Photograph: A Labour Party contingent during a 1980s demonstration to protect a woman’s right to choose. On the farthest left hand side is my mum and with her some of those fantastic friends I mention.
This is a response to not only Hadley Freeman’s latest article for The Guardian (which in short describes Corbyn supporters as cult members) but the many pieces carrying similar sentiments I have seen since Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader.
For once I am going to up sell myself because I think it is necessary under these circumstances: I am an intelligent young woman and I consider myself to be equally compassionate and empathetic. I have been engaged in politics since the day my mum stood outside a polling station to support the Labour party, adorned with a red rosette and a baby in a sling (me). I continued to attend political rallies and demonstrations throughout my childhood and adulthood. I wrote the only vaguely political articles for my high-school newspaper in my final years of attendance. I got involved in student protests against the rise in tuition fees and government cuts during my undergraduate degree. I founded an intersectional feminist bookclub online to provide a safe space for those who were interested to discuss feminist literature without fear of being attacked. I have first hand experience of online abuse for daring to even mention I might have opinions; stupid little girl.
I also joined the Labour Party in early 2014 because despite having campaigned against Tony Blair’s policies on multiple occasions I saw an opportunity to be a part of an organisation that was founded on left-wing ideologies and may very well, with support, be able to provide a real alternative to the gruesome austerity measures put in place by the Conservative party. This was before Jeremy Corbyn was even nominated to run in the next year’s leadership election. That is not to say that my opinion as a member is of any more value than those who joined because of Corbyn; they too were inspired by the possibility of a political party, founded by trade unions (more cults?), that might once again defend the rights of the majority in the UK.