Going to a political rally - Jeremy Corbyn Labour rally, Falmouth, Cornwall 27.11.2019
I thought of writing about this as a cultural event but as a convinced leftwing socialist, the happiest I've ever been with our Labour party now Jeremy Corbyn is our leader, and desperately hoping for a Labour government and to Remain in the European Union, I am hardly a dispassionate observer.
It's a bit like a rock concert - tickets are free and sell out online in an hour. We have to queue to get in and our bags are searched. Red paper bands are put around our wrists. Some turn up without tickets and some manage to blag their way in whilst others remain in the building unable to enter or hear what's happening. There's rock music before and at some other points. There are only a few seats - people are standing, some with drinks from the bar- some with tiny children on their shoulders, many holding up mobile phones to take photos and video and probably post to social media.
I run into friends and one takes a selfie of us on which I notice I look really happy.
There's a build up, the local candidates speak first - Jenni Forbes very bright and heart warming, Paul Farmer fervent and amusing by turns and looking attractive in a three piece suit and Cornish tartan tie. He speaks some Cornish as he begins. He recalls our famous inventor Trevithick who designed the first steam engine. He looks forward to future inventors who will save us from climate change disasters.
Then it's Angela Rayner,
Glamourous with golden red long hair and a bright green jacket, waving her arms about - shadow education minister - full of beans, smiling. At times there's a pantomime atmosphere with the crowd responding, singing the well known refrain 'Oh Jeremy Corbyn' with love and hope in their hearts or shouting that our National Health Service is 'Not for sale' ie not to the US President Trump.
You can speak to anyone. There are hundreds of Labour people, the atmosphere is electric and warm. One dissenting male grumbler is heard briefly, swamped by the general wild enthusiasm. Many of us are activists, people who tramp round leafleting and canvassing, workers - and it's so nice to be in celebratory mood as if we really will win the election, transform our country for the better, save the world from climate change. We deserve this break from toil to be recharged.
Then it's the star of the show,
Jeremy Corbyn - surprisingly as fresh as a daisy, humorous, honest and true, hopeful and engaging, 70 years old but fuelled with his ardour for the cause, for making life better for the many not the few. He speaks very well, at ease, fluent, energetic and inspiring.
Labour flags are waving, people are signed up for helping. Surprisingly no fund raising buckets are rattled.
Then it's over, we're out into the rain, finding our comradely lifts home, pleased we came, glowing with hope. It feels like midnight but it's only just after eight. A memorable evening, something that we'll always remember, making sense and meaning of our lives whether we win or lose - trying , co-operating together for the future. Not alienated, passive and despondent but united in a glorious vision of what could be.