Elections and Recollections

Yet again, there’s been a long lapse of time since my last post. When I first set up this blog, I had every intention of maintaining it with the voracity with which I started. As time has passed, however, my inclination to blog has gradually diminished– not because I haven’t been able to formulate the ideas or consolidate the material, but because my passion has been eroded. I’d like to be clear: my passion for life, for my work, for social equality, peace, art, and culture remain intact. It is rather my passion for the blog itself that has diminished. I feel I do La Pasionaria a disservice by making this admission (since it’s to her that this blog indebted), but I also know that I do not, and that it is also a thoroughly positive and edifying admission. After all, this is my first ever blog. I came to this not knowing how I should properly publicise it or whether I even wanted to; I hadn’t done any research into what made other blogs so effective, and I didn’t know what ‘angle’ my blog was going to have – still don’t. I’m now developing ideas about new creative ventures in which I’m more passionately invested. LifeOnMyFeet has been a lauchpad for this creative epiphany, even if it hasn’t played host to it.

It is perhaps unsurprising that I should have this kind of revelation in the run up to a general election. Five years ago, I recall that my sentiments were similar, and that my political consciousness and sense of ‘purpose’ was acute. In the few days following the general election of 2010, a whirlwind of emotion blazed over me. When I witnessed Gordon Brown walk out of 10 Downing Street and David Cameron walk in, I knew that things were set to change radically. In the intervening period between that moment and the present one, my life has been marked by a series of shifts and transformations; I have finished a Master’s degree, I have been to work for the probation service, been threatened with redundancy, and been on strike; I have been awarded a scholarship for a PhD and am almost at the point of completion; I have published my work in peer-review journals, and I have travelled to America three times. With each new challenge I’ve come up against, I have had to harden myself, and I feel pretty exhausted from all the fighting.

In just over 2 weeks, I am getting married. Julian has been my stalwart throughout these five years of turbulence and transformation, but I know that the world in which we’ll be celebrating at the end of this month could look very different to the one that we’re living in now. And I know that, really, what happens tomorrow could change our future, and will have more of an impact on our lives than our wedding day, wonderful and momentous as that will be. I am very anxious about the possibilities, not least because I do not want to live under another austerity government bent on the destruction of vital public services and the advancement of the privileged. I was once so certain that I could never emigrate because I did not believe that there was anywhere else in the world where the sense of social responsibility, right, and justice was so strong. I’m not sure that I feel the same way any more – at least, I’m not sure that our sense of social responsibility trumps our level of self-interest. In spite of my cynicism, however, I will be voting with compassion and against austerity when I go to the polls tomorrow. I will be championing our rich heritage of protest and labouring solidarity. I’ll be thinking about La Pasionaria, who led the Republicans and Anarchists into battle against fascism with the words ‘it is better to die on your feet than live forever on your knees’. The fight is not over, and although I know that certain results are inevitable, and that certain projects will lose their lustre over time, there are others that I’m just not willing to concede. ¡No pasarán!

Dolores 2

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