In my dotage
I am a candidate in this year’s local elections, for the Seamer Ward of Scarborough Borough Council. We (that is the Labour Party) have not stood a candidate here, so far as I can tell, for over ten years or more so I will be interested to see what the outcome will be this year. Presumably I can expect a good drubbing, but who knows? A significant part of the ward is what I once would have called ‘Blair country’ which is to say it is new housing, possibly a fairly young family-orientated demographic, car owners with regular jobs and mortgages. I notice that Tony Blair seems to have been fairly quiet of late, and as I have written here before he may find himself in a bit of a quandary. Politically he probably would be inclined to support the so-called ‘Fringe Tingers’ of the Chukka/Heidi ilk, but with his historic fortunes resting on his Labour Party leadership he may feel a personal obligation to keep schtum so far as is physically possible. Anyway, what he does won’t be the first concern on the minds of the electors of Seamer (and Crossgates and Irton). Some may be more interested why their trains are so often late and jam packed. And other concerns will impinge which are entirely the creation of this dreadful government. Go on! Give them a good kicking! I doubt that any readers of this blog actually live in Seamer Ward, but if you do please have a look here.
Although politics has been so dominant in my life, I have not entirely given up in my dotage (Really? Only going on 66 and that’s already your dotage?), but I did feel it was time to part with my political archive before it rotted away in my shed. This is now deposited with Huddersfield University, which I think has done some excellent work on Left politics. I sent them about 90-odd boxes of material which I had collected not just from my own experience but also from the collections of others who needed to find a home for countless leaflets, etc. I have always harboured the belief that whilst record keeping amongst the ‘ruling class’ would be first class, and treasured by the nation in honour of the Great and the Good’s Enormous Contribution to Our Country, the records of for want of a better expression the ‘working class’ often would be neglected and destroyed as worthless, or too insignificant to merit preservation. Of course, minute books (even if minutes were kept) of Labour Party branch meetings might not have been riveting reading, but for, say, social historians at least they could be of equal worth with things like Mass Observation. So I kept everything and have now passed the whole pile on to Huddersfield, and I hope whoever has the unenviable task of cataloguing it doesn’t go mad. I’ve just discovered another five boxes at home. A summary of what they have categorised so far for anyone who’s interested can be found here.
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