People, politics, passion

I think it’s fair to say that since the General Election was announced I’ve become increasingly political in the run up to it. I think I’m going to blow up before I get to the polling station on Thursday (today is Tuesday 6 June 2017) to cast my vote.

I have always been decidedly left of centre to say the least. I often told my mother I’d voted for the Communist Party just for the reaction even though the Communist Party never put up candidates of any kind in the area where I grew up.

In my 41 years as a voter this is by far the most exciting election campaign that I’ve ever seen. An elected leader of the Labour Party (go Jeremy, show the bastards!) treated initially as a joke is now proving that those of us who were behind him right from the beginning were right to put our trust in him. The leader of the Conservative Party who gained leadership because nobody else wanted it has gone from a woman who was seen as a more than adequate replica of the Iron Lady to a joke. Strangely enough, it is too soon to call the result.

I have been sharing my views loudly on social media and I think that 90% of any of the posts I’ve made have been politics be it supporting Labour or condemning the other parties, particularly the Tory bastards. I am usually too polite to paraphrase my mate Dave Hutchinson who used the phrase “cunting Tories” in one of his books but I will make an exception this one time.

It’s been a bit too much for some people. I haven’t exactly been unfollowed or unfriended in droves but some people have really surprised me. The ones who declare lifelong friendship quietly drift away, the soft blocks on Twitter and the silent detaching on Facebook. Some people have even blocked me on Instagram.

I can only suppose they don’t like my point of view or disagree with the way I feel. I don’t like one of my closest friends voting Conservative at local and national elections but I’d never disown him for doing it. We come from different backgrounds I went to a grant maintained faith school and he went to a public school. I throw myself at life with little thought to consequences and have an incredible amount of fun doing it even though I am a bit shackled by the old bipolar these days. He is more controlled and cares more about how he appears in public than I do. We differ in many ways but at the core of it is a great friendship so if we can agree to not talk about politics and respect the views of one another then why can’t people who’ve never met me have the same attitude?

I think a lot of it is how people perceive us to be. It’s fair to say that we all hide some of ourselves from the world and we never show our whole person to any person. Each one of my friends and family has a piece of me and they all add up to the whole me. Some people have bigger bits than others while others have pieces so small they can’t be seen with the naked eye but they all hold part of me. One friend knows where I spend the evening of the second Sunday of every month and the rest would be stunned if they knew what I was doing. A couple of people know of how I spent my 50th birthday a the Tate Modern and the rest would be horrified (and I mean truly horrified) how I celebrated the occasion. Few people know of the part of me that sits calmly and quietly with my arm round my dog, both of us staring into the middle distance and not moving for hours though everybody knows of the long walks and the loud fun that he and I have together. Nobody (until now) knows that when I play music when I’m at home I sing along to everything (right now it’s Big Time Charlie by the Cockney Rejects).

I think it’s fair to say that I’m a passionate person – I don’t know how to do things by halves and I suppose that’s a bit too much for people to handle. I live with a minimum of possessions and a maximum of feelings, moods and emotions. I give love rarely though I do have a loving attitude and I am that person who speaks to the people that others won’t bother with. I speak to the old ladies and men on buses because they may not have spoken to somebody that day. I talk to Linda every morning because she knows when I’ll be along walking Ogden and I’m one of the few people she trusts and I’m the only person who stops and gives her time to spill out her paranoia every time I see her. If I buy a homeless person some food then I’ll sit and chat with them a while because anybody can shove a sandwich or a pasty in someone’s hands but sometimes what they really want is somebody to look them in the eyes and stop them feeling like a charity case at least just for a moment.

I’m not an angel and I think that’s what trips people up. I can be a nice person but I can also be a nasty twat. When I drank I was argumentative and not afraid of putting myself at risk of physical violence. Addiction magnifies the personality defects a person has it doesn’t invent new ones just for the duration of the active addiction. I have to work hard at being a nice person and if you doubt me then you haven’t seen the what I can get up whether I’m being watched or not.

I have finally got to the point in a perfect example of digression (go me!). We have to respect people’s right to believe what they want to unless, and this is the big thing, it inflames hatred of people of who are different to use whether it is by religion or culture or the colour of their skin. I do none of those and I do not tolerate those who are vile enough to discriminate in such a fashion. It makes me wonder if some of the people I’ve upset are closet discriminators and feel that I am pointing an invisible finger at them. I’m not but if I trouble the odd conscience or two then I can’t pretend to be unhappy.

Photographer, mental health advocate, occasional ranter, in love with Kent.