Monday politics meme
Yes, I am a political anorak too so I shall answer AVPS‘ meme for the afflicted. A picture of my anorak is on the right.
First political experience: Um. Playing the computer game Command and Conquer: Red Alert. For those who don’t know, this game is about a world where Einstein invents a time machine and goes back to kill Hitler. The Second World War ensues, but is instead between the Allies – America, Great Britain, France, Germany and an assortment of others – versus Stalin’s Soviet Union. This got me thinking about the differences between the Soviets and the US. So I read a few books starting with Soviet history and culminating in Karl Marx’ Communist Manifesto.
I don’t know if that qualifies as my first political experience – but it was what started me down the path to Marx and Lenin’s writings. More legitimately, perhaps, was my attendance at the Gaeltacht as a young Catholic nationalist aged 13. Suitably disgusted by the cultural authoritarianism demonstrated by those of my chosen political viewpoint, I went looking for a new viewpoint. My chats with my (solidly working class) grandfather and grandmother during long summers of David Dunseath’s Talkback radio programme pushed me towards the Left.
First vote: I turned 18 in 2002; the first elections I voted in were the second Northern Ireland Assembly elections. Faced with an exceedingly crap selection from which to choose, I voted Greens and Women’s Coalition. The WC were a group set up by the Communist Party of Ireland among others, and whose Assembly member, Jane Morris, I chatted to on a couple of occasions as she did her shopping in Tesco, where I worked. I didn’t vote in local or national elections until 2005.
First demo: Belfast anti-war march, February 15th 2003. I had been interviewed on all the local radio stations, since I was elected as the spokesperson for the Socialist Party campaign “Youth Against War”. During the march, I quickly pinched the Socialist Party microphone from Gary Mulcahy and was quickly leading the chants. It was actually quite a good day out – I remember the lovely sunny day we had for it: 20,000 people marched against the war and hugely cheered Eamonn McCann’s firebrand speech against “US and British imperialism”.
Last vote: Voted in the local and European elections this year in Canterbury. Faced with the crumbling of my faith in the Labour Party, I voted No2EU for the European elections and I voted Labour for the county elections – as I know the candidate and she’d have made a great councillor had she won.
Last political activity: If you ask my friends, all day, every day. Debate with friends, blog, give out leaflets, blog, attend meetings and did I mention blog?
I’m not going to take anyone with these meme – but if someone wishes to pick up the gauntlet, by all means, let me know and I’ll tag you.