My Labour Party membership is at an end. I decided to put down my thoughts on my Labour Party Membership in 2020. It is important to say that in 2003 I resigned from the Labour Party over the decision by Tony Blair to take Britain into illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. During the following years I involved myself in the activities of the anti-war movement. It was not when Jeremy Corbyn was put forward as a leadership candidate that I decided to rejoin the Labour Party, rather I rejoined the party to oppose the election of David Miliband as leader and the continuation of neo liberalism in the higher echalons of the party, I rejoined to vote for Ed Miliband. Currently I still hold a membership card, indeed I am also the elected Chairperson of Ceredigion Constituency Labour Party. Since I joined I have paid close attention to political events inside and outside the Party. As a left wing socialist I was delighted when Jeremy Corbyn became the leader and the membership set to and produced the impetus for the 2017 election manifesto. Despite the actions of the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party, both in launching the failed leadership bid and consistently working against the wishes of the membership the party almost won the 2017 general election. At that time I knew there were some problems in the Party administration but I put that down to ineptitude during a period of great change. Having read the leaked report on anti-Semitism I now realise that I was wrong. Paid workers in the General Secretary’s office alongside large numbers of the PLP systematically worked to nullify my and tens of thousands of party members efforts to bring about a Labour victory. Reading this report is a sickening experience, but those who haven’t read it are now disbarred from having sight of it. Since reading it and also watching the party slowly move away from socialism under the leadership of Sir Keir Starmer I have become increasingly uncomfortable. The introduction of a range of decisions designed to further undermine and smear my good friend and comrade Jeremy Corbyn has been difficult to take. All around me good comrades from across the whole of Britain have already left the party. Other good comrades still in the party are saying stay and fight, don’t leave because that’s what Starmer wants you to do, stay and hold the line, we can still get the manifesto policies implemented, unity is strength, and other such epithets. Some say the only way to defeat the Tories is to stay in the Labour Party, it’s the only show in town. To all these pleadings I have been struggling internally to dampen down the pain I feel following the defeat in the 2019 General Election. I tried to stay staunch, working alongside my excellent comrades on the CLP Executive Committee here in Ceredigion.
I did believe that we were on the road to building a truly significant local alternative social, economic, and community development strategy for the people of Ceredigion. Recent events within the the Labour Party heirarchy have dented and now, finally smashed my belief to smithereens. It isn’t just the decision to sack Rebecca Long Bailey on spurious charges of anti-Semitism, though that is a disgraceful enough episode, nor is it the fact that it is impossible to have any political influence in the decision making process of the Labour Party due to the pandemic lock-down, nor the latest attack on left wing members by Swansea MP Nia Griffiths where she outrageously accuses all comrades who have supported RLB of being anti-semites. It took a conversation with a dear friend of mine to make me stand back and look dispassionately at what I really feel about my ongoing membership. All the blandishments from different sections to stay and fight actually feel painful to me. As if, to paraphrase my friend, I am being blackmailed into staying in an abusive relationship. Tommy Cooper used to tell a joke about a man who goes in to see his doctor and says “Doctor, every time I go like this it hurts.” to which the doctor replies, “Don’t go like that.”. I have always believed that if you are doing something that hurts you should stop doing it. Being in the Labour Party has become too painful to bear so now is the time to stop hurting myself. I have no respect for the leadership, or belief in their strategies or actions. My relationship with The Labour Party as an organisation is over. I hereby resign.
Countdown To Carnival, fourth of July, Jokers are wild, medics break down and cry, City street parties now are so hot Lockdown sacrifices gone and forgot Sun shines on the beach, drunkards spew and fight Pent up frustration raves on through the night. Respect for security thinly stretched Ochlocracy no longer seems far fetched Oi, you there with the blond haystack hairstyle Who claims to be a fit prime prime minister Fit as a Butcher’s dog in such short while. You and your clique are really sinister, Fake power, no responsibility, Your actions deny true ability.
