I joined the Labour Party in May 2010.
Within hours of seeing Call Me Dave and Cleggy announce their engagement, simpering and fawning and linking little fingers for the cameras in the rose garden at number ten, I decided to pin my colours (a pair of red flannel bloomers) to the mast and join up. I even checked the words of the Internationale, but decided the dwindling memory bank couldn't spare the room so I will just have to, if ever called upon so to do, more-or-less musically mumble "The people's flag is deepest red, how lovely are their branches, tum ti tum" just like everyone else seems to do.
So yesterday myself and The Husband (a floating voter, disgusting term, makes me think of something bobbing around in the local baths) attended our first local Labour Party event, the annual BBQ. It was fun, lots of friendly chat, and jolly amusing mostly until some silly sod suggested I stand for the Borough Council, even if it was only in a ward I couldn’t hope to win (he must have seen my aghast expression at the thought of power or - even more appalling - responsibility), to keep up the numbers of council seats the party contests.
I’m terrified of even finding myself on a committee, I protested, but he pointed out the active members are visibly ageing with not very many others offering to take on the mantle. I insisted I’d rather pay my subs, deliver leaflets, do some door-stepping, mebbe, and go to the social stuff. I just wanted to be a party member, not a party activist!
The Husband thought they were a nice crowd, and I snapped up the chance of half an hour in the swimming pool when the sun came out, the whole pool to myself, bliss. Champagne socialism, anyone? Top Hole!
It's a sorry thing to admit, but my main terror at the thought of being a borough councillor was the idea I'd have to keep house more consistently as well as have an e-mail in-box piling up with the moans and groans of the discontented strangers I'd pledged to represent. No more the comfortable familiar clutter of a semi-tidy bombsite if there might be any chance more people might visit. On official business, even. Eeeek!
I have gradually learnt to relish the fact that we nowadays always get several hours' notice of anyone offering to cross the threshold - peeps around here don't "pop in", in fact they mostly prefer to meet in a pub, possibly so that none of them have to do any hoovering. I thought when I first moved here they were churlish and unfriendly. Now I think they may have a point in keeping the drawbridge up at all times in this sector of the Northern Home Counties. It's that or employ a cleaner.