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I'm a fully paid up member of the green party as of today.
Anyone else a member of a party?
I'm also a member of the Green Party. I joined up when I lived in Brighton, and Caroline Lucas was the candidate in my constituency. I voted for her and gave out some leaflets and so on, and she became their first MP, so that went well.
I'm also on their mailing list for Medway, because I'm from there. Mark Reckless is one of the local MPs, and there are a lot of people locally who would vote UKIP (not that there aren't a lot of decent people in the Medway Towns, there are, but the bad people are REALLY bad). I'm not eligible to vote in the by-election, because I don't live there anymore, but I really, really hope he doesn't win. My dad lives in Rochester, and luckily he would never vote UKIP in a million years, so at least I don't have to convince any family members.
Today on Facebook, one of my hometown friends who still lives there posted a photo of her in disgust holding UKIP beermats that had been put out in a pub we've been going to for years and years. She's been getting lots of horrible racial abuse recently in the street and having people screaming at her to go back where she came from, and she's rightly kicking up a big fuss at the pub about their UKIP support.
Don't think I could go to a pub that had any political beermats, let alone UKIP ones.
It's a depressed ex-industrial area with not much money and some shocking social attitudes and aggressive people, so it's not like we can just go to any old pub, there's a small selection of ones you feel you can go to safely, and to have one of the main ones do this feels extra crap.
Some silly little boy has already waded in and lectured my friend on why on why she is doing it all wrong and she is too bothered about it and WAAAH! FREE SPEECH (and even worse, claims to be a Green voter so he is being "impartial" about this!). A white man lecturing a mixed-race woman who is concerned about a racist political party gaining ground in her area. GAH! PEOPLE
If the one safe, decent pub did that, there'd be nowhere to go.
Definitely noticed racists coming out the woodwork thinking their views are legitimate cause of UKIP. Fucking depressing.
Oh god the guy has gone "it was all just a joke! I spoke to the landlord and he just put them out as a joke! stop taking everything too seriously! you're ruining his nice business! I'm really objective about everything!" UGH
I joined one in March
Does current British politics make you want to cry?
and then cry
Always had quite different representations of feminism in the public though
is that Swedish feminism has always been more outspoken and in your face, and at the same time a bit more hip and "sexy" than Norwegian feminism. We are catching up a bit now though, loads and loads of feminist webzines and events and whatnot (I run a feminist film website myself). But traditionally lots of people don't want to call themselves feminist in Norway because it's not cool or whatever, like it's still more associated with the movements of the 70s and 80s and the typical radical "manhating" feminist stereotype. I get the impression that in Sweden it's been a bit more liberal as it were, and that feminism has been understood more widely as a term that can include different sorts of movements etc
Aside from in the main cities & university towns that's pretty much the situation here
I guess maybe the difference is that Fi's spokesperson (they/we shun the idea of 'leadership') is Gudrun Schyman who is a consummate political professional & former leader of the Left party and is the most impressive public speaker I've ever seen
Her background and skills bring a lot of credibility to the party when they are given a media platform
That said, she has also put off a lot of white middle-class, middle-aged, privileged & wealthy women who balk at the idea of 'everyone being of equal worth'
It was a massive disappointment to fall just shy of the 4% needed to get into the Riksdag but given the funding levels it was a huge achievement really - don't know how it is in Norway but only parties currently in the Riksdag get election support, all other parties need to bankroll their entire election campaign from private fundraising, including even printing their own ballot papers
So, major handicaps
In spite of not getting into the Riksdag though Fi really managed to put equality (and not only gender equality) onto the political agenda of almost all parties in the election campaign
It's no coincidence that the new Govt. of 24 ministers are exactly a 50/50 gender split
Other activists have made a big difference in the representation of women in media & business, particularly
Whose founder & creator Lina Thomsgård stepped aside from her position there after running it for four years to work on helping Fi campaign for the European & Riksdag elections
I can't for the life of me think why there isn't a Rättviseförmedlingen in every country - it's such straightforward, genius, positive activism and has really shown that placing women, POC & non-CIS persons in visible positions usually occupied by men has an immediate & continuing positive effect in breaking down 'norms' that are barriers to diversity & opportunity - that this kind of activism is not a form of 'positive discrimination' but is in fact a tool toward making visible and then combatting existing discrimination
Here's what they do in English for the non-Swede speakers out there
And (in Swedish) here's their current spokesperson celebrating having placed 700 people in jobs stereotypically held by privileged types - not failing a single time in finding qualified and competent candidates
i can't find my wallet. as if someone of a different political persuasion is hiding it so i can't join....no, surely not
I'm still a member of the Conservative party, though somewhat reluctantly. Am finding myself feeling pretty alienated as I think the party is taking the wrong approach in its reaction to UKIP etc, and suspect I might be moving to the left in my views (especially since I left working in Westminster).
