Something that has occurred to me recently is that if the appalling rise in xenophobia in the U.K. continues, one of the major justifications that monarchists use for maintaining the royal family, that they bring in tourist money, disappears. After all, if the environment we have created here is so hostile to foreigners that they don’t want to come here for a visit, let alone to live and work, then clearly our whole tourist industry will suffer.
Incidentally, I don’t believe in the tourism justification for the monarchy. We have plenty of other attractions, and the whole unelected head of state thing is, in my opinion, simply wrong. It’s long past time we ditched massive hereditary privilege and focused on improving people’s lives.
Also incidentally, this is not an argument in favour of Brexit. I voted to remain in the EU and I haven’t changed my opinion on that.
I’ve been following the recent furore over comments made by Russell Brand, first in an interview with Jeremy Paxman and then in an article for New Statesman. I liked what he had to say and largely agreed with him, but then I read Robert Webb‘s reply to him in the New Statesman and found myself agreeing with him as well. In other words, the argument over whether one should vote and what it achieves is one of which I can see both sides.
As a soon-to-be father, I really want the world my son is born into to be better. I want him to have every opportunity to be happy and healthy and to lead a good and worthwhile life. I need, in short, to do something, to get involved. I have therefore decided to give the Labour Party a chance and have joined. I don’t yet know exactly how active I’ll be but I’d really like a chance to make things just a little nicer than the way they are now.
I last voted Labour in 1997. At first, I was delighted when they were elected and really believed that things might change for the better. How wrong I was. I joined the big demonstration against Iraq war in London and saw how little notice was taken of our protests. I saw how hollow were New Labour’s promises. That was the last time I voted for them. Now, however, I hope that things within the Labour Party have changed and that they can, once more, be a party worth supporting. Only time will tell.