Don’t Judge My Children By My Teenage Diaries

Oh the Daily Mail have excelled themselves this week. Their declaration of Miliband Snrs hatred of his country, mostly based on some stuff he wrote in his teenage diary, is both nasty and frankly daft.

You can’t judge anyone on anything they said at 17. I have my diaries from that age. They are full of depressing poetry, lengthy heartfelt letters to the object of my unrequited affection, complaints about spots, and generally self centered, self pitying drivel. Please don’t say that if one of my children becomes of public interest, they will be denigrated by a dodgy rhyme I wrote in my youth. The very fact that Mr Miliband Snrs contained something more intellectual than this is quite impressive, perhaps if they had printed the following page it would have been an ode to the woes of the white head.

I actually was pretty much a Marxist at 17, despite it not really getting much of an airing in my diary. I was Vice President of my student union, a member of Student Unity ( an ultra left wing division of the student union) and pretty much hated everything my country’s government stood for. Yes. I hated my country’s government, but not my country. Disagreeing with the morals/standards the government of that time did not mean I didn’t love my country. Of course I did/do, not in a particularly flag waving fashion, but it is my home, and I love it’s crumbly, grey cardigan-ness.

 Love for ones country should not be muddied by aspirations for it’s bettering. I am one of those lucky mums who felt the surge of love for my kids as soon as they were expelled from my womb. That love did not mean I wanted them to stay as they were at that moment forever. No, I wanted them to grow and improve and learn about the world and sharing and love and kindness and maths and etc. Can you not love your country while wanting the same things for it as you would for your child- learning, growing, becoming better than it is. And of course at the point the diary entry The Mail is talking about was written, it was not Mr Milibands country, it was to become his home at a future point, and as has been much written, went on to fight for this country as a member of the Navy.

Also seventeen year olds are notoriously idealistic, from my own experience I have found my views have tempered over time. I am still left wing, but more aware of the constrains reality and human nature put on society, and have come reluctantly to accept that perhaps the ideals of communism (not to be confused with the way communism has worked in practice) don’t work in the real world.

To try to judge a man, based on the scribblings of his father as a seventeen year old seems ludicrous to me, let alone irrelevant, as Ed is not his father.  It is also plain disrespectful to a dead man who, on account of being dead, has no hand in current politics. As for the Daily Mails own nazi promoting past, are we to judge it on that? (Well, a little bit, yes…)

Meanwhile Cameron has a bread maker, and an equally dead father who didn’t pay his taxes. Some may say that means he didn’t love his country either….

Anyhow. I am rambling. I don’t even read The Mail generally, but I did think Ed Milibands reply was full of valid arguments. I am scared by the influence such newspapers have in our politics. I don’t expect impartiality, I do expect legitimate argument. And this was not one.

Love Miss Cisco XXX

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15 Comments

  1. Shiv Ferguson
    October 2, 2013 / 11:53 am

    Mine mainly said I hate my mum, I hate my dad or my brother is a big fat pig. But we are second generation irish immigrants so I can’t be told off for hating the British. I spent my time campaigning for nuclear disarmament, reading Class War and chasing boys. Cal is quite different to me – thank God! Thank you to the Daily Mail for exposing to floating voters that the last election where they wanted to be seen as a bit fluffy round the edges, was a big fat lie.

    They are on a smash and grab raid of this country where you would sell the Queens Head to buy a few sweeteners for the next election. I saw Ed Milibands speech and it was terrific. I saw part of Camerons and it was rubbish. He did not put in anything about their plans, because it would be more poor bashing and the electorate are getting a bit fed up with that I hope.

    • Sonya Cisco
      October 2, 2013 / 2:05 pm

      Milibands speech was excellent, can’t comment on Camerons as have avoided so far, due to a total allergy to him, but am sure the news will fill me in on the finer points later. From what I have gathered so far, it is not a good idea to vote tory if you are under 25! (or any age tbh!)

  2. Toni Kent
    October 2, 2013 / 1:26 pm

    Loved this Sonya and thankfully my diaries were burned after my brother decided to prise one open and read it aloud in the kitchen in front of my parents. That said I have publicly declared that I tried to start a fire using tampons and pornographic literature. Oh dear.

    • Sonya Cisco
      October 2, 2013 / 2:03 pm

      ooh, feminist pyromania- awesome sauce!

  3. woolmeister
    October 2, 2013 / 2:35 pm

    My sister found my teenage diary after I went to uni (it didn’t make it into the box of possessions that my tiny room in halls would accommodate). She declared it an hilarious read and then tossed it in the bin. Since it mostly contained angst-filled poetry about unrequited love, that’s probably the fate it deserved.

    I don’t keep a diary any more…

    • Sonya Cisco
      October 3, 2013 / 7:40 am

      I think that is wise, although I guess my blog is sort of my diary, and I am putting it out there for anyone to read- apologies to my kids if the Daily Mail takes against them in 40 years time!

  4. Suzanne Whitton
    October 2, 2013 / 3:12 pm

    Quite frankly at the age of 17, I don’t remember saying or thinking anything sensible…..does anyone? What nonsense. Politicians gone made, yet again *tsk*!

    • Sonya Cisco
      October 3, 2013 / 7:39 am

      I rarely say anything sensible at 40, let alone 17!

  5. Liz Burton
    October 2, 2013 / 4:24 pm

    I dread to think what I would have written at 17. *shudders*.

    Brilliant post x

    • Sonya Cisco
      October 3, 2013 / 7:39 am

      Thank you x

  6. Older Mum
    October 2, 2013 / 4:31 pm

    The Daily Fail sucks. Tis all. I was in a cafe today discussing what awful drivel it it. X

    • Sonya Cisco
      October 3, 2013 / 7:39 am

      What scares me is it actual has an influence… 🙁 x

  7. Looking for Blue Sky
    October 3, 2013 / 6:26 am

    Maybe it WASa good thing that I burnt my teenage diaries before leaving home!

    • Sonya Cisco
      October 3, 2013 / 7:38 am

      yes! It seems you never know when they might come back to haunt you!

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