I am both betraying my political beliefs, and not betraying them, at the same time.
I want, desperately, for the stupid "Big Society" idea to fail, hideously, so that all the cuts affecting my childrens' education and life will end. I want the disabled not to be penalised. I want the NHS not to be clawing back pennies by pushing me onto cheaper (and less effective) medication. I want my library to stay open. I want to march on Downing Street with a machete and get Camerons' head off of his shoulders, but not before i've got to Gove and given him a VERY strict detention that also involves slight (for which read: fatal) electrocution. I am angry! Angry that my kids playing fields can be sold off for Free Schools, that schools are forced to become Academies, that their supposedly "ringfenced" budgets are nothing of the kind. Angry that all my local librarians have been laid off. Angry that my bus services have been cut by 50%. Angry that my local hospital is now privatised, and I can't get to the other one because there's no sodding bus. Angry that my local MP never says anything, at all, unless it's to placidly back up Cameron and wax lyrical about how lovely everything is. Angry that planning laws will wreck my local area. Oh, I could go on.
But my anger gets me nowhere. Letters to my MP, complaints to my council, get me nowhere. The Conservatives are in charge. They don't listen.
So i'm a collaborator. I'm due to have my head shaved. I'm part of the sodding Big Society. I'm volunteering. Unless I do, the school teacher has to listen to 30 kids read a week, and she clearly cannot. So 2 days a week, I do. Unless I volunteer to run the Storytime at the local library, it will close (the librarians having been kicked into retirement by machines and an evil Council). So I will do it. Unless a volunteer delivers the books from the library to the housebound, they won't read. So I will do it.
I am doing the jobs of people who should be paid to do them. I am not getting paid. I'm just doing it because I want the services to stay, because I am a lefty. But by God i'm cross about it.
I say to myself that this is as good a way as any to pave the way back to work when daughter hits school running next September. I'm probably going to swap from Secondary to Primary teaching. The classroom experience is good for me and it's good for the kids to have another adult there who is also a teacher. Alright, I knew more about Napoleonic warfare than phonics, but my class control is still great. But the teacher, who almsot snapped my arm off with sheer relief when I offered, should have more help anyway. She shouldn't be facing the prospect of even larger class sizes, with less help. The library shouldn't have to be ending services to children, particularly in an area with some of the poorest Early Years educational attainment in the UK. It shouldn't have to rely on volunteers.
I'm a collaborator, and the good my collaboration will do me as I re-enter the world of work is nothing compared to the meaness I feel at actually having to help these total bastards of a government out.
And my house is never tidy, because i'm always out. That bit, I can live with.