out there and while my traffic is very good in relation to my sub numbers at this point; im still about 15 subscribers away from breaking 100 after 12 months on the platform and that can be a little bit draining when you spend a large amount of your downtime pushing your videos across various social media and when im not doing that im editing. So I figured that by setting up a site where I can publish my videos somewhere different from my youtube channel it gives the “Stumble upon” factor a bit of a boost while at the same time increasing the odds of people finding my content. Currently I share to 5 or 6 message boards, 2-3 facebook groups, 2-3 reddit feeds and here. that means that instead of my video just being hosted in one place (My youtube channel) it ends up being hosted on 13 places a week potentially. That gives me quite a bit of extra reach and can make the difference between someone subscribing and somebody never seeing my channel.

Screen Shot 2018-06-17 at 18.08.11

(While it isnt the highest figures n the world, since starting this site and pushing more on social media I’ve slowly started growing.)

I’ve only ever had 1 goal in terms of growth for my youtube channel and that was 100 subscribers. I had a couple of soft goals, I quite liked the idea of hitting 50 subscribers before I made my first year on youtube (Which I Succeeded in) and I also would have quite liked to have done better with my new channel than I did with my old channel over 10 years ago (Something I achieved last month). But they were spur of the moment goals really, Not something I aspired to from the off. The 100 sub goal was something I always wanted to achieve. Mainly because I wanted that sexy custom URL. Most youtubers moan about wanting to get monetized and wanting to be able to work full time on youtube. And while I can see an appeal in that I know that its both something im not majorly interested in currently and also that its something that’s completely off the table at this point anyway. I can take my time growing past 100 subscribers, but to hit 100 to me at least would be a sign that what I do is viable, that people DO want to see the kind of thing I put out. Not of course to diminish the wonderfulness that my current subscribers have bought me. Seriously if you’ve subscribed to my channel im tremendously grateful and I’ve made some wonderful friendships out of doing what im doing. But once I hit that goal I’ll feel somewhat legitimized I think. (It’ll also mean that I can finally start advertising my channel URL directly to people because at the minute having to share “Youtube.com/SIUFNHWIOUWijnijunbadspIOHNIUD242390” is a damn site less professional than being able to share something a bit shorter and neater looking…

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(Its getting very very close now! If your reading this and want to help a guy out I’d be tremendously appreciative!)

As an epilogue to the recent blogs I made “A new career in a new town” parts 1 and 2; Tomorrow I finally start my new job. I’ve been kind of hesitant to talk about my last few days with my old company but now that I’ve left I do feel a bit more comfortable talking about it. When I told my Boss I’d got the job he was surprisingly calm about the whole thing…Maybe even a bit surprised that I’d actually decided to up and leave. In hindsight I’ve taken it as he was either caught off guard and didn’t really know what to say about it so he had to try and keep it professional by being overly polite about it. Or that he was genuinely sad that I was leaving and wanted to keep things as amicable as possible. The remaining 4 weeks I spent at the company were pretty much quiet. My Boss and the remaining senior staff said very little to me during this time and whenever I needed to talk to them (Regarding holidays, sick leave, my P45) they were overly accommodating. Again im not sure whether this was because they were genuinely being nice or whether they were maybe trying to make me feel bad by trying to demonstrate what I was walking away from (i.e killing me with kindness) They let me have additional time off, they were happy to let me leave 4 days earlier than my notice period would allow and on the day that I left they told me I’d be welcome back at any time and that I’d be getting an invitation to there next works Christmas “do”. In short they made me feel very sad to be leaving them…whether this was intentional or not though I couldn’t honestly say. On the last day they told me they’d written my reference “But they wernt sure what the definition of serial murderer was” they laughed as did I but I couldn’t help again feel there was some malice in what was being said (One of the main reasons I was leaving was because of problems I’d had with them defining parts of there contract…so I wasn’t sure if this was a jab or just them having a joke) Equally there parting gift was a book entitled “Stories for boys who dare to be different” again. I wasn’t sure if this was supposed to be a coded jab at the contract issue or just a comment on the fact that in real life im a bit of a jittery eccentric sort. I shook everyones hands, I had a raft of facebook friend requests and then I stepped out ready to start my “New career in a new town”.

