This is the 13th post in my ‘What happens when…’ series. This series is running every Wednesday on Inside Laura’s Head for as long as I have posts. The series will be written by me, and also by guest posters. Posts can be on anything as long as they fit the ‘What happens when…’ title. If you have an idea and would like to guest post on Inside Laura’s Head, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org – all ideas are welcomed. Look out for more ‘What happens when…’ posts.
Meet this week’s Guest Poster!
Kaiesha (Kay) Page blogs over at Ohkay-Dohkay. She says: ‘I’m a beauty obsessive. A trend attempter. A political worrier. A proud left-winger. A socialist. A trade unionist. A historian. A Welshy. A feminist. An anxiety and OCD haver. A writer. An atheist. A humanist. A poet. A Holocaust Memorial Day Ambassador. A Time to Change Champion. An organisation procrastinator. An avid reader. A goal setter. A sweet tooth sufferer. A day dream believer. A mistake maker. A heart is in the right place kinda gal.’ She’s someone I’m lucky to call a friend, too. She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even YouTube!. Go check her out-once you’ve read her post, of course!
What happens when…you join the Labour Party?
I wanted to start my post by thanking Laura for allowing me to contribute to this awesome series.
It’s very likely that you will have seen the Labour Party featured in the news A LOT over the last few weeks because we are in the midst of a leadership election and as a result we have seen a massive surge in our membership. So I thought it might an appropriate time to share this post and to offer my story on what happens when you join the Labour Party.
I won’t go in to too much detail regarding my political story (you can read my story in full here) but here is it in a nutshell. I was politicised during the General Election in 2010 and it was at that moment that I decided I needed my voice to be heard. I was angry, really angry and while I had voted I realised that I had done little else to stop the Tories from gaining power. I had seen the devastation that the Conservatives had forced on the country, I had grown up in the shadow of their ideological battles with the Unions and was devastated that it might happen again. I knew that no one deserved to be left behind. So after one heated debate with a Conservative flat mate, I decided that it was time to join the party and in a flurry of determination I joined the team!!
How do you join? // Before I became serious about joining the Labour Party I had no knowledge or idea of how you went about it and I’m not sure if I even knew that you could join. I had only consciously under Labour governments and to me the Labour Party equated a government and not a movement. Yet the more I learnt about the history of the Rhondda and the impact that the previous Conservative governments had caused, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the alternative. So in a flurry of ambition, dedication and determination I joined the Labour Party and my life has never been the same since.
Membership pack // When I first joined I was fit to burst with enthusiasm and youthful dreams about wanting to change the world and I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t immorality thrown in at the deep end. I had expected a welcome pack, with useful information on how to get involved and was disappointed to just receive a membership card. As a result it was really hard and I was overwhelmed by all the acronyms and political terminology, for a moment I wondered if I had made a stupid mistake and nearly backed away. But I quickly remembered the reasons I joined and immersed myself in the Party. Since then I have created my own toolkit for any young members that join, making the party a little bit more accessible.
Becoming a part of your life // Once I had started to understand the terminology and the acronyms, I threw myself in to the movement. It quickly became a crucial and important part of my life and I dedicate hundreds of days a year to the Labour Party and Union movement. I’ve met some of my closest friends that way (including Laura) and I love feeling part of something so important.
The never ending story // My political story and my relationship with the Labour Party is a long journey and occasionally we enter bumpy patches. There are times where I am angry with certain things, disillusioned with occasional decisions and yet I still remain involved, fighting for against all the injustices I see around me. For me it’s an incredibly simple decision because if I’m angry at something, then other people in the party will be angry too and it’s far easier to fight as part of a collective.
Have you ever thought about joining a political party?
Thanks for this, Kay! I’m looking forward to seeing the result of the Leadership Election this weekend!