"Firstly I hope you and your lovely family keep well and that none of you need to use the health and welfare services which will surely now slowly disappear. Secondly, I hate the fact that the 'cult of celebrity' may be deemed responsible for Labour losing the election. As a Labour Party member, I didn't vote for Ed in the leadership election, but when he became our leader I naturally supported him. I actually think that there was huge media slur campaign against him, but that is btw. We vote for the principles of a party not whether someone can eat a bacon sandwich neatly. [Ask Youngest Daughter about Ed because she worked with him in Westminster when she was there] A party is a conglomerate [ especially the Labour Party] where even the very 'ordinary' member votes on policy through their local meetings.
You and I will never agree about politics and that is not a problem. But it is the Socialist ideals that I have always believed in that have - strangely enough! - never let me down throughout my life. The 'free' National Health Service that saved my life on a couple of occasions and that of more than one of my children. [Remember we lived abroad for a time where it was only by throwing more and more money at the problem that Other Half's life was saved when he nearly died' If the money had not been there, neither would the life saving meds]; 'Free' universal education gave my children university degrees and got them good jobs - they have 'paid back' the money the State spent on their education through the tax system ever since then, of course. Having never claimed on the Benefits system for unemployment benefit as luckily there have never been employment problems in our family [a lot of the reason for that of course was the help given by the Trade Union movement over the years.More on that later], I must admit I have been a bit profligate on having children so have been a bit of a drain on the Family Allowance system. After all in 1971 when I had Eldest Daughter I was 'rewarded' by the promise of 7/6d [371/2p] Family Allowance that I would get for the Eldest Son when he eventually arrived in 1975. And the suceeding children. And all that bounty was more than repaid in the tax system. Now I receive my State Pension [I know. I just don't look old enough!] and that and some of the other benefits I get [bus pass, free prescriptions, winter fuel allowance] are often begrudged by the younger generations. Conveniently ignoring the fact that I have been 'paying in' and promised these all my working life.
Back to the wonderful Trade Union movement, who just over 100 years ago were amongst the founding fathers of the Labour movement. When I had a severe problem with the failure of my work pension, their financial backing of a very long campaign ensured our success and thousands of us would have lost up to 50% of our pensions - paid for over a 50 year working life - without them.
So we will agree to differ but you know how stubborn I am and I will never turn my back on those who have helped me and so many others. And although Hugh Gaitskell said it in a completely different context about the Labour Party in 1960, I will 'fight, fight and fight again to save the party that [I] love' - but as you also know, this will only in a pacifist way.
I honestly believe that the election results were a disaster for the old, sick, poor and vulnerable. The rich will be OK. I care about the first group. The second will look after themselves as usual. I am typing this sitting on the settee, wrapped up in a blanket with a viral infection. It has done me a favour to get this enthused to write as it is helping me 'sweat it out'! Writing is also my therapy. I have a feeling a lot of this will appear as a blog later on today. Don't take it personally! Or rather do and don't vote Conservative next time!"