Today is the day that ballots are sent out. It doesn’t seem a year since we had a leadership election. Oh – that’s right, it is only a year.
And here we go again. Personally I don’t think a year is long enough to decide a political future of a leader. Though that quote always pops up into my head ‘a week is a long time in politics’.
Well in this memorable year,2016 – a day was a long time in politics. It’s certainly been a year of dramatic changes. Has there been a comet, maybe the sun spots have affected the electric in the atmosphere ? Or maybe it’s the politics of people – or the people of politics – or just its politics. Not sure anyone really knows. I have seen political commentators use the polls as an indicator of the life, universe & everything. Forgetting that these same polls, have been incredibly inaccurate at times. But who cares, they satisfy needs when needs need to be satisfied – don’t they ?
Well I’d rather find out how people feel, by talking with them, but most of all, by listening. And when you listen, the polls don’t really reflect how people feel. Feelings can change when events change. Life is not static, I think we all know this. And that’s why life is creative, wonderful. Ever changing, ever creating.
At the weekend I was at a wedding in a building, that is beautiful, and full of political history. While family and friends were celebrating, for a moment, I decided to explore this remarkable building. Its political history embedded within its walls, its memories etched in its fabrics. The history of the Liberal Party. Gladstone,David Lloyd George. And I can’t deny, there was irony to being in this building before the ballots arrive this week.
I was told that it was in this building that the decline of the Liberal Party arrived, splits in the Party were happening, and a Labour Party was about to emerge. As I looked at the painting of Gladstone’s cabinet, I reflected on what was happening in my own Labour Party. It’s hard to explain the significance of standing there, looking at that painting. And thinking how important it is, for people to work together, to put differences aside, to create good ideas that benefit a nation. After all, isn’t that what politics is mean’t to be about. Working as a team to make a difference through policies. That’s what politics is about for me. I don’t think this is idealistic, it has happened. Otherwise how did we manage to create an NHS, bring through a minimum wage, create the policies that have helped & benefitted generations.
A common endeavour. Where we are stronger together. United.
There was symbolism in my weekend, through being in this grand building of rich political history, to the many bridges that my son & I walked across. The Thames, looked in turmoil. Its waves were swirling ,it looked confused, many currents occurring. Pulling one way, than another. Changeable and yet we were able to cross, walking across many different bridges,created by ingenious humans, created by working together. Brick by brick, by steel. Incredible.
An that’s what is possible. Building bridges, that can cross the troubled water. Together. And the Labour Party has shown throughout its history, it can weather the storms. But we need to learn to build those bridges to create a better future for our Country. I believe we can. And I will do all I can to help that happen.
To all my Labour Party friends, colleagues.