I’ve barely read any political theory- beyond William Morris and Trotsky!
And I still go with gut-feeling. Anti-sexist, anti-racist.
At college: I’d missed the Socialist Society’s pitch invasion at the Newcastle v Orange Free State University’s rugby match ‘67/8- I’d been stuck in the darkroom. So I bussed it up to Gosforth and ran on on my own. My godfather saw it on telly that night- me evading a bunch of burly police surrounded by static players. (“Ee, Our Si- you gave them a good run for their money!”) Four of them held me spread-eagled, face up. At least one of them explained that if I struggled then I’d dislocate my shoulder. As we passed through the players’ entrance I caught a few “Fucking Danby”s & got spat at. In the car park I heard my carriers discussing where to put me down- in the deepest, wettest pothole.
There are several other twists to this story but my favourite concerns my glasses, (Rolf Harris-style. I was later to forget to pick them up as I left a washroom beside the Golden Gate Bridge- all part of yet another tale!) In the excitement of the chase the spectacles had dropped off. The police managed to get a message to me at my student house. I could collect them from the most beautifully-named police station in the North - Pity Me.
So much for apartheid.. I don’t think I’ve changed loyalties, at all.
A militant teaching assistant friend from Co. Durham once introduced me on Facebook as “An ould leftie friend.” That’ll do.