What was it that made you join the Tories to begin with? Like, I can understand why old people or rich middle aged people or public school types support them, but I'm curious about what draws in people who don't fit the typical categories.
(this isn't a chance to jump on you, I'm genuinely curious)
At least you have an impressive ability to drink beer.
Not sure why you'd be curious about someone being a Conservative. Not sure if `typical categories` has much currency here either. At least not any more. Young voters are now more likely to voice a desire to vote Conservative than both people their parents and grandparents age.
(I can't find the polling data that I saw about this online at the minute, but I'll keep searching).
What I mean is that unless you just join a party because your parents are members, there has to have been some kind of a policy or public statement that made you go "aha! these are the people for me! they're on my side" and I've always been at a bit of a loss as to what the things are that draw young people to their side who don't have wealth to want to protect. Belief or hope that their future selves will be in the position to need that kind of protection?
Think that's a bit of a narrow view of what the Conservative Party represents to be honest, which might be hampering your understanding. Got a few mates who've been Tories since they were younger, and from what I can deduce:
- Emphasis on personal freedoms vs. the supposed nanny state
- Trust in running the economy
- Lack of faith in the Welfare State esp. benefit claimants
- Having tougher views on law and order
- Being more vocally patriotic
- Admiring Margaret Thatcher
Are all more important to them than ideas of being rich, getting rich and holding wealth. Based on my experience anyway. And yeah this may all be filtered down through their parents - but the same's true for Labour families etc. etc.
Think there's a more vociferous strain coming through the `Generation Y` C/conservative folk though which is actively and aggressively Thatcherite. Hatred of Trade Unions, believing there is absolutely no alternative to the unshackled free market and the pursuit of economic growth above all other imperatives being key. Young people these days seem to trust businesses a hell of a lot. Very worrying to me, personally.
I've just always found it very weird and hard to understand, coming from an area which was totally reliant on an industry destroyed by Thatcher in the 80s, but which still has lots of Tory support. There is a really strong strain of xenophobia and nationalism in the area (it's amazing the vitriolic reaction you get mentioning the word Kosovan round there) which kind of explains it, and definitely explains the UKIP and BNP support, but I've never really been able to get my head around why Medway likes the Tories.
if you look at it from a purely economic point of view (i.e. the Tories not representing their interests economically - key headscratcher point for most left-wing sociologists in the 80s!) It's a variety of things but it probably boils down to a combination of patriotism, feelings that things `used to be better` and the fact the country needs to be tougher on benefit scroungers, illegal immigrants and the like. Welfare and immigration poll higher in lists of `What the electorate are concerned about` than most other stuff (inc. unemployment/crime etc.)
Just speculating though.
This is the place where when I was working in a pub aged 18/19 a customer who wanted to insult me said "no offence love, but you do look like you're in education"
Also a town where you see regularly people hitting their small children in the shopping centre and saying "shut up you little cunt" and then turning on anyone they see around them looking shocked. Oh, Medway.
in places like Leytonstone and Tottenham, I can confirm that happens in parts of London quite a bit too.