(Love this instrumental. while it’s no “Sound and vision” its one of my fave tracks off this album)

I have fond memories of working at my old place. I’ll miss it terribly in terms of my co-workers, the ease of the job and the routine. But at the same time I don’t think I’ll ever be able to separate those happy memories from those tinged bad times which is a real shame. It was inevitable that would have to leave there at some point. I just wish it had kind of been more definitive rather than several reformed arguments and stress inducing moments coagulating into a slab of not wanting to be there anymore. Im excited for the challenge that my new job will open up but at the same time Im right now dealing with some internalised issues. I wonder whether I’ll take to the job. I wonder whether I’ll make any friends or whether ill be the loner of the group. I wonder how im going to sort out the situation with Parking (my new employers have a deal with the local council to enforce a permit based system for parking in the local area and if you park anywhere within a 2 mile radius of the main office without a permit you can get into serious trouble apparently)Which is going to be fun as I don’t really have any direct means of getting in if I cant park there. I have some stress around finances at the minute because over the next 3 months my pay is going to become a bit strained (I’ll get half a pay check at the end of this month, half a paycheck in the middle of next month and then a month and a halfs paycheck at the end of August…which is going to be bitty and difficult to manage (Though I know in the long run, if the job takes, that I’ll be significantly better off) It’s the usual first day jitters but in these turbulent times I really just want things to work out as much in my favour as is possible. In short while my old job had some set in rot that slowly made the position untenable, the new jobs got a load of instant problems that’ll be resolved slowly over 3-4 months one way or another. I just hope that in 3 months time when I’ve properly settled in I’ll be able to blog on here about my wonderful situation and how I made the right choice…

(Pictured: Hopefully, me.)

On to more positive things however! Labour Live! A big festival held in London celebrating art, creativity and most importantly Jeremy Corbyn. Now. being up front and honest I think that music and politics should go together like Church and state (I.e: they shouldn’t) And I wasn’t particularly enamoured to the idea of this when they first announced it. However at the same time I realised that there are some people out there who’d really enjoy this kind of thing and im not going to stand in the way of a good afternoons entertainment. I thought £35 was a bit steep mind. And I did think the line up was a bit less than steller. But overall “Eh; it’ll do as well as it’s meant to do…” initial reports looked very sketchy about how many ticket sales there had been for this festival. Indeed as of a fortnight before the event itself papers like “The Mail” were reporting only 3000 of the 20000 tickets for the event had been sold and they were laughing it up good and proper. I kind of felt a bit embarrassed and in some ways I still do about the fact they had to slash ticket prices and offer them for free to people who were in Unions. But at the same time as I live in the north of England I was left kind of thinking “Well what did you expect!?” they held an event in a rather obscure part of London, charged a fortune to get in and hired bands that were fairly low key and then were worried it didn’t sell very well…

(If it had been closer and cheaper i’d have probably gone…Labours a northern party traditionally so holiding a festival in the south seems a bit counter productive to me…)

The reality of the day was quite a bit different. Instead of 3000 unshaven sack wearers turning up there was actually closer to 13000 people. All of whome were ramped up for some good old politicking! Which was a nice turnaround as I was expecting something closer to an absolute disaster. Everyone seemed to have a lovely time and everyone seemed to be hoping there’d be another one next year. And while that didn’t stop the right wing papers from turning up the second the doors opened, snapping an empty field and going “AHAHAHA!!! See! Empty! AHAHAHAAA!” the pictures from later on in the day definitely showed that while there may not be a market for a “Labour Live 2” there was an appetite still for the kind of politics that prompted something like Labour Live in the first place.

(What the Daily mail reported as “The Turn out for Labour Live” vs what the actual turnout was like)

I think generally at this point everyones fed up with the sniping and political conniving that has taken place over the last 3 years. We’re fed up of trump, fed up of Brexit, fed up of the left wing, fed up of the far right wing. And in these times I think it would be quite easy to think that it would be better off if we just retreated back to the homoginized lump that was center ground politics. That now mythical time between 1997 and 2005 where yes both the UK and the US were going down the toilet still. But at a significantly slower rate than we were under thatcher and an exceedingly slower rate than we currently are under May. Its easy to forget however that in the UK specifically we haven’t had a far left leaning government now for approaching 50 years. And that if you keep voting for right and center field candidates, then complaining that the countries going to the dogs. Your kind of answering your own question. Nowadays the working and middle class are fed up. They’ll vote for the option likely to cause the most damage to the country not because they believe it’ll benefit them but purely because they know that in doing so they’ll give the government a bloody nose. Maybe even make them leave…at which point the public will inevitably end up voting in another right wing government thus making the wheel spin once again ever out of there favour…its madness really…

