I first became involved with politics at the university where I spent three years studying the subject. Active participation, as opposed to passive learning, began during a period of unemployment when I discovered that the gentleman across the road was a local candidate; and I volunteered, or rather had my services volunteered, in the pre-general election campaign. Writing electioneering material was useful preparation for my present full-time involvement in politics as a party information officer at the head office.
I started this job the week the prime minister announced the date of the general election. This was the signal for all systems go, and I was left very much to sink or swim. By election day I felt I was crawling to the shore line. I had been very surprised at being offered the job, for though I had qualifications in politics and information work, my knowledge of actual party policy was scanty. Like so many people, I fear my reason for supporting the party was more disillusionment with what had been happening in British politics than a sense of commitment to that party.
This lack of knowledge, however, did not last long. Sitting at the end of a telephone answering questions on party attitudes toward everything from second homes to Israel to taxation forced me to examine and crystallize my views. I developed new ideals, but I knew that these ideals would never become reality without my work, your work—everyone’s work.
Someone once said that a country gets the government it deserves. Apathy and fatalism breed tyranny and repression. Freedom, like everything good, has to be worked for. I knew that if I awoke one morning and found that the Church had been outlawed, it would be my own fault if I had not worked to prevent it. I love the gospel and all it stands for, but am only too aware that what it stands for—the freedom I hold so dear—is being gradually whittled away. The gospel is a gospel of love and we can show that love in many ways, one of which is being an involved citizen.