Editor in Chief – Iwan Doherty:
2017 has been a year of recovery. After the horrors of 2016, democracy regained her footing. After the triggering of Article 50, the UK snap general election was the most important one in my lifetime. The Conservative party went into the snap election in the strongest position they’ve been in since 1983, yet when Corbyn’s message got out they saw their lead evaporate. The result: Theresa May hiding under the desk with Corbyn knocking on the door at Downing Street. Labour have come out of decline but still have a long way to go to get the party back in power.
Across the world, the defeat of Le Pen was welcomed, but Macron’s anti-worker approach has seen the door creak open for a radical progressive to win in France. Across the pond Alabama sent a Democrat to the senate for the first time in my lifetime, deciding Liberalism was better than Pedophilia. Although I do not expect a blue congress come this time next year without the left winning the primary battles in the summer. Names like Pelosi and Feinstein need to be replaced by the likes of Jaffe and Hildebrand for the Democratic Party to win back it’s working class base.
However in 2017 something awoke. Hope. And it’s brought Socialism back with it.
Editor – Adam R. Brosnan:
2017 has taught me that the actions of the ruling classes do not have consequences. We are constantly fighting battles that clearly have no place in a democratically civilised society but because they are committed by the ‘haves’, they aren’t seen as the crimes that they are – these include; fox hunting, watching porn on your computer in at work, expenses fraud by Nigel Farage, Tories illegally using call centres to canvas,Tory austerity being correlated to 120,000 deaths, Lord Ashcroft avoiding millions in tax, May’s husband’s firm outed for having not paid corporation tax for 8 years. The list is literally endless.
These actions are morally repugnant to democracy, but their contempt for democratic values is further demonstrated in the way the Conservatives are actively trying to suppressing the votes of those who are likely to oppose the activity outlined above (e.g. filibustering vote to allow 16 year olds to vote/attempts to introduce voter ID laws).
They claim these actions were to preserve democracy and maintain the integrity of our political institutions. This, however, is a blatant lie and in the case of introduction of voter ID laws – taken straight out of the Republican playbook that actively works to suppress the votes of minorities in impoverished areas that would likely vote against the establishment.
I am happy with the progress made by Labour, but when the governing party writes the rules and is in the pocket of the elite who interpret politics (the media) – I am not sure the rose-tinted future of socialism and equality is a viable one. However, it can be if Labour (once in government) immediately addresses the media monopolies that have manipulated the will of the people for their own selfish greed for far too long – if not, our movement will falter and remain an ideal that we couldn’t quite attain.
Head of Recruitment – Zach Ntim:
Grenfell Tower is a horrific tragedy that hopefully will go down in British history. Mostly because it could have been prevented.
I’ve always found it odd hearing people refer to Grenfell as North Kensington, as a North Londoner; it’s Ladbroke Grove/Latimer Road, either way on the morning of the fire, like many other Londoners I went to *North Kensington*. I had no real plan or any real money to give, I just felt the need to help.
By the time I got near, all direct routes were shut off. No tubes, buses or cabs would take me into the area. The closest I could get was South Kensington, to where I was left stranded for about 2 hours. Hanging around looking at pimped out Ferrari’s parked outside grand Georgian homes. Just minutes away from the Palace, in the backdrop was the smoke of Grenfell. I was always consciously aware of the vast inequality in the UK, but this was a particularly sobering realisation for me.
One the 14th of June 2017 this country changed forever, I just hope it is for the better. #Justice4Grenfell.
Head of Promotion and Advertising- Owen Morton:
I think its fair to say that 2017 has been a massive year in British and global politics. There’s been a return of politics to front line of conversation, real change is on offer, not seen since the 1970’s.
In terms of the UK, we saw an almost fairy tale story of redemption. When Mrs May called her election, designed by the Tory cabinet to sweep her to victory with a mandate to rival Tony Blair, no one could envision what would follow. Those weeks were like a dream for me. I was surrounded by people who were laughing, giddy with excitement due to the Labour Party’s impending doom, but I along with millions of others stood up against the onslaught of Tory bile. I’m not for one second going to argue that Corbyn won, but I can say with some conviction that he didn’t lose it. Since then we have seen the polls move in the right direction. There is still work to be done but we’re definitely on the front foot.
I could talk all day about British politics, but its important to acknowldge the wider world around us. A populist president slipped into the Oval Office with no majority, and since then has been careening from one global disaster to the next. However, it’s the new year. Optimism shall rule – we can still change the course of history.
Communications Director – Henry Jones:
2017 has, undeniably been a terrible year. We’ve waited all year for good news. I haven’t seen any of it. Take those BBC (sorry Adam) Breaking News alerts we get on our phone. The vast majority have been incredibly depressing.
Having said that, we can find solace in the incredible acts of human kindness and generosity that have been witnessed in response to the various acts of terror over the past year. While we cannot whitewash the comments from those who spout unhelpful rhetoric like ‘all Muslims are terrorists’ or even our Prime Minister’s meaningless platitudes that never translate into anything meaningful, we must always hold in our hearts the actions of those who give us hope in these trying times.
I’m talking about the taxi drivers who turned up outside the stadium in Manchester after the bombing, ferrying people free of charge to the hospital, or to safety. Or the people in London who opened their homes and businesses to people during the Borough Market attack. Or our Police Force, who run towards danger when we run away from it. 2017, more than any year before, highlighted the positive traits of our hugely diverse and wonderful nation.
In spite of all the chaos and sorrow, you can count on us to get up and carry on, with tea, or a lager. Here’s to 2018. There will undoubtedly be more pain, sadness, and Tory madness. But we’ll jolly well carry on fighting for the values we are passionate about.