I don’t expect to vote in the UK General Election in 2020. I doubt I’ll be alive to do so. Seeing that written down in cold black and white surprises and scares me, but there it is.

But, after the last GE outcome, I felt I had to do something. I’ve joined the Labour Party (as a full member, not a supporter). What the Tories are doing and could do to young people of my daughter’s generation and the disadvantaged just cannot go unopposed.

I’d like to say “re-joined” but I’ve been a member of the Irish Labour Party only; never the British one. The reason for that is mildly interesting in light of the present leadership campaign. I was on the left of the Irish party. When I moved to London in the early 1980s, the group in the British party closest to my politics was called London Labour Briefing, which counted Jeremy Corbyn amongst its prominent members. What turned me off however was their support for Irish Republicanism, Gerry Adams, et al. It was profoundly ignorant of the debate in the Republic and siding with nationalists is a risky business for the Left. Rather than join and argue, I let it lapse.

It’s ironic that now I’ve joined, it will be Corbyn who gets my #1 preference. He hasn’t changed much in his positions since back then, which I suppose is due some credit. I believe he has other shortcomings in the stance he’s taken over issues like child abuse in the 80s/90s. But he offers something different.

I’m upset that Labour right-wingers are using divisive and abusive language against people like me. Heart transplants, “end the madness”, that sort of thing. It smacks a bit of desperation, the words of people who feel they are about to lose their positions of privilege and cosy jobs. You know, maybe we just want our Party back. Maybe someone needs to say something different. Not Tory-lite.

I’m also indignant over the abuse of statistics in the media on the notion of “hard-left entryism” and the impact it could have on the leadership vote. Over a quarter of a million could vote in the Labour leadership. Let’s round it off at 250,000. It’s laughable to even imagine people with hard-left beliefs joining the Labour Party, but let’s run the numbers anyway. The Communist Party has roughly 1,000 members in total. Even if they all agreed to join Labour just to cast a vote, they’d be only 0.4% of the electorate. Of course, the CP is not the only left-wing party. Let’s say that there are five times that number and all together they too want to join and cast a vote. Those 5,000 would still only be 2% of the electorate.

[In fact, according to the Guardian, the electorate in the leadership ballot is now well over 325,000, and likely to rise still further. That dilutes the “malign influence” factor even further. There are also reports that only around 250 applicants have been challenged as ineligible – more support for my analysis.]

The right-wing media never claim logic as their weapon of choice, but there’s so much inconsistency between the claim that “hard-left causes have few supporters and make you un-electable” and “a surge in far-left supporters joining Labour will sway the election”. It’s the same wonderful logic that says migrants can take both our jobs and our benefits. Migrants can be amazingly both employed and unemployed at the same time. “Rent-a-Lefties” can simultaneously be pathetically few yet still wield vast influence due to their numbers.

It this was a song, you’d say they got the Red River Blues.

If I have a selfish stake in this, it’s probably the NHS. I’m going to need it over the next few years. I may be someone who has often paid higher-rate tax, had share options in publicly-offered companies, could be described as an entrepreneur in “Startup Britain”. But I believe in the original Labour vision for the NHS: to avoid opportunistic behaviour by those who would seek to profit from illness. Labour messed up in the 1990s by adding excessive middle/upper management and bureaucracy to the NHS, but that is nothing compared to the current trend towards talking down the NHS as a “softener” or enabler for future privatisation.

You’ve heard me mention Oxaliplatin chemotherapy in these pages. Between it and the other types of chemotherapy, I’ve had well over 20 infusions. If I lived in the USA and did not have health insurance each infusion would cost me over £4000. If I had insurance, each infusion would cost over £2000 for the health insurance company, and they often put maximum limits on pay-outs. And that’s for just the chemotherapy.

Cancer and certain death is a tough enough burden without all of that. Protect it, people.