I think the main problem we currently deal with lies in the fact that we’ve effectively polarized the population. Its either a case of you think people should be able to say and do whatever they want with no ramifications whatsoever or you think that you should sacrifice some of that freedom in order to make the world generally a much nicer place to live in, and that’s it. Theres no budging on that. Your either happy endorsing racist, mysoginistic and homophobic beliefs because you think free speech at any cost is necessary. Or your living in 1984 and you don’t think anyone should be allowed to say anything offensive because everyone should be allowed to have a safe space. Its all bollocks if you ask me (And one of the main reasons I retreated to the safety and comfort of the internet where I can hang around with people who are tonally on my level and experience both ends of the political spectrum on my own terms as and when) I don’t agree with the far right because. Well I don’t think unfiltered free speech has ever been a good idea. Equally I don’t agree with the far left because I don’t think being 100% accommodating is a practical endeavour to strive for. As for the center ground?…well I don’t agree with them because I don’t think they’re left wing enough and the right wing elements put me off…so I kind of drift in and out of the far left of the spectrum. Tentatively labelling myself a socialist though not feeling like I’ve done enough to earn the title. Its because of the last 3 years that I’ve stopped judging people on there political beliefs and started judging them by there actions. And I’ve found my life somewhat more enriched for it. I have friends now who are conservative but who do extraordinary things for charities, wouldn’t hurt a fly and are constantly out trying to help the homeless and minority groups. Equally I have a bounty of friends on the left who couldn’t be more considerate human beings. By judging a person on the contents of there heart over the contents of the ballot box I’ve been able to make more meaningful relationships in my life. and yes we don’t have to agree on everything politically, and yes there’ll be heated arguments at times. But It doesn’t matter when, after all is said and done, we can put that aside and enjoy a nice night above politics.

(These Twunts need to go away mind…I have neither the time nor the patience for them…)

Other bits of news…well I recently did my first Dumpster dive for VHS tapes. a house a few doors down from me was chucking out a load of stuff as they are in the process of moving and one day while walking down to my car I noticed a massive bag of VHS tapes sitting in there. I tried to get permission to take them but they were out so I quickly skimmed through the contents and came away with 2 tapes (Most of them were football tapes or films I’d already got). In many ways its kind of a “Right of passage” in the VHS community to dumpster dive. Charity shops don’t accept tapes these days so trying to get your hands on them outside of the trading community can be kind of difficult. I hope it wont be my last Dumpster diving experience. Though equally I hope that I find more next time than dog ear’d sell thru copies of “Resevoir Dogs” and “From Dusk Till dawn” .

(Hardly the biggest and best find in the world. But hey for a first dive to find at least 2 things I like in amongst a load of football tapes was quite a plesent feeling…)

I recently sat down with my good friend Ben to once again record some new “Comedy Dining experiences” we intended to do 3 full commentaries and while the first 2 came out fine, the last one was a mess. It was nearly 3 in the morning and we were both very tired. So I may end up supercutting that one just to get the best bits out of it. We’re hoping to do another one in July sometime though in the mean time it’s a bit more of a case of “Watch this space” than anything else.

(Heres our first episode together if anyones interested…)

After writing this blog post im pretty much going to spend the rest of tonight working on the last script of season 4, and script editing/recording 3 new episodes of my show to go out some time in August. Im currently working on a collaboration that’s proving to be a lot of fun and I cant wait to share it with you guys as and when it gets finished. Then its just a case of filling in the last of the paper work for my new job, getting my outfit ready and trying to get an early night in so I can be as bright eye’d as possible for tomorrow.

And I think that’s everything for now. im sure I’ve missed some points I really wanted to talk about but for now I think this is a good place to leave you on. I’ll probably do another one of these in a couple of weeks but in the mean time thank you for taking your time to read this and I hope you have the best week it’s possible to have in June.

(While not entirely relevent to this blog I’ve been listening to this for the last 2-3 weeks constantly…that guitar hooks waaaaay too damn catchy!)

