It’s a dirty word, Socialism is, it’s been discredited by men who are only interested in grabbing land, holding power and screwing their people.
Socialism is a ‘political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.’

The struggle is on.

I am no economist, I am not a political scientist, I grew up on Karl Marx and salt beef sandwiches. My father fought his way from the slums of the East End to buying his own council house. His vocabulary was always belligerent, dogmatic and pugilistic, he died a staunch Stalinist and left my mother destitute.

Socialism was hammered into me. All for one, one for all and fuck the ruling class.

And then in 1956 when Russia invaded Hungary my mother burnt her Communist party card and my father knocked her senseless. Age seven I knew there was something wrong with a system that relied on an iron fist.
So ingrained was my need for a fairer system that I turned a blind eye to the tactics of the ‘Hard’ left.

When I discovered that good old Charlie Marx wallopped his wife, alarm bells rung but still my fathers blood coursed through my veins. I was acquiescent. I worked with directors who bullied me, broke bottles to discipline me and wrestled me to the floor for forgetting the lines of the ‘Red Flag’, yet still I did what I was told and believed that so-called articulate men had the answer.

And then it became clear that these dysfunctional intimidators were cowards and liars. My 8 pints of genetic blood needed a transfusion. Starting to think for myself took time. After several clashes with authority it slowly dawned on me that my authentic voice was softer and kinder than my Russian heritage. Allowing myself to feel and cry, was foreign to me. Vulnerability was not part of my DNA. I had to learn how to listen and stop thumping the arm of my chair to make a point. I had to learn the language of compassion and compromise.

Unlearning years of political brainwashing was hard, it meant letting go of my father and his patriarchy.
Unlearning that men were always right and that I was better off serving up tea and washing mugs rather than being part of the discussion.

Now I’m old and my voice is cranky and unforgiving. I watched one news bulletin last week. From Gaza to the Ukraine, from shit in the sea to child poverty. From the far right crowing as they meet at a European conference to discuss Nationalism; the wretched immigrants, pesky climate change, the ineffectual Left and I cried. We disillusioned old Socialists watch on bewildered. Hopeless. Confused. The Sunday papers are no longer an entertainment, political discussions are no longer a sport, old friends are polarised between anti-semitism and incredulity that the likes of Netanyahu gets away with genocide and yet certain words have become incendiary.

Where to go to find the truth, how to stop fake news, how to silence the fear mongering social media with its sound bites and fake tits. Where to go to hear sensible discussion. How to find the humour and keep the faith that the world really is a kind place and that people really are good and that nature will win.

We went for a walk today, in the sunshine. Cow parsley and buttercups lined the path. Birds sung and the marquee was still up from a local wedding. Our funny little community wished the young couple well and told them not to worry about the noise. On the way up the hill we talked over the gate to the couple who open their garden for charity and said they would accept a cake for the tea stall. Further up the hill our neighbour called invited us in for a cuppa or a gin. Then the Dutchman and his son from down the hill, joined us with their two dachshunds. Seven of us sat round in the sun, as Fritz the dog lapped up the spilt beer under the table, a delicious occurrence of community banter.

Conversation is being stifled by the antics of unholy men. Nodding of heads as we all agree not to watch the News as it makes for nightmares. A sense of powerlessness, un uncomfortable reality that we dont know what to do to stop the madness. Our hosts 88 year-old dad said that all we need now is kindness. Thought for the day had a Reverend saying all we need is love. But how to get that into the ears of the tyrants, those authoritarian bully boys who are taking away our voices.

The necromancers and mystics assure us that a metamorphosis is coming, that truth will win out, that the old system is crumbling The astrologers and stargazers assure us that we are transitioning into the Age of Aquarius, a woman on telly threw the Asparagus, like dice, and assured us there will be an election sooner than we think.

A vote of no confidence in the nasty party, a vote for decency and democracy. Maybe, dare I say, even a vote for genuine Socialism.
‘From your mouth to God’s ears’. A Yiddish expression. Just saying.

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