I live in Tottenham now, round the corner from my auntie's old house! At least people in London mind their own business.
As in they don't shout out at you on the street or in shops half so much. Never had any men in Tottenham stop their car and offer me £10 to get in either, which is something that's happened to me in Rochester & Chatham multiple times.
Pretty sure there's examples of horrible parenting everywhere tbh.
However did you recover from such an assault?
Strangely she suddenly got far less booze in her mixed drinks and very slow service . .
Like Thanet (or Southend, or Basildon), it's an economically deprived area that lost a lot of industry, but which is close enough to London for enough people to have made it themselves, and assumed that anyone else not doing the same is on the take from the state, while also hemorrhaging the young, the talented and the educated. It's interesting to contrast the likes of the economically-deprived Kentish towns on the mainland (eg Medway and Sittingbourne - both usually Tory/UKIP areas) with the relatively isolated Sheppey, which is typically Labour.
Chatham Town Welcomes Desperate Men and all
It's a good thing Sheppey exists, at least people from Medway can feel there's *someone* in the world they can look down on a bit.
on to the Sheppey trains to beat them all up.
I imagine that the lads from Chatham used to do the same to the lads from Sittingbourne as well.
I think you'll find it's officially known as Shittingbourne.
Also, I remember before they built the new bridge to Sheppey, the train used to leave you on a bit of concrete (not even an actual station, just a bit of concrete on the ground) on the mainland side, and you'd have to walk across the bridge yourself into Sheerness. The train company clearly did not want to go over there.
It's a protected route. If the train operator had its way they'd scrap the whole branch line, but the trains have always run through to Sheerness.
Perhaps the early termination was due to engineering works.
I think it was when they were building the new bridge. I had to go to Sheppey a few times in that period, and every time I got dumped on that bit of concrete. It wasn't fun!
Not everyone in the Medway towns is awful :)
Like totally by accident after I finished my degree (did archaeology for chrissakes and had little interest in politics before hand).
Joined for 2 reasons- 1) Narrow minded careerism + job opps 2) support of my old boss as best candidate for the area and the fact that I shared most of the views she had (on the very left of the party, passionately pro immigration etc).
Agree that I'm not a typical tory member- come from the midlands, from a wc family and am disabled, but also don't really see where else I can go- am pretty centrist overall, wouldn't ever consider joining the Labour party, and couldn't join the lib-dems. Have respect for the Greens, but just plain don't share the party's views on most things.
So if you hadn't've had the personal connection with your old boss who impressed you as a decent person, do you think you would have stayed apolitical?
welcome zahidf or whoever you actually are
Although it's increasingly hard to justify, even to myself.
They bombard you with shit emails and pleas for money.
...when I consider that I rejoined (resigned over Iraq in 2003 obvs) just after the last election and one of the only active things I've done as a member was to vote for Ed M as party leader.
My housemate's boyfriend got mistaken for Ed Milliband at the swimming pool by an old lady recently. I should add here that her BF is a 29 year old mixed-race guy who looks absolutely nothing like Ed Milliband in any way apart from having dark hair. He was having a swim, and when he got out this old lady came up to him and started shaking his hand and patting his shoulder and talking about politics. He felt really awkward, esp because he was standing there in his swimming trunks, but he played along both because he is nice and because he was curious to work out who on earth she thought he was. When he realised it was Ed Miliband he tried really hard not to burst out into hysterical laughter. He pretended he had to dash to an important meeting, and had a good laugh in the changing rooms.
It should be of no surprise at all that a political party keeps on asking its members for money. It has to.
The money requests don't bother me, but you have to agree you get a fuckload of emails from every comrade and their dog.
I could just not let it bother me?