Socialist Training Wheels (Part 2) The Harvest

So this was a long time coming, and now totally irrelevant but I’ve finally been able to get some time together to sort out Part 2 of my promised look into the Local elections. The last time I wrote about politics like this I was slowly nursing an alcoholic beverage and I feel that by the time I was at the end of it, I was probably a bit too far gone to be able to meaningfully convey my feelings about the local elections.

(I probably wasnt that far off this by the end of part 1…)

I feel now however that the time to talk about the elections in an analytical way has somewhat passed me by. Obviously its no secret that Labour (While not overachieving) more than held there own and made overall gains in large swathes of the country. The conservatives made a few gains and the liberal democrats seemingly cleaned up quite nicely in the wake of  the collapse of the UKIP vote. However to read the papers the morning after the polls closed you could be led to believe that the labour party had completely disintegrated overnight. They failed to seize several major targets and as a result the night was a failure for them. Except…it wasn’t really…y’see, those “Major targets” wernt initially set up by Labour, they were set up by the newspapers. They were the ones who were right off the bat publishing that Labour would be able to seize control of local councils that hadn’t been run by the Labour party in decades. When the situation was put to the Labour party they said the equivalent of “Well we’re aiming high!” which is a bit different than saying “We’re going to smash it and we cant wait to bring in big bad Galloway to kick arse and impose renationalisation”

The newspapers whipped up such a frenzy about how well Labour were going to do that realistically they could never have achieved the levels of success that the media was predicting. Equally they played out the idea that the conservatives were going to do terribly, to the point where when they didn’t absolutely burst into flames we were told they’d had a good night!

(A similar set of front pages from 2017’s general elections…notice the flies on the front of the sun clearly illustrating where that rag of a newspaper belongs…)

This has been a recurring problem now for a couple of years at this point. The newspapers make an untrue or unrealistic statement about the labour party, its proven false or it doesn’t pan out in quite the way it should have, and then they seize on that with the force of me trying to get into my precert copy of Halloween 3.

Anti-Semitism has been the flavour of the day recently, with most of the major news outlets, the conservative party and even some of the labour party itself admitting that the party had a problem with anti-Semitic rhetoric. As a member of the Labour party and someone who’s regularly engaged in political debates both with leftwing and rightwing representatives;  I cant honestly say I’ve seen anyone from the party use Anti-Semitic sentiments on any of the social media pages I frequent nor have I seen anything while at Labour party meetings. Im almost certain there are Anti-Semites in the labour party. Statistically its almost inevitable. But at the same time I don’t think theres nearly as many as the mainstream media would have you believe and I think a major issue is that the right and even some members of the right of Labour are purposefully conflating “Anti-Semitism”  with “Anti-Zionism” and the two are completely different.

Now forgive me if im incorrect on this (and im more than happy to be proven wrong here) but I’ve been led to believe that originally there was Palestine, then the UK colonised parts of the middle east, before giving chunks of our colonised land to the Jewish people in what became Israel…and over the last 60-70 years Israeli forces have slowly but surely seized more and more of Palestine and oppressed the Palestinian people. Not that Palestine’s been entirely innocent either, they’ve given as good as they’ve got. However I feel it necessary to reiterate that it was there land originally and that they do have every right to be a bit pissed off at the fact that large chunks of there land have been taken and that the Palestinian people and government have been painted as brutal…in real terms it would be like if you owned your own house and one day you had a visitor who bought a friend over for the night, but the next day your friend had vanished and his friend was now saying that the bathroom is his and that he was eyeing up your kitchen…by the end of the week you had your bed and the skirting boards all the way to the door and your friends random associate is screeching at you for being unreasonable that you dared keep the bed.

(Its been doing the rounds on social media but its a pretty decent illustration to be fair…)

Now for having those opinions I would be considered Anti-Zionist. But to some people that would be enough of an opinion to label me Anti-Semitic. I would disagree with those people and I’d add that there really needs to be a concerted effort to make clear distinctions between the two groups because they’re very different groups.

