A piece I wrote for The Huffington Post:
It was the aftermath of a shocking, devastating general election loss. The Labour party leader was standing down. Nobody knew exactly what would happen next.
It was May 2015 – and it hit me that I actually cared very much about what happened next: both in the Labour party and in the country. And it hit me that I couldn’t really complain about what happened next unless I got involved somehow.
So in June 2015, I joined the Labour party. Without any history of activism, volunteering or politics. Just a history of shouting at my computer screen.
It was that election result that finally made me take action, of course; but probably also, somewhere in the back of my mind, a favourite scene from one of my favourite films.
It’s in James L. Brooks’ Broadcast News – a moment where super-smart, super-informed TV news producer Jane (Holly Hunter) chastises super-handsome, not-very-informed TV presenter Tom (William Hurt) for complaining about feeling out-of-depth in his new role as a news anchor. “I agree with you – you’re not qualified,” she tells him. “So get qualified… Stop whining and do something about it.”
Lines from films, books or songs stay with you because they resonate somehow. I realised that deep down, I wanted to be a Jane – but had actually been living my life as a Tom. So in June 2015, I decided to stop whining and do something about it.[Read more…]