The Small Matter of Democracy

DSC04262It’s been a confusing week in politics. The Referendum and its European aftermath that I’ve already written about on here. Followed by the spectacle of our two main political parties choosing consecutive days to appear to tear themselves apart. No one I know was very surprised to see the Tories behaving so badly, but when the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party decided to turn on their own recently elected leader I was, to put it mildly, disappointed.

But we’ll come back to that after a bus ride to town.

Upstairs on the 80A.

Upstairs on the 80A.

A day of sunshine and showers.

A day of sunshine and showers.

Along Ullet Road.

Along Ullet Road.

And Croxteth Road.

And Croxteth Road.

Across the top of Lodge Lane.

Across the top of Lodge Lane.

Round to Princes.

Round to Princes.

And Granby.

And Granby.

The Street Market's already underway.

The Street Market’s already underway.

And I’ve said I’ll be back here after what I’ve got to do in town.

Huskisson's closed for some filming.

Huskisson’s closed for some filming.

Nearly in town.

Nearly in town.

Along Bold Street past News From Nowhere.

Along Bold Street past News From Nowhere.

Another occasional shower falls.

Another occasional shower falls.

Then I arrive where I'm going.

Then I arrive where I’m going.

Outside Radio Merseyside.

Outside Radio Merseyside.

At the Keep Corbyn demo.

At the Keep Corbyn demo.

I haven’t been to a demo since Tony Blair and his tame cronies were taking us into the Iraq War. And in a way I’m demonstrating against much of the same bunch today. As well as in support of Jeremy Corbyn.

His leadership of the party has had a rocky start in some ways, though much of it not of his own making. The British media have relentlessly talked him down as have many of his supposed colleagues. But where he has been a greater success has been with many of us ‘ordinary’ people. Who see in him someone more like ourselves than most of the members of the Whitehall Village. We know he’s spent his life in there, but he does seem to care more about what it’s like out here in Austerity Land than most of the back-biting duplicitous liars that surround him.

And he is the recently and democratically elected leader of the Labour Party after all. I voted for him, and as you might know, I’m a great respecter of and upholder of democracy. Unlike the 172 members of the Parliamentary Labour Party who have decided to try and get him to resign this week. This week when all of our efforts should have been put into serious quiet thoughts and discussions on what’s best to do after the Brexit decision. This week, when the Labour Party should have been a stabilising influence in the chaos created by Boris, Gove and that fascist they hang around with.

This week the Labour Party disgusted me. So today, without implying he’s any more perfect than the rest of us, I’m here to stand up for him. Because he’s the elected leader of the Labour Party and so why wouldn’t I? And not just standing up for him here. I’m standing for democracy above all else. Because democracy, by any standards, has had a crap week.

So, scousers for democracy too.

So it’s scousers for democracy too.

Meanwhile a Liverpool Saturday goes on around us.

Meanwhile a Liverpool Saturday goes on around us.

DSC04250DSC04253 DSC04257I manage to be found by my friend Jayne who’s here.

Then I find my daughter Clare too.

Then I find my daughter Clare too – and her placard.

There are a lot of us here now. Too many to hear what's being said.

There are a lot of us here now. Too many to hear what’s being said.

But I’m with my team for the day.

Jayne, Clare and in the middle Clare's daughter Ellie - 10 next week.

Jayne, Clare and in the middle Clare’s daughter Ellie – 10 next week.

The organosers ask us to walk round to Church Street where we'll have more room.

The organisers ask us to walk round to Church Street where we’ll have more room.

Tories out, Corbyn in.

Tories out, Corbyn in.

I rejoice in such a demo walking through the privatised streets of Liverpool One.

I rejoice in such a demo walking through the privatised streets of Liverpool One.

DSC04272

We arrive in Church Street and get up closer to the speakers.

We arrive in Church Street and get up closer to the speakers.

DSC04285

Ellie listening intently.

Ellie listening intently.

And we make new friends.

We make new friends.

DSC04288 DSC04289 DSC04292 DSC04293

We fill up Church Street.

We fill up Church Street.

Then this guy speaks, I don't catch his name.

Then this guy speaks, I don’t catch his name.

“I dig holes and mend roads. I don’t make political speeches!”

But he does, one of the most impassioned I’ve ever heard. About democracy, honesty and the betrayal of our trust by nearly all the MPs we’d placed it in. He exclaims how many of us there are in the street protesting about this and ends, brilliantly with:

“Our numbers are growing existentially, or whatever that word is!”