Obviously though that something that the conservative party and the mainstream media have no interest in facilitating. As long as this Anti-Semitism thing continues to push on it continues to put the labour party on the back foot and it continues to make out that anyone who supports Jeremy Corbyns policies automatically hate Jews. Which is simply not the case. And this is before we get anywhere near the constant stream of racist, misogynistic, homophobic and anti-Semitic bollocks that the conservative party members and even there MP’s have come out with over the last 40 years (Seriously there are too many photos of Conservative MP’s dressed up in full nazi uniforms for my taste)

To conclude I’d like to say that I think we’ve finally entered a period in our political history where we are about to see the death of the current system. Democracy used to be run on base principles. If you lied while in office, if you misled the public or damaged the country, you’d be thrown out of power and shamed out of the position never to be seen again. As of 2018 we have a government who are propped up by a group of radical right wing northern Irish MP’s , stabilised by the media who have finally decided to give up the pretence of looking like they know what they’re doing. They can say the sky is purple and when they’re shown proof its blue they’ll silently walk off, wait till something bigger than there lie crops up and then use that as an opportunity to bury it. There most common current tactic is to simply abstain. If theres a vote or an urgent question or there asked to give a statement in relation to something that they’ve said or done. They’ll either just refuse to acknowledge it or if they do they’ll send an back bencher or an underling to give a generic statement. In doing this they’re effectively saying “We do not accept the legitimacy of what your doing” there have been several votes more recently in parliament that have effectively been rendered meaningless because the entire conservative party has just abstained from turning up and voting. In doing so they can then question the legitimacy of the vote and I don’t want to invoke “Godwins law” here but im angry just thinking about it so fuck it. That’s what the actual Nazis did just before world war 2. When votes or narrative wernt going there way they’d just up and leave and then refuse to acknowledge that a vote happened or implement a bastardised version of the asked policy before the vote could happen effectively making it meaningless because “We’re already putting similar legislation in place” it’s a dick move that erodes trust in the political system and its considerably nastier and thicker than anything that Thatchers government would have considered (And they’re seen as pure evil by most people above the southern border)

(Well its good to get a futurama meme into one of these blogs somehow)

How do we fix this? Well, I don’t know. I like to think that Socialism will win out ultimately but the question becomes a matter of “Will we see this change before or after we’ve been totally and utterly broken beyond repair?” The honest answer is: I don’t know…im not going to lie things arnt quite as awful as they were in 2017 so far. But they’ve only gotten marginally better largely because the EU have decided to just ignore America and the UK in terms of there leaders. I’ll give them this. The EU arnt perfect, but at least they’ve acknowledged that for the foreseeable that they’re on there own and that the US and UK are slowly eating themselves.

Maybe things will work out…maybe they’ll get worse…honestly at this point I’ve gone from having faith in my fellow man to constantly plotting out how I’ll survive the next inevitable downward drive in living standards. I like to think things will get better soon. But till then I guess im still stuck with my socialist training wheels.

Socialist Training wheels (Part 1) The Quickening

This one’s going to be a political blog. I kind of feel like I should open with that kind of a statement whenever I talk about politics in general partly because I feel like if I didn’t mention that this was a political posting that people would immediately dive into posts like this, get violently triggered and take it out on both me and my channel. But also because I realise there are some people out there who really don’t care that much for politics and don’t want it to get in the way of a good cult movie.

So consider this a “Trigger” warning. Not because Im going to say anything particularly controversial; But rather because if you don’t want to know my political affiliation, if you don’t care or if you think it would change your opinions of me fundamentally mentioning it now will give you ample time to click away or go and do something different. As it stands it’s a boiling hot Sunday night on the 6th of May, I have a white rum and Dr Pepper on the go as I write this, and I’ve spent the day pretty much getting my house straight as the bank holidays are really the only time I have to do that kind of thing. Last night me and my partner watched “Liquid Sky” and “A nightmare on elm street” the former was very strange and about as erotic as a cold cloth to the gunnels the latter was like stepping back into a well worn pair of shoes. What im trying to say is if you don’t want to faff around with hearing me waffle on about pie charts and various other political bits and pieces I highly recommend you go and check those films out. Let me know either in the comments here or on Facebook or my Youtube channel if you do go and watch them. I’d genuinely love to hear what you thought of them…

(My comments sections after this blog post gets read by anyone who cares)

…Right; So Im assuming if your reading this your invested. Good. So, a bit about myself. I was born in the North of England, my father was disabled (blind in one eye, damaged spinal cord and he’s missing a kneecap) and my mother worked minimum wage jobs up until about 10 years ago when she finally moved into a position she currently works in that pays above minimum wage and is very happy with. I’ve never known true struggling but I realise that my parents have done there absolute damndest to both protect me from that and to build the lives they currently have, and im incredibly grateful that they’ve given me the life they have. In many ways they’re both an inspiration to me. They had no handouts, they had no help and they’ve made themselves a very comfortable existence. They never talked to me about politics and I spent a good chunk of my childhood and early teens blissfully unaware of the political landscape mainly because I had no need to know about any of that stuff.