Be careful that you Don’t breathe in Blue Air, Make sure you don’t go Dancing toe to knee It’s dangerous So dangerous Blue Air Blue Air So dangerous So dangerous You can’t be yourself Life’s a pantomime Looking behind you Looking beyond you Blue Air Blue Air It’s dangerous So dangerous Target on your back So invisible You can’t know it’s there Waiting behind you Blue Air Blue Air So dangerous So dangerous When the knives are out, And the lights go out…..
Harry Rogers, Past Midnight in the Yellow Room 26th June 2020
Sir K welcomes the Tory Lockdown thrust, Uptick high street sales of discounted stuff, Wetherspoon boozers must now make a crust. People are ready to ingest this guff? Union jack briefings just ain’t effective, Mothball the lecterns, put experts away, Leaders united, easing invective, Not laws, just guidance, what more can they say? From two to one, leave your name at the door, Burger house cinemas open once more, Not quite the same as it once was before, Rife abnormality, stuck in our craw. Next door they’re mowing, watch as swifts follow, New bugs on the wind, so hard to swallow.
That old ill wind now blows ever stronger, Whilst the food bank queues grow even longer. The furloughs and bailouts will all soon end, But just like Viv we have to spend, spend, spend. Look to the city, brokers do fiddle, Watch as they play both ends against middle. Someone just called for a giant hoover, Covid, they said, is boomer remover. Super superlatives fly from hip lips, World beating software will solve our hardships Privatised whiz kids on heightened day rates Are new barbarians, there, at our gates. Charging us fortunes for things that don’t work, Ministers theive as they quietly smirk.
Turn that old t-shirt into a face mask, Get on train with The Beatles on your face, Soon only a Dune Stillsuit fits the task, Public transport now total smile free space, Pubs get ready to open doors again, Menus can be scanned onto your smartphone. Without Android or Apple, well, what then? No beers, no meals, carry on home alone? Processed meat workers go down like ninepins, Hairdressers ready to shear lock-down locks, High street store windows sport clean mannequins, Stock market braces for new fiscal shocks. With secateurs and saw I start to prune, Ain’t gonna be normal anytime soon!
An economic calamity comes Said a radio presenter today, Watch the Chancellor struggle with his sums, Quantatively easing pipedreams away. Rags and calumny fall from Tory lips, False promises bring incredulity, From home cooked meals to greasy fish and chips The lock-down ends without human pity. We must cram children back in classrooms small, Labour Lords crawl out from obscurity, The second wave now looms above us all, No fiscal vaccine brings immunity. Theatres are closed but tragedy plays on, The tinted spectacles are almost gone.
Harry Rogers, In the red bedroom, Sunday 21st June 2020.
From alert level four To alert level three Now we start panicking About economy. Let’s reopen the schools, The pubs and restaurants, People meet in bubbles, Wear masks upon the bus, Stay home and watch football, All one metre away, We scrap the test and trace, Soon we’ll have the finest, Test and trace in the world, Expect teachers to teach, Only those who turn up, Can’t go down to the beach. Us fogeys, locked away, We don’t know what to say, So we fill bird feeders, The woodpeckers need nuts. Soon all do what they like, We wait for second spike, Or the permanent spike. In the nineteen sixties Janis succinctly said, “It’s all the same fucking day man!” She was not too far wrong.
Harry Rogers, 2.00am In the Yellow Room, June 20th 2020
Somebody has to do it, You know? Red, white & blue it, We watch as Johnson blew it, Whilst, mostly, we go through it, The Tim Tam suck, don’t chew it, Union Jack jet? Who flew it? Globally we outgrew it. Murdoch’s chums will review it, Donald tries to outdo it, Pandemic? Oh, just screw it. They told us they would do it, Now lockdown’s dead, eschew it, Still, we all fucking knew it, Austerity? Renew it.
Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom, Thursday 18th June 2020.