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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.

Categories: Miscellaneous
  1. September 1, 2009 at 11:06 am

    How d’ya konw that meme wasn’t intended for one of your co-authors then? Power’s gone to your head, I’d say.


    Outraged of Bickerstaffe

    ps. Interesting demo stuff tho. At my first big demo (nurses’ strikes 1988) I was branch sec for the london hospital with the biggest no of people on strike, and had to stand up in front of thousands of people and BBc cameras and stuff at a big hall in London, and I was utterly, utterly rubbish. It haunts me to this day.

  2. September 1, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Is there footage? Fill in the rest of the info for yourself also!

  3. September 2, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Hey, I too have a red anorak like that…

    “If you ask my friends, all day, every day. Debate with friends, blog, give out leaflets, blog, attend meetings and did I mention blog?”

    Totally relate to that.

    Outraged from Bickerstaffe, if it helps, I will tag you…:)

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