The fact that you felt strongly enough to mention it on here and use the word `bombard` (they send about 2 emails a week) alerted me to the fact you might be more bothered about it than you've subsequently let on. But yes, take joy in the fact that you're still receiving Emails from Ed Miliband saying `I've just left the conference floor and I'm compelled to write to let you know...` etc. etc. They're quite funny.
the question was "are you a member of a political party". So I answered it. But the reply looked a bit short so I added something else. I have 1000 unread emails in that Inbox, so it's hardly the bane of my life.
Looking at my Inbox I'd say my average is an email a day from someone either in the local or national party. Maria Eagle seems to be pretty keen to tell me stuff at the moment.
Only joined about six months ago, haven't done anything yet just got a lot of literature. Going to look to infiltrate some London meetings if there are any.
just before the European elections. Their policies reflect my beliefs almost to the letter.
but only really got involved before the 2010 general election and that was very very slightly, think I went to one local meeting or something.
I've been trying to un-register ever since I moved away from my University city in 2011 as I just don't care enough about them anymore, and I cancelled my membership at the time too.
For some reason I'm stuck on all their lists though, so I get calls, emails and the odd bit of post every few months asking me for more money or to support so-and-so at the next election. Contacted numerous people at Labour Party HQ and at a local level to remove me, but it seems that they distributed individual lists to a bunch of people and the candidates, so I now need to remove myself every time someone calls me or emails me. Infuriating.
Haven't had any contact since local elections back in May, so either it's worked and I'm finally removed for good, or everything will kick off again early next year at the start of the GE build up.
I can't imagine how all of that is not in pretty flagrant contravention of Data Protection Laws.
You could take them to court over that if you cared enough.
I don't remember ticking any boxes that said they could share my contact info with anyone, and to be perfectly honest I don't remember giving them my mobile number at any time, apart from perhaps at the one meeting I went to.
I don't care enough at the moment to be honest, but that might be useful if they contact me again, to have something to threaten them with if they don't get their act together quickly.
that your local party membership is so small that the secretary has all the contact details down on a pad of paper somewhere. That's certainly the way it is down my way (and I live in a constituency that returned almost 100% labour councillors earlier this year). GOML may well be right that it's illegal, but it's a right pain for large companies to keep on the right side of data protection, never mind small groups of unqualified volunteers.
Eventually someone's gonna get shafted by the DPA for something like this though, and it won't be pretty.
emails used to come from a Yahoo address and quite often they'd forget to BCC!
was chairman of a local party group when I was little, don't know why, it was a total. The higher up people went the nastier the were
SNP. Signed up inn 2008. Became a paid up member in early 2011. Have been relatively active within the local branch since then. It now has well over eight times as many members as it did less than a month ago. We've probably been well and truly infiltrated by fifth columnists. /tinfoilhat
don't think I would ever join a political party. will probably explain it all wrong and come off as a closet tory (assure you I'm not), I just find the fact the vast majority of the public become so entrenched in their political support really depressing. For so many the support of one party (or more likely scepticism for other parties) is their starting point, rather than weighing up the evidence on various issues and choosing the party you agree with, I do see how if you share a parties values then you would expect to agree with their stance on most things, so most of the time just going with your party will end up in the same result, but its the unquestioning automatic support (or dismissal of other parties) that I'm not comfortable with. I know some ultra left wing types and can find their cynicism to anything outside of their politics a bit much, would mind if it was through careful consideration of the issues and evidence, but there starting point is tory are evil scum and then work backwards, kinda reminds me of conspiracy theory people, just too much bad faith that can be blinding.