I find myself in a bit of a political quandary these days. As a citizen of the UK we’ve had a bit of an interesting couple of years politically. I myself first got involved in politics around the fall of Tony Blair. The “Happening” of Gordon Brown and the “Awakening of the Milliband”.  At the time I just kind of described myself as just “Left wing” really. In the vaguest sense I kind of thought “Well; Labour help people, the Conservatives help businesses and the libdems…well they don’t know what they want…BUT THEY WANT IT NOW!”  and that was pretty much how my political views went until about 2014…

(Changes were very much on the way)

In 2014 around the time of Ed Millibands general election run there was a sudden sort of change in politics in the country. Newspapers were chiming on about how Millibands policies were “Radically” Left wing and that he was effectively a “Loony leftie” trying to drag the party towards Socialism. But what the papers were saying and what I saw Ed say were two very different things. I didn’t honestly see all that much difference between Ed Millibands policies and the policies that had been generated during the Blair and Brown years. But for some reason the papers and the media in general were absolutely rabid at trying to tear the man down. That I’d say was my first introduction to the ideas of Socialism, but at that point I had no idea what socialism even was nor did I really have any interest in following it up. At the time I just thought that “Socialism” just meant “Very left wing” or “Not being a total arsehole” and left it at that. Little did I know at the time that Socialism would go on to effectively punctuate the next 4 years and is set to continue to define the UK political undertones for the foreseeable.

The General election didn’t quite go to plan and as a result there was a leadership election and in that leadership election a certain “Jeremy Corbyn” was entered into the running as a Joke candidate by members of the Labour party. In short; they were trying to be cruel. They put his name on the ballot in the same way that School kids would nominate the ugly guy and girl to win Prom king and queen. They never expected him to win and they thought it would be a funny way to give the far left of the Labour party a good kicking for a laugh. Little did they know that they’re “Cruel Joke” would go on to change the political landscape in insurmountable ways.

(10 years ago if you’d told me this man would change british politics as we know it i’d have laughed you out of the building)

Corbyn won. Corbyn won by a majority that was unheard of in modern political times. And this made the center left of the Labour party who put him on the ballot in the first place collectively cack themselves. They were terrified. It had all backfired on them, and what at first was supposed to be a way to remind the far left of there place very quickly became an empowering pandoras box of left wing ideology. Over the following 3 years the center left of the party, enabled by the right wing and the newspapers would do everything short of “Jeremy Corbyn ate my hamster” to try and dethrone the man. But as of writing he’s still firmly in seat and his popularity continues to grow at a previously unheard of rate. They’ve tried to smear him, it’s failed. They’ve tried challenging his leadership by putting up a new candidate with more center ground political values. He beat him increasing his share of the vote (Meaning that he broke the record for the most votes a labour representative has ever received in a leadership contest and then broke that record again with an even larger majority) When a snap general election was called the center left couldn’t contain themselves at looking for opportunities to try and tell people to vote for MP’s and not for Corbyn as leader. Hell even Tony Blair came out of the woodwork to decree that Corbyn would destroy the country if people voted for him…And then Corbyns vision of labour increased the majority of there party in parliament. Quite substantially really. He secured more votes than Tony blair did at the height of his campaigning (Tony Blair in the UK is often seen as the benchmark of how to be a left winger and succeed in politics) and even though he didn’t become prime minister, he gave the conservatives a bloody nose, sent right wing pundits into a tail spin and but the center left on notice.

It was a great feeling. For me; I’d always assumed that the kind of policies that I wanted to see implemented into the country; Proper funding for the NHS, UBI, greater care taken for people with mental health issues, a modernisation of the economy and a greater restriction put on shady business practises and media regulation in terms of promoting false or incorrect news. We’re all just wishful thinking. I never actually thought someone would come along and say  “Yeh mate; we can do that no problem”…And yet with Corbyns vision of labour it all seems quite possible.

