Thursday 4 August 2016

Ships at Sea

 I spent a lot of time at WOMAD with Amir Amirani, director of 'We are Many'. A great man who has devoted years to getting this film made. It can now be bought on DVD and soon on Netflix and has been bought by Universal Pictures. All this on his own and without any support from the 'media'. I doubt you are going to see this film on your TV screens. Why? I think it's because he is an outsider – he's not working inside the box, inside the acceptable paradigm. It's the same with Jeremy Corbyn. 10,000 can fill the streets of Liverpool but he remains 'unelectable'. What is meant by this is that he remains 'unacceptable'. He is not playing by their rules. I wrote about this in 'Left Field'. “A police inspector turned up at our house. He wanted to question me about a march I was helping to co-ordinate as secretary of South London Youth CND. ‘Are you the organiser?’ he asked. ‘I’m one of them.’ ‘What is your role?’ I was being introduced to page one of the police training manual: locate the leader. I said nothing, but my mother tapped him on the arm. ‘He’ll get over this,’ she said. ‘He’s still growing up.’ As the front door closed, she pleaded with me. ‘David, why can’t you be normal?’ ‘What is normal, Mum?’ ‘Why don’t you go into politics?’ ‘I am into politics.’ ‘Banning the bomb isn’t politics. Why don’t you join a party? You could end up in Parliament.’ Ambrose Bierce, the American wit, said that politics is ‘a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.’ Politics that you ‘go into’, takes place in a box with shared rules of engagement. If, like me, you believe there is nothing ‘shared’ about our world, the only place for politics is on the streets, not in a debating chamber full of Right Honourables who barrack and ridicule each other, then go off to have cosy lunches together. For my mother, my extra-parliamentary activities made me an extremist. But it’s like ships at sea. If a fleet of them are sailing together, a lone ship on the horizon is viewed as one which occupies an extreme position. However, from the point of view of the lone ship, you have to be a damn good sailor.” Amir is a damn good sailor and so is Jeremy Corbyn. They are our only hope, and in my case, now aged over 70, my last one!

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