Remembering the ‘Big Picture’.

This piece started  life as a Tweet which quickly became a few Tweets when I realised it needed to be expanded some more. I hope it doesn’t come across as patronising I’m just trying to be honest and open up a debate.

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Everyone has their own lines on things. If the line gets crossed that’s it we are out of here. But should that really be applied to Politics? Because Politics is about many things it’s not just one issue. If we are passionate about one issue that is so important to us that’s good.

But can we go too far? What I mean is if we don’t get what we we want with that one issue is it helpful to throw the baby out with the bath water? Similarly if one person makes a statement on the thing you are so passionate about that you completely disagree with does that override everything you agree with them about? Everyone is different.and have their own lines. But should that get in the way of the bigger picture? Because ‘betraying’ our principals is one thing but by doing that are we not losing sight of the bigger picture and everything else we want to do? These can be difficult questions but in my opinion we always need to keep an eye on the prize. To make myself more clear give I’ll give an example. I’m passionate about Nuclear Disarmament & have been for many years. I think us having a deterrent is ridiculous. But me & many others in the party didn’t make it the defining issue when Corbyn became the leader. We accepted along with him that it wasn’t the issue to mount our flag on at the that time in the interest of us getting elected. We are all impatient & desperate for change. God knows I am. But sometimes we have to bide our time for that big picture of Socialism.

Shoot me down if you like but to me Socialism isn’t about one issue it’s about a whole alternative way of doing things which are all important for the overall aim. I’ve often used this phrase in the past “we all have to compromise in life but we if compromise too much we can actually lose the essence of what we are about. ” I still believe that, I only have to look at the direction the Labour Party is going in now like it has in the past to confirm that to my mind. When you make endless compromising you end up with words that mean nothing because the heart had been ripped out of them. A greyness that tries to be everything to everyone but really is completely wishy-washy. I hate that because I’m a believer in saying what you mean and if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s meaningless waffle.

But on the other hand I do think the ‘left’ in general and I include myself in that can go too far. Our passion sometimes carries us away. Passion is fantastic in Politics, I love to hear someone passionate speaking. But it’s best if it’s tempered with some clinical thinking too. I guess I’m trying to be pragmatic not always easy for me. So what I’m getting at is sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. We have everything against us as it is and then sometimes we make our situation even worse ourselves.  E.g. “I’m not voting for her/him they said this on that.” Your line has been crossed. But is that helpful when someone who you disagree with even more gets in? I just think sometimes we have to hold our noses and think of that bigger picture. That’s not to belittle anyone’s cause or campaign. But we can be self defeating if we aren’t careful.

That big picture is always there that’s about all our views on everything and sometimes it’s very easy to forget about it. So much of what we fight for is related it’s got a common thread. Inequality, Racism and Sexism are obviously related but so are things like the fight against Climate Change and for Peace. These are some of the issues closest to my heart but there’s many more. I can’t say which is the most important because they are all important.

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I think it’s all about balance myself and picking the right time for battle. That’s what so important in the nitty gritty of Politics and I hate to say it but the right wing get that so much better than us on the left. When so many joined the party in 2015 they were inspired by the hopeful vision that Jeremy Corbyn was saying. A lot of them had never been involved in Politics before. Sadly I’m betting that many were put off when they found out that meetings were not only boring but some people were distinctly unfriendly to them. The right wing have weathered the Corbyn storm well and some of that was because they know when to pick their battles and are prepared to bide their time doing it. They see their bigger picture and were organising and plotting all throughout Corbyn’s leadership.

I know this won’t be popular with some but I feel we need to learn some lessons from them. And let’s be less precious about things. Maybe our own lines need to be a bit more flexible because at the end of the day it’s that’s bigger picture that’s more important. Yes we have to be true to ourselves, of course we do and only ourselves knows what that is. But politics is a crafty dirty thing that can suck you in and spit you out and I don’t like that part of it myself. I much prefer talking about a grand vision and how things could be better for all of us. But in Politics like in life sometimes you just have to do the crap work first before you can get onto the nice stuff. I still want and have to be hopeful there’s a better world for us all ahead. We always get setback after setback but we have to be resilient in this world. Believe me that’s not my strongest point myself my natural tendency would be to hide away and give up. But what really is our alternative as people who care and want a better world for our kids and everyone? I just think of that big picture to remind me.

 

 

 

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