(Cornwall under Corbyns version of labour in 2033)

I now feel a bit of confusion really about where I lie politically. Realistically my politics align with what would be considered modern socialism. At the time of writing theres been a tremendous gulf in the political landscape, with the conservatives absorbing a good chunk of UKIP (The party that put out the idea of Brexit in the first place…Far right wing and typically racist) back into there vote share they now have a robust arsenal of people ranging from the quite reasonable and ultimately decent just straddling a line of politics that I disagree with right the way through to racist thugs who pine for a country that never existed. The left wing consist these days of people who actively detest the party in its current form but refuse to move to the conservatives out of pure red blooded hatred of there past misgrieviences. Through to the full blown Communist left wingers who wake up to the USSR national anthem every morning and go to bed to the Internationale every night. Myself? I agree with what Jeremy Corbyns Labour Party has to offer to a point. It’s mainly there stance on Brexit that I disagree with. Im a firm voter of remaining in the European union though I accept that there needed to be a much needed conversation about the direction it was heading in…an opportunity that’s very unlikely to come about now.

But my opinion is that “Well; I agree with 99 things that the Labour party are currently offering, I think I can swallow my pride over the 1 thing I don’t agree with” Brexits a really big thing admittedly, but we currently have so many home grown issues that Im not going to split hairs when I agree with a majority of what the party is putting out there. These opinions and views have been labelled “Active communism” by the modern press and are ridiculed by the right as “A load of students who don’t know any better trying to vote in a communist government”…but the thing is “A load of students” isn’t enough to make the kind of leaps that the current labour party have in the UK. This is a genuinely growing movement and the ideas that I thought were “Wishful thinking” have never actually been closer to coming true before. Both parties, left and right, have lurched to there relative extremes. And for the foreseeable future it would appear that, barring a tremendous incident, The entire countries at a stalemate.

 

(British politics in 2018 in a nutshell)

*Believe it or not; this blog post started with the intention of being about the recent local election though it appears I’ve rambled a bit. I’ve gotten quite carried away. I think im going to make this a “Part 1” if you will. Im going to broach the subject of the local elections in my next blog post all being well. But I thought I’d share my political affiliation with you lot because some people are really interested in that kind of thing. Equally I’ll end this post by saying that as a TLDR on my political affiliation. While Im aligned with modern socialism I don’t feel comfortable calling myself a socialist. Mainly because I kind of feel I haven’t “Earned” that right just yet. I’d feel like I was living a lie to start openly calling myself a socialist because I feel I’d be piggy backing on a current trend. I look at the people who weathered socialism in the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s who sat there silently whilst being mocked and I think “I cant really say Im with these lot. These lot have suffered for there beliefs and I’ve just rocked up at the 11th hour” maybe someday I’ll lose my socialist training wheels. But for now I’m just a “Left winger”…and im happy to talk.

Addendum:

There’s a bit I wanted to put into this blog but I just couldn’t fit in anywhere. It’s a bit of a clarification more than anything else. I don’t care what your political affiliation is. Im not going to attack you for being left wing, right wing or center ground. What I will pick you up on is whether your a nice person in your day to day business and whether your hearts in the right place towards your fellow man. I have friends from the Far right and Far left side of the spectrum and while we may not see eye to eye politically on a number of things I realise that a persons politics does not define them anymore than the car they drive, the partner they marry or there choice of beer in a bar (Unless you drink Heineken in which case fuck you.) As a result I’ve had many interesting conversations with people, sometimes I’ll change there minds, sometimes they’ll change mine. Im a great believer in diversit of opinion and while I’ll admit this blog post is very promotional in its left wing values. The left are far from perfect and the day they make the “Perfect political party” is the day that I eat a car out of sheer surreal bafflement. What Im trying to say is; Believe whatever you want to believe Im not going to judge you whether your Labour or Democrat, republican or conservative. Its whats in your head and your heart that define you. And I realise that’s one of the hippiest things I could say. But I find it very true.

(Yeh theres going to be more of this…hopefully more coherent as well)

(In The next part! I work out my feelings a bit more and hopefully finally get round to talking about what I wanted to talk about in this part!)