A Church Street full of democratic scousers howls in supportive laughter.

Speech of the day, well done mate.

Speech of the day, well done mate.

We assure Jeremy he'll never walk alone, as you probably thought we would.

We assure Jeremy he’ll never walk alone, as you probably thought we would.

Clare and Ellie sit that one out as firm Evertonians.DSC04301 DSC04303Well done at such short notice all the unions and organisers. Particularly Momentum.

After all that it’s time for a sit down and some lunch round at Lox and Caper on Hanover Street.

Elegant, independent and super friendly. Highly recommended.

Elegant, independent and super friendly. Highly recommended.

Ellie continuing the demo in case any of the diners weren't aware of the issues.

Ellie continuing the demo in case any of the diners aren’t aware of the issues.

The cafés in here if you want to find it.

The cafés in here if you want to find it.

A lovely day. Very proud to stand up with my family for democracy.

A lovely day. Very proud to stand up with my family for democracy. Thanks for the picture Jayne.

And it’s all taken a lot longer than I thought it would. So catching the bus home…

The Granby Street Market's just about over.

The Granby Street Market’s just about over.

Sorry everyone, I was busy with democracy.

 

12 thoughts on “The Small Matter of Democracy

  1. livroxy

    I too am disgusted with the astounding display of disloyalty by the party I have always supported. I expected so much better of them but have realised now that most of them would sell their own grannies to get their faces on the TV. Great post, wish I had been on the demo!

    Reply
  2. Helen Devries

    A disgraceful neglect of their duty to tear into the Tories and try to establish some platform to cope with the results of the referendum.Corbyn is not the Messiah…but he’ll do for me.

    Reply
  3. Stephen

    Had me filling up in parts there Ronnie. Not sure if it was the “ordinary” bloke playing down his talent as a speaker or seeing such a large group of determined and honest faces all fighting an honest cause.
    On a lighter note, lovely to see that people so keen to join the protest that taking hair rollers out the last thing on their mind.

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thanks Stephen, there really is something powerful happening here. A very large movement of people who’ve had enough of being bossed around, patronised and lied to. I was surprised myself too, by the wide age range, the friendship and the huge sense of togetherness. People who should know better are behaving very badly and completely undemocratically. And we simply will not put up with it.

      Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Hi Robert, I don’t think he’s perfect. Just someone we can all sit down and talk with. Who won’t pretend there are things we ‘need to leave to him’ because he ‘knows people we don’t know’ from the Whitehall élite. So yes, it’s a time for talking, not plotting. Not too much to ask really is it?

      Reply
      1. robertday154

        Too right. I think it’s the fact that Corbyn’s approach is so very different from the wheels within wheels, deal brokering, Machiavellian norm that we’ve become used to from both sides of the political divide that makes his opponents not know how to deal with him. He doesn’t respond to the full frontal assault and all his grass roots supporters despise that approach anyway. His Tao is not that of the political establishment; so when they think they are landing blows on him, he’s not in the place they think he is.

      2. Ronnie Hughes Post author

        My disgust with the duplicitous 172 was complete a week ago. A recently elected leader is who we’ve voted for and that’s that. But I still then didn’t really know about how it was with Jeremy Corbyn, other than being impressed enough to have voted for him, vaguely wishing him well, but recognising that much of the Whitehall village had been talking him down for quite a while now and even me feeling maybe he hadn’t been all I’d hoped for after all?

        But his steadfastness this past week, his dignity while all around him have flailed like grasping charlatans has been, well, quietly good.

        I’m still no more sure than he’s been himself that he can change everything – how can any of us ever be that sure – but I’m more sure in him than in any of the others, that he’s the calmest and steadiest thinker in the opposition right now. And that’s what we need while so many of the others argue about their careers.

  4. lindsay53

    Tears of joy here, Ronnie! Loved the post and could feel the passion and enthusiasm of the rally from here. We’re both huge supporters of Jeremy from over here and are currently exploring being able to join the Labour Party. thank you for so firmly nailing your colours to the mast of democracy!xxx

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thanks Lindsay. As far as I’m concerned Jeremy’s the democratically elected party leader and that’s that. He won’t however win the coming Election on his own, so it’s up to the whole of the Labour Party to stop behaving like duplicitous Tories immediately. As Zoe Williams says so brilliantly in today’s Guardian, the differences between all of us aren’t really so great that we can’t work together for the common good of the country.

      Reply

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