Marches, demonstrations, packed meetings, enthusiasm, excitement, having a good cause and a mission to fight for – these are all great - but we need to put down roots, to grow, to develop, to plan, to reach out, to connect with our communities – we need to evolve together.
We might want change and we might well want it now – but we have to be sensible about this. Change takes time. It is organic – we plant seeds and eventually they grow into a tree with many branches.
All great movements have very different reactions from people. Some close their ears and won’t even listen from the outset. Others are excited by the message but their enthusiasm soon fizzles out. Others hear the message and get actively involved but they are soon worn down by worries and criticism all around them. Others stand firm, growing in knowledge, experience and wisdom, and they continue to work until the victory is won.
We need people to stand firm and to understand that there are not going to be any quick answers or quick solutions. We need to prepare for a lot of hard work over a long period of time. We need to grow thick skins to cope with ridicule and criticism from those who don’t share our views. We have just over 4 years’ and those years are crucial if we are going to bring about the change we all desire.
For new Labour members, like myself, our idealism needs to be converted into something real, something practical, something solid, something robust which will stand up to the test of time.
There will be times to protest, times to show the government and the country the depth of our feeling and the strength of our numbers. But the rest of the time, we need to stop wielding our banners, shouting our slogans and being angry, we need to get on with our lives and to be as happy as we can and, wherever possible, commit ourselves to supporting the movement in a steady, positive, strong, yet sustainable manner.
Commit yourself to the long haul. Don’t drop away when the going gets hard? Realise that Labour cannot take away the hardships that people are suffering while the Tories are still in power. We can petition, protest, lobby, and so on, but sometimes that makes no difference and government refuses to change their plans. This will be frustrating and very disappointing but we just pick ourselves up, carry on and never give up.
Join the Labour Party and prepare yourself for active support. Get ready. Arm yourself with knowledge and truth. Keep a record of Tory injustices and expose them when the time is right. When attacked by others for your views – retaliate with evidence of the reality of injustice all around us.