I’m not as politically involved as I perhaps should be, but when I was given the chance to interview both Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May, I couldn’t exactly say no. I put my head down and did the research, and I think I’ve learned a lot in the past few days. I met with Jeremy in a café local to my area called Beanz and Jeanz, and got myself settled on a tiny little two person table near the back.
“Okay” I said, once he’d settle down opposite me. “I’d like to start at the beginning and ask about your life if that’s okay.”
“Sure, sure” he smiled, giving me a glimpse of his perfect white teeth. “Well, I was born a really long time ago, many decades ago in fact. You young people these days must get so tired of oldies like me running politics, but I think I can convince you I’m not so bad. But anyway, I was born a long time ago in a very underprivileged situation. My parents had just brought an end to the Spanish Civil War and were journeying back home when my mother, one night, started complaining of a peculiar, spherical object inhabiting her belly. It was me! They rushed to the nearest town, looking for a doctor, and they knocked on door after door after door, but each stayed firmly shut. Finally someone let them inside. ‘We don’t have any spare rooms’ the man said, ‘but we have a little pen outside for the dogs, why don’t you lay yourself out there?’ And so that’s what my mother did, screaming into the stars as my bulbous head ripped free from her cervix.
Bloody and bright eyed, I remained silent upon my arrival on this here earth. I studied the scene around me; a dirty, straw bed beneath my mother, a group of puppies suckling six teats raw, and a man, watching over us with a friendly candour. I opened my mouth to wail, to wail at the sheer beauty of it all.
The next morning I was greeted with gifts. People had travelled from around the world to say hello, wise philosophers and Middle Eastern kings to name but a few. My favourite gift was the single English pound given to me by Stephan Hawking. It was an item with which I was so wonderfully enamoured I decided I had to express my gratitude verbally. I squinted my eyes, clenched my tiny fists, and twisted my lips into a vague imitation language. From deep in my stomach I felt an energy, a power, rise up and crawl its way from my lips. “Many thanks” I said, forcing myself to approximate syllable after unbearable syllable. “For the English pound coin, I mean. I am especially fond of its worth, something that, in this kind world of ours, shall stay relatively stable in the years to come, lest a cacophony of vile racists vote for our exit from the European Union.”
I do not remember their reaction, for the strenuous work of language had worn me out, and I promptly fainted.
At school I quickly involved myself in the world of social issues. I immediately joined the League Against Cruel Sports, an organisation that sought an end to violent games such as Bowling and Volleyball. Some of my favourite memories from that time involve our assault against the cruelty of Golf. We would arrive at golfing events in droves and cheer as loud as possible. This was so unheard of, so shocking to the players of the game, that such competitions were immediately disbanded out of pure horror.
Another of my early exploits involved a few years of volunteering in Jamaica. While there I met an old man with barely enough food to feed himself, let alone his family. He was thin as bone, and I could see in his eyes that every breath was a struggle. I took him by the hand, and led him towards the ocean, where we lay back together, feeling warm wave’s crash against our feet. The sky was filled by a flawless golden sun, and the cool ocean breeze brought out Goosebumps on my arms. “I want to do something for you” I said to the man, listening to the tidal whispers.
“How?” the man wondered, letting out a touch of fear.
“Just listen” I told him, and he did. The hiss of the water rose, and a great rumbling sounded out from the sea bed. “It’s okay” I reassured the man. “Everything’s okay.”
A great, black tentacle rose out form the water. Spiny and slick, it slivered its way onto to shore. It reached the man, running playfully over his face, feeling around as if to get an accurate picture of what it was touching. The man opened his mouth, for he knew that was what he must do, and the tentacle reached inside. Down and down it went, and the man started coughing. His neck bulged, and his eyes grew wide, and the ocean, that endless, perfect ocean, froze.
And then I blinked.
And it was done.
The man thanked me for this gift, and I took his hand in my own. “Thank you” I said. “Thank you for being kind, and for being worthy.” The man headed back home, and the ocean rose and fell in great, predictable arches.
I stayed at that beach for a while, alone. I was overcome by an intense pride, pride that I had helped the world, pride that I had helped this single, brilliant man. I wanted nothing more than to feel the sun on my back, a gentle breeze in the air, and the tangible sensation of doing something good. That, I suppose, is what led me back home.
When I got to England I began taking an interest in politics. I had a few run ins with the IRA, protested the polling tax, and ran for leadership of the Labour Party. I believed that we could change things. I believe that we can change things. There is no point in surrendering to the darkness, even when that darkness feels all-consuming and eternal. No matter how little faith you have in me or my party, you must keep hold of faith in the world, for there are forces out there, beneath the waves, that can do impossible, incredible things. You need only ask.
And that brings us up to today.”
I studied Jeremey, then, a man who I was certain I could call by his first name only. He was my friend, and your friend, and everyone’s friend. He was beautiful and kind and perfect. He was… He was…
I leaned in across the table, straining against the chair to get as close as I could. Our lips touched, and I felt the bristles of his beard tickle my chin, and his mouth opened to meet my own. We kissed, and his hot, heavy breath sent shivers down my spine.
I leaned back, smiling. “Thank you” I said. “For the interview, and for… That.”
He got to his feet, and with a warm wave he left.
[Next week, my interview with Theresa May]