Now that Jeremy Corbyn has won his second leadership election I find myself with a dilemma. Should I join the Labour party, the party who lost me as a voter during the Blair years? Part of me says yes, but the other part of me, the part that has anarchist sympathies, says I shouldn’t. I have been thinking it through for over a month now and I still can’t come up with an answer.
I am openly a libertarian socialist - basically I believe in paying taxes, stronger workers rights and a strong co-operative movement, welfare, decentralisation where possible and the freedom to do whatever you like to yourself as long as there is no intent to do harm to others. However there does not seem to be any organisation in the labour party that reflects those views, either they lean authoritarian or right wing (sometimes both).
What worries me is that I will have to do all the work changing things. I am disabled, both physically and psychologically, and I have already burned out this year. I know I can’t do it alone. I doubt that I am electable, I have visible scars and damage from self harm, and I don’t do conventional femininity except as an occasional choice (Makeup makes the skin on my face peel off. Even the stuff for sensitive skin, but stress does that too). That’s before we get to the whole swearing allegiance to the queen thing.
I’m not asking other people whether I should join or not, but I don’t think I am the only person in this situation, whether it’s Labour in the UK or the Democrats in the US. Maybe talking about it will help.