It took a very special kind of young person growing up in Thatcher’s Britain not to be radicalised in some way by the social and economic changes going on around them. But surprisingly there were quite a few……in The Young Conservatives……
I was a student at Keele University in the 1980s. Like most Universities it had a large and thriving Labour Club. I lurked outside its students union doors for a while but could never quite bring myself to go in. The endless speeches by earnest young men in support of motions to amend point 6 of clause 8 of the Club’s constitution in favour of replacing the word “may” with “could” were just too demoralising.
I found my radicalisation in another place altogether. I met my first ever anarchist – Paul from Bolton – in a Philosophy tutorial about whether there could be a Just War. I never looked back. (Paul spent the whole hour valiantly trying to make the case that a state organised invasion of Nazi occupied Europe on D-day was wrong but that if each person had chosen to attack independently it would have been morally impeccable.)
I’m not sure that anyone in the small group I hung out with knew what we wanted to achieve but we did know we wanted to have fun doing it and not be ground down by rules, regulations and puffed up, self-important, party leaders. These were some of the most warm, loving, creative people I have ever met. I didn’t really appreciate it at the time but with hindsight I can see just how much they had in common with the values of both the influential members of my family and the organisations I have subsequently been drawn to……valuing people over property and possessions; common sense over clauses and constitutions.
There is a quotation often attributed to the anarchist Emma Goldman, who, having been reproached for dancing by an officious young revolutionary, is said to have turned to him and said:
“If I can’t dance I don’t want to be part of your revolution!”
A great sentiment.
One that captures the spirit of Bromford. We want to change our world but we’ll do it our way…..with passion, with creativity……and with a dance.
So as the UK goes Strictly crazy I thought it was a good time to share some of my favourite videos of brave, defiant dancing. Enjoy.
First up is a group of colleagues showing just what being brave is all about, to raise awareness of at risk support services in the County
Next up is a bunch of book club friends who secretly practiced a morris dance and performed it for one night only…….just for the hell of it
Lastly it’s a 17 year old in Bristol who takes her love of dancing out onto the streets…..don’t miss the guy at 1:38…..wonderful stuff