If you are sick of corrupt MPs, tax dodging by the rich, poor pay and pensions, intolerable working conditions like zero-hour contracts, racist division and illegal wars, dangerous fracking and environmental policies, cuts and privatisation of our public services, and politicians who look and sound the same you are not on your own. I have also been angry about the above and the reality of them and us for many years. Although I come from a strong Labour Party background, I am truly disgusted that they are now closer to ‘the market economy’ and big business than ordinary trade union members and other working class communities.
I come from a truly working class background where hard work and struggle was ongoing. My father’s background was in agriculture and my mum was an auxillary in the local maternity hospital. After the war my father went to work for the local butcher who also had a small milk round. My parents eventually bought the milk round by paying for it weekly out of my father’s wages.
I have an older brother and we lived in a small back to back terrace with an outside toilet. I passed for the grammar school but I never felt comfortable with the ethos and elitism. It was the sixties and I appeared to be a child of the times but really I just felt missunderstood and had lots of self doubt. Doubting myself and feeling inferior was something that has been difficult to deal with and has caused periods of depression.
My friends always saw something that I didn’t. They saw strength and conviction, someone who cares deeply about others and dislikes injustice, discrimination and inequality. I have had to deal with many personal traumas and knocks on my own and fortunately I have always come back fighting.
My professional background is sociology and psychology and I have worked in many ‘care settings’. I always try to treat anyone like I would want to be treated. Retirement has brought with it time to reflect about life and what I want from it. I realise that I want to use my past experiences and achievements to fight for and build an alternative more caring society.
Although we are told time and time again that we have to balance the books, what about the human cost? The wealthy are not being constantly squeezed financially, pushed towards greater isolation and deteriorating health. They want to hang on to their wealth and the power it brings to their class. I want a fairer society where everybody matters and can contribute.