On the Sixteenth of March I went to a Labour Party fundraiser at the People’s History Museum in Manchester. The event was to raise funds for Andy Burnham’s mayoral campaign here in Manchester. I went by myself, not knowing what to expect, I’d missed some opportunities to ease myself into the labour party events locally due to my section. I really threw myself in at the deep end.
The event was amazing, to start with what a venue. If you live in Manchester and haven’t got yourself to The People’s History Museum it’s worth taking a trip. The exhibits contain the history of the battle to gain our rights; rights that exceedingly seem under threat.
Next; the people. I met so many wonderful and friendly people of all ages, races, genders and backgrounds. The people I connected with there were full of enthusiasm to make the world better a place. To make the world a place that works for us, not the establishment. I spoke to a lot of people about my current situation, they were happy to listen, they showed me kindness and empathy and shared bits of their own stories with me. It was wonderful.
And finally the speakers. A short introduction from Ian McNiol. Lucy Powell, MP for Manchester Central spoke first. Lucy is normally written off by a lot of us on the left as a “blairite” MP but she showed nothing but solidarity with Corbyn and the labour party membership. Solidarity with us, against austerity. Maybe; after the colossal failure of the last coup, maybe, she’s woken up to the fact that we cannot stand divided. Or maybe she wasn’t sincere. I can’t speak to what’s going on in her mind, just what I saw when she was speaking.
Jeremy Corbyn was, of course, mobbed. He’s as nice and friendly as I expected. He stopped for photos with everyone who asked, He made time to have a few words with everyone who wanted to speak to him.
I managed to get his speech recorded in full. We think he lacks charisma when we watch him in PMQs, but when addressing a crowd of supporters, rather than the braying hounds of the Conservatives his charisma shines through.
The main man Andy Burnham’s speech? It was good. It was very good. He talked about tackling homelessness, ending the division between social care and the NHS. He talked about turning Manchester into an example of how Labour policies can work. At one point I honestly thought he was going to shout “The North Remembers!” I almost shouted it myself, that was the atmosphere, one of solidarity and unity, against austerity. Andy Burnham talked about raising the “hidden voices” of Manchester. Something I believe we need to do.
His manifesto can be found here.
Thanks to Katie for sending me the Andy Burnham Videos, you can find her amazing photography at The Ambassador’s New Clothes.
I know a lot of people reading this will think me naïve for believing that our politicians can change anything. I say stop being so apathetic, our politicians will change if we choose to speak up, to apply pressure for change. We need to unite as a community and make our voices heard. The only way to change things is from the top.
The elections for Mayor in Manchester is an easy date to remember, member Star Wars?
May the Fourth be with you.