Following Ally's post over the weekend about demoralisation and the merits of spoiling her ballot, I joined the Labour Party.
This is not an act of endorsement but one of protest.
I have tried to join before on a number of occasions but the lamentable administration at Party HQ meant I never got the direct debit mandate through in the post. I am a member of the TGWU and have been a lifelong labour supporter so after trying unsuccessfully and then frankly just not getting round to it, I have let the whole thought of activism slip and let real, not ideal, life be my main concern.
Enough is, frankly, enough though. Many pundits have shied away from the Prescott story, citing the fact that it is a "private affair". If the allegations are to be believed, though, the notion of turning his officicial residence at Admiralty House into some sort of knocking shop is a matter for public debate. Perhaps he thinks he is honouring his political forebears in some odd sort of way or perhaps he has just forgotten the old chestnut that "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely".
In my opinion his alleged behaviour shows scant regard for the morals he purports to uphold. He has breached the trust of not only his wife and family but of his constituents and his party too. He has abused his mandate in a way he found unacceptable in others:
"They are up to their necks in sleaze. The best slogan he could think up for their conference next week is Life's better under the Tories. Sounds to me like one of Steven Norris's chat up lines. Can you believe that this lot is in charge? Not for long, eh? Then after 17 years of this Tory government, they have the audacity to talk about morality. Did you hear John Major on the Today programme? - calling for ethics to come back into the political debate? I'm told some Tory MPs think ethics is a county near Middlesex. It's a bit hard to take: John Major - ethics man. The Tories have redefined unemployment they have redefined poverty. Now they want to redefine morality. For too many Tories, morality means not getting caught.Morality is measured in more than just money. It's about right and wrong. We are a party of principle. We will earn the trust of the British people. We've had enough lies. Enough sleaze".
I thank Iain Dale for the quote from John Prescott's 1996 speech to conference.
We have had enough lies; enough sleaze. The Labour Party means too much to me to let this all go unchecked. Enough.