Don't think there has been a thread about it but think its relevant here, that whole thing yesterday where the Tory lord said disabled people were not worth the minimum wage really angered me, obviously his language was totally unacceptable which may well reflect unpleasant underlying opinions (don't know anything about him to say) it is right he was criticised for it, but the way this was ceased upon as a reason to invoke the return nasty tory party and wilfully misunderstand the context that disability campaigners have actually been seeking state subsidised minimum wage in order to reduce isolation and improve peoples lives was really infuriating. people start with their entrenched view and then use anything they can to back it up, its about wining an overall argument rather than considering issues at hand. (don't get me wrong, torys have a lot to answer for on disability, what with all the atos mess (which started with labour)). I just wish there was a bigger movement towards, evidence based politics and debate. I think political support needs to be more fluid, you need there to be pressure on parties otherwise they get complacent.
having said all that, I highly doubt id ever vote conservative, too much of their grassroots support are just plain awful and they will always have sway. so I guess that negates most of what I've said. Based on policies I still identify most with the lib dems, and the whole not supporting the wars gives them long term points in my book. don't like labour much at the moment, seems like they are just sitting around waiting to be in power again by default with a bit of cheap point scoring and haven't really done anything to make a substantial challenge to how things should be being done.
What a cool name.
Believing ideals that have never ever worked. And yet, I will still definitely vote for him, because the alternatives are fucked or inconsequential or both.
don't think there's any point pretending that it wasn't awful under new labour. but
- it's still the party which has the strongest working class support and membership of any party in the uk today.
- people can go on about how they hate the labour party and they're just the red tories wahhh. but go talk to ordinary party members and they're very much to the left of the leadership (not even talking about ed miliband but the numpties that surround him). my experience of being in the labour party is being around anti-fascists, socialists, people who want to transform society. also some of the most amazing feminists i know. the labour party gives us a really good space to develop feminist ideas and think of ways that they can actually be made into a reality. i'm sure other parties do this too but i dont see it as much.
- it's a broad church. there's still a radical element in the labour party and it needs to be kept alive, as tony benn said. don't let the posh twats ruin it entirely. my dad quit the labour party in the 1980s and absolutely nothing happened. just meant fewer left wing voices in his local party.
- it doesn't cost very much money. i think i pay £1 a year and i get voting rights for NEC and other internal elections and can select my local candidates. if they know you're someone who talks to other members and goes to meetings and campaigns, they need your support. if people want to organize properly, you can influence stuff like who your parliamentary candidate is (and y'know they're actually likely to win) etc.
it's a constant compromise and people are right that it can be difficult to 'justify' being in a party where you don't even broadly agree with its policies a lot of the time. i don't feel at all smug about being a member of a party. but it's not all about me me me.
I'm struck by your comment that "it was awful under New Labour". I take your point, but wouldn't agree, and I suspect that's got a lot to do with the fact that I grew up under the last Conservative government. Seen in that light New Labour was a massive improvement, personally.
The wars obviously are very problematic (and as I said I left the party because of them), but this country's been fighting someone somewhere every year for over a century I believe, so a lot of that comes down to the specifics rather than the principle. In the case of Iraq the specifics alone are enough to tear up the card in disgust though. I see no logic at all though in holding it against a party, as opposed to individuals, in perpetuity.
My own despondency about the party mainly stems from the timidity of ambition, which extends not just to the current party leadership who I find dispiritingly short on the promotion of a strong vision, but also to the last government. New Labour was elected and governed on the basis of hiding its good intentions and achievements behind more mainstream middle-England rhetoric.
I just can't buy the argument from anyone that Labour and the Conservatives are basically the same. They just aren't, and the burst of furious indignation that came over me when I watched Gordon Brown (a flawed man, but with integrity and strong commitment to making our country a better place) walk out of Downing St with his family, only to see some stuffed suit with no ideas at all walk in to follow him, was what made me sign back up immediately.
I've voted Green in the past, and in certain circumstances would do so again. The Lib Dems have confirmed in spades what I always thought they were like in the last four years. But ultimately I am Labour through to the core and still believe that basically the party stands for my values. The fact that people like you are a part of it makes me even more confident of that.
i'm not really that bothered about labour tbh but the greens are hardly gonna do anything meaningful (especially since voting reform got voted down FOREVER (and i probably disagree with loads of green party type people anyway)) and the SNP are massively lol, so whatever.
been thinking maybe i'd meet some nice people i would talk to more if i went along to something they do