Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I am Political, then I am everything else I am

I believe I have always had an inquisitive, logical & rationale mind; My mum tells me my favourite word when I was younger was 'Why?' I became an atheist when I was 12 & told my parents I no longer wanted to go to church; I remember explaining to my sister that horoscopes are a load of BS, when she said 'So how come it matches me inside out then??' I said 'Read the other 11 & they do too'; I remember I had to take a survey about whether to ban smoking home from school  to ask my parents, & I thought because my Mum didn't smoke, she would want it banned. I was surprised that she didn't, & to this day, I am fascinated by peoples' political opinions & where they get them from. I used to ask my Dad who he voted for (Tory) though it never occured to me that I should vote for them just because he did.

I stayed at my mate's house almost every other weekend throughout my teens & his Dad used to talk about politics, war & religion etc. Then after school I took English Language A Level & remember enjoying the lesson where we learnt about newspapers' political stances, as well as Media where I enjoyed learning about how the media distorts the news & information. I then took Sociology A Level where I remember enjoying reading about crime & punishment, its effect on society & effective ways to combat it, as well as other issues in society. Around this time I started getting the Daily Mail on Saturdays (best tv mag & also I enjoyed reading the balance between proper news & celebrity stuff).  My Media tutor had recommended that our class read the Media Guardian so one day I bought that, read the whole Guardian, including a special section in G2 about the achievements of New Labour- I was impressed & after reading it, it occured to me that most of what I read in the Daily Mail was sensationalist bigoted bollocks & I was a New Labour supporter!!

I began reading the Independent & decided to go to university to get a Business Degree, & so started reading the Economist, which widened my knowledge of international affairs. Still a New Labourite, I learnt about climate change in an Environmental Management unit in my degree, & learnt how it's perfectly possible for a business to be profitable & sustainable at the same time. After writing an essay on corporate governance & corporate responsibility for another unit, it reinforced my views about business ethics & how a business has a responsibility to other stakeholders other than its shareholders such as its employees, the wider community, etc.

At this point I worked at the local supermarket & a lot of people would read the Sun, Star etc in the canteen, & some would rant about 'benefit scroungers', immigrants etc. Well I realised I couldn't help but argue back at them, pointing out the lies & propaganda from the tabloids. After finishing my degree, I was able to focus more on politics than business, & I joined the Labour Party & started reading politics books.

 I emigrated to Canada this year & after reading more about sustainability & climate change, it has occured to me that recycling, saving rainforests etc is vital but ultimately in order to combat climate change we have to move towards a fairer post- neoliberal economic system that doesn't damage the environment,  & isn't reliant on growth or an infinite amount of resources (such as fossil fuels) in a finite world. I am now involved with the social democratic party of Canada, the New Democrats, going to protests each month, continuing to read about how we can bring about a sustainable world & fighting for equality for women and minorities such as homosexuals, first nations & disabled people.. I am political, then I am everything else I am.

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