Earliest political memory of the day #56

epm-56I remember accompanying my Mum into a voting booth, I think it was for the 1987 general election but it may have been a local election a year or two later than that. She explained the process of casting her vote to me. On the walk to the polling station she told me about the suffragettes and how women had died so that she – and when I grew up, me – could have a vote. She told me it was the most important right we had. That sense of responsibility never left me. I remember vividly seeing Margaret Thatcher reelected on the 9 o’clock news in 1987 and her two/three fingered salute – I asked my parents what it meant, and why. It seemed inexplicable to me that a hand gesture could have such a strange significance. I remember, also, the first time I spoke about politics outside of my home, and that was when John Major became Prime Minister and me and my school friends were discussing it. In our naive and uniformed discussion, we all agree we prefered “that lady who was in charge before him”. Hard-left modern day me is horrified at that memory.

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