On Saturday, we marched.
In May we campaigned.
But what for?
A socialist, I live in a safe Tory constituency, rural and largely affluent. But there are people here as elsewhere who are not affluent, who need the support of the State, even just for a while.
So should I simply admit defeat and not bother? It would be so easy, would it not? To do nothing. After all, I am OK; and my pathetic attempts to be seen or heard get nowhere. Don’t they?
THEY would love this. If there is no opposition, they win not only the battle but the war. If I lie down in face of the cruelty wrought on others, am I not as culpable as the perpetrators? If I can see the problem and a solution but do nothing to make things better, am I a democrat or even a human being worthy of the name?
Even in a losing situation, if I care, I must try. I must shout pointlessly. I must object without being heard. I must write to the ether. I must wear out my shoe leather. It will make no difference but I must not do nothing. For if I do, nothing will ever change. If Voltaire and Paine had not written; if Wilberforce and Ghandi had not campaigned; if the Pankhursts and Tatchell had said nothing, how would the World be today?
I am none of these, nor of their stature. But I care, I think, I articulate, so I must do something, no matter how inadequate. Maybe, just maybe, joining with others, even in small numbers, we can voice a viewpoint which may drag others towards a degree of sympathy for this and away from the worst options. I am not alone. I find friends, support, solidarity and purpose in politics.
This is the point.
Tom Serpell is a committee member for Labour: Coast & Country
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, the Labour: Coast & Country