Home / How A Cynical Theorist Became A Political Activist

How A Cynical Theorist Became A Political Activist

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Today I have made the first step on what will hopefully turn out to be journey of good-intentions and self-fulfilment. I have joined New Labour; the mainstream political party that currently holds power at the national level of government here in the UK. In doing so I have compromised on two of my principles, but ultimately feel that if you truly wish to beat them, you must join them. I am against the invasion and occupation of sovereign nations that could otherwise have been curtailed through the good offices of the United Nations. I am against the increase in fees that University students must pay from the next academic year onwards; my brother starts University at the end of this calendar year, and due to accident of birth, must now pay £3000 more a year than me.

I have thought long and hard about the fringe movements that litter most university campuses all over the UK; I have witnessed and, on occasion, played an active role in their non-violent demonstrations against certain government decisions over the last ten years of Tony Blair’s rule. However, upon Gordon Brown’s rise to power and his promises of a more transparent governmental process I have truly been inspired.

I shan’t deny it; much of my new found faith in Westminster depends overwhelmingly on the cult of Brown’s personality and his particular methodology. I find his proposals of a ‘bill of rights’ tempting, and his promise to open up the debate on whether or not to declare future war upon foreign nations to the House irresistible. He has also mentioned the fact that students aren’t all that keen on the heavier debt burden, and looks set to ‘modify’ the current decree on top up fees, I doubt very much that my brother shall escape this near intolerable debt; but the future looks bright for the next generation in so far as education goes. Brown has more than once uttered the tripartite sound bite ‘education, education, education!’, and looks set thus far to be more a man of deed rather than word.

In analysing his character, the popular press have criticised Brown for being somewhat ‘dour’ in his tone of voice, perhaps a little overbearing in public discussion. I find the man’s soft Scottish accent pleasing to listen to; the sort of voice you may expect to listen to whilst watching a documentary on National Geographic or the History Channel. Superficial I know, but appearances matter more than we may care to admit.

So yes, the first step on my journey into mainstream politics; disillusioned with the two years that I have spent observing obscure anarchistic demonstrations outside public buildings and inside university campuses, I now wish to try my hand at the lowest common denominator. Forcing change from without is not nearly as effective as inspiring change from within. Today, I have been invited to meet the new local Labour party leader at his selection party; at the next general election he has been chosen to succeed the previous Member of Parliament for Kemptown, the constituency that I currently reside in. I have pledged to help in any way that a full-time student working part-time at his local shopping mall can. Perhaps one day, after a much needed lesson in practical politics, I may be as influential in local government as our new Kemptown leader, maybe even more so.

All credit to my lecturers and peers for their expert analysis on the actions of our politicians; they certainly seem content to preach discontent on the way in which their Parliamentary representatives act on their behalf, but I do not see them taking steps to enact any of the supposedly viable alternatives that they trot out of the theoretical stables on a regular basis. Today I shall relish the opportunity to learn from those who truly seek to act for the greater good of society and seek an education from the men and women of deed.

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About Graham McKnight

  • bliffle

    Bravo! Set your resolve. You will soon discover that ugly things, petty and mean beyond anything you imagined before, beset the innards of realpolitik. Just don’t make any longterm commitments to the corruptions you must often accede to in order to survive. Later, you can move away from them.

  • Later, you can move away from them.

    Don’t bet on it. Once he owes them he’ll never get out from under.


  • Zedd


    Ah yes! Your journey is one that many once agitators can related to.

    Never stop asking questions. Please never comply simply because of party loyalty. Please be willing to switch sides when things call for it.

    Nelson Mandela’s name is Rolihlahla (don’t even try to pronounce it :o) however, the translation is “agitator”. We can use decent to invite reason and calm in a storm.

  • Graham McKnight

    Thanks for the positive feed back so far guys, some of you will be pleased to know that my local party boss did vote against the invasion of Iraq and against increasing university fees. There is, at the local level at least, no hesitation in voting for what you think best at the expense of the official party line.

  • Zedd

    Good on him Grahm!

  • anonymous

    Why the people from the same north American government
    They are leaving to run arguing , That the American LAWS ARE NOT ABLE TO, for they, to can do as thief , In the much people from the American military they are with those arguing in other countries, evidently those arguing, they are from the foreigner spy people inside the American government.