Tuesday, 1 September 2009
Early Politics: Political Meme
The Political Meme currently doing the rounds requires the dredging up of memories of youthful political activity which I'm sure makes the security forces job easier when compiling their lists. I was tagged by Harpy Marx. I, in turn, shall ask Random Pottins, Political Custard, Renegade Eye, and Hagley Road To Ladywood to help the lads with their enquiries.
First political experience: In our home, everything was political — you try watching Tom & Jerry at six and giving a political analysis of power struggles and black maids! A little later, trying to organise school strikes in support of the pupils of Sir John Cass in the East End who were protesting against the sacking of Chris Searle, a wonderful teacher who gave us our souls and brains back.
First vote: Can't remember. Very possibly for Labour.
First demo: As a child I was taken by my mother to anti-Vietnam war demos. Plus a local one in Islington protesting against the killing of a local boy when police were said to have smashed his head against the bus stop in Upper Street. My mother, a good artist, painted the placards with police heads morphing into pigs.
Last vote: Green in the local elections. Not because I have any illusions in them but because I can no longer vote for the warmongering New Labour which gets worse with every passing day, and I will never vote Tory.
Last political activity: My last major activity was to create and run the press office for the anti-war movement when CND leadership diminished around 9/11 and the SWP-led Stop The War Coalition, who were good at organising demos but always ignored in the media due in part to STW's refusal to even issue a press release, were treading the same old ground that had kept them in obscurity for decades. But then seeing how the STW leaders behaved at the first sulphurous whiff of "celebrity", "fame" and all the baubles socialists are supposed to reject or at least put in a proper political perspective, I returned to my art which has always been informed by my politics, thoroughly immunised against the predations of a movement that eats its own.