Thursday, February 21, 2008

The story of Mrs Jones

I really enjoyed this, from activewiththeactivists:

"Mrs Jones, whose door I knocked on last week, was a great example. (It’s not her real name, but I’ll tell you where she lives if you e-mail me, before people cry Jennifer’s ear at me). She must have been in her mid-eighties. I met her husband first, who seemed unsure about how to answer any of my questions, but said that he would fetch ‘the mester’ (northern for the person in charge, similar to the gaffer if you don’t know). I was slightly apprehensive about this, as sometimes this has meant “I’m not that bothered but it would amuse me to fetch my partner to rant at you”. He was not one of those.

His wife came out and said how lovely it was to have us knock on her door and ask if there were any problems we could help with. Then she said that she would always vote Labour, for the simple reason that she compared her life with her mother’s life. When you look at it that way, you can see her point. Her comparison spanned the 20th century, and she was sure that the Labour party was the dominant progressive influence of those years. Sometimes we forget that. She then rolled off her reasons: the healthcare she had had. The houses she had lived in. The jobs she went through. The fact that she is still alive, and the fact that she is warm. If only I heard all these things brought up at my local Labour party meetings.

Now you can overstate her point. Not everything in her life was down to Labour. She worked hard, and must have been in the right place at the right time to feel the benefit of periods of prosperity. But she recognised politics as the agency which brought at least some of this to her life."


At 5:53 pm , Anonymous tim f said...

My favourite recent one was a guy before Christmas. He must have been in his eighties, but he was obviously a fighter. He had one tooth, and that one was the dirtiest yellow colour you've ever seen.

"Course I'm Labour," he said. "And shall I tell you why I'm Labour? It's 'cause Labour's for the working class, the Tories, they're for the rich and the Liberals" [he waved his hands dismissively at the thought of the Liberals] "they're for the middle classes. I remember what Thatcher did."

That cheered the heart.


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