Why I Joined the Labour Party
It was just after the general election last year (2015). I wasn’t going to my lectures very much, smoking too much weed, and shit poor. I’d lost hope of any positive political change. I only had a couple of months left before I would leave Britain, possibly for ever, probably for a year. But that seemed so far off in the future, and I felt so stuck here in this shitty rainy Tory country.
So naturally I took some psychedelics. (All drugs, recreational and illegal too, are medicinal. Junkies use heroin just because they have a pain that the national health service isn’t very good at addressing.) I took something that might have been 2CB that I’d bought online. At first I felt all the placebo effects, which I’d read I would feel, and was mostly disappointed, and soon it felt like it began to wear off.
But then came the bugs. Indescribable insects were crawling all over me (I’m getting a flashback now whilst typing). It was horrible, and I didn’t know how to make it stop. I thought that there was nothing more safe and warm and good than simple hot buttered toast. So I made some toast, and I posted a status about it on facebook. My brother popped up and messaged me, asking if I were really eating just toast for dinner, which was true. And this is when the psychedelics began to actually work.
I can’t remember what my diet had been like back then, but it wasn’t good. Probably a lot of chips, there was a great fish and chip shop down the road, I went there so often that I’d made friends with the staff there. Thinking about putting all of that greasy shit into my body, and its unhealthy effects, only made the bugs crawl over my skin more, and made me scared they’d start biting too.
So I walked down to the corner shop, and bought a fuck tonne of healthy food: coconut water, blueberries, raspberries, walnuts, dark chocolate, and an apple. It was much better than toast. Although there were now less, still the bugs were there. So I cleaned the bathroom, for the first time in months. Still were they there, crawling. I cleaned the kitchen, still were they there. I thought about phoning my dealer to get a bag of weed, or going back to the shop to buy a bottle of wine, but the thought of grass or alcohol just numbing the pain didn’t help.
And that’s how the drug did help. Through hallucinations it transformed my unhappinesses into something physical and tangible; I could feel clearly that there were things wrong in my life, and I needed to shake them off. I’d been eating shittily, and healthy food helped me feel better. My house was disgusting, and cleaning helped me feel better. But still there was something else, bigger, higher up on my hierarchy of needs.
Paying nine thousand fucking pounds a year for shit tuition for a shitty degree with sad job opportunities awaiting me, feeling suicidal with such shit mental health support that scared me more than helped me, living in a country that democratically supported a foreign policy which eagerly sold bombs to the Saudis to bomb starving civilians in Yemen, an oligarchical hegemony of racist economically-monist newspapers that were not-fit-for-purpose and incestuously linked to the Tory government, this terrible idea of political despair that I’d had since waking up on the 8th of May, since before, since I first worked for the Samaritans and heard first-hand how lethal austerity was, since my father taught me that all politicians are the same and there is nothing at all that you can do to change this shitty country, these were the real reasons for these unbearably horrible hallucinations.
And so googled “how to join the labour party”, I clicked on the first link that came up, filled in name, address, and bank details, and posted on facebook that I’d just joined the Labour Party with the caption “sorry dad”. And I spent the rest of the night watching youtube videos of Tony Benn and Billy Bragg. And away went the bugs, and I fell asleep happy and hopeful.