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Female, Hove, The City of Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom, birthday 24th May
Joined April 2017

I live in Brighton with my two children, a daughter of 18 and a son of 14, and our cat Pumpkin. I work two or three days at week as a sub-editor for the Observer Magazine in London, I teach a self development course with an organisation called More To Life, which I'm very involved with, and I do Airbnb from our home. I grew up in Brighton and my mum lives 10 minutes away. I did a Sports Studies degree at Bedford College then went into local journalism. I separated from my husband in 2013, he lives two miles away and we have a, mostly, amicable relationship. All of which is very factual... what lights my fire? I love swimming in the sea, writing early in the morning, real, connecting conversation, dancing, music x

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Memories of my Marxist dad, Roy Edgley 1925-1999

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He firmly believed in the intelligence of the common man and woman, believing that most of us were quite capable and indeed likely to vote for fairness if we understood the facts

 

A general election imminent makes it one of the many times in my life when I wonder what my dad would have to say. He died 18 years ago and was a fiercely political animal, a Marxist in fact which, in this day and age, is tantamount to admitting delusional tendencies. He was, however, an extraordinary mix of compassion and rationality, a working class boy born the youngest of nine children to a Northampton cobbler and a housewife, who, thanks to the war, got the chance to go to university. I can picture him now, telling me, with a glint in his eye, that though he'd feared he'd be out of his depth at Oxford, he actually found he was 'brighter than most'. He left with a first class degree in philosophy and went on to become a professor and to hold the chair of faculty at Sussex University. 

My childhood was peppered with discussions about the inequalities of the world and from time to time I would see this mild-mannered, gentle man, fired by injustice. I often witnessed him shouting at Margaret Thatcher on the TV and, once, right into the face of Julian Amery, the then Tory MP for Brighton Pavilion. I was returning from college for the holiday and dad had come to collect me from Brighton Station where Amery was campaigning. To my bemusement, and the curiosity of many around, my dad pushed through the small crowd gathered around Amery, put his face inches from his, and bellowed: 'You're a li-ar'. Amery didn't bat an eyelid, a response that wasn't lost on my dad who was always generous enough to include this damp squib of an ending when gleefully recounting the tale. 

He was against joining the Common Market so I've often wondered what he would make of Brexit. He didn't like Big Government or, in fact, market-led ones. That's an almost unthinkable proposition today, at least for us in the West and, increasingly, as Western values propagate the world, anywhere else too. Not, of course, that he would have sided with the Leavers. He would have loathed Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage even while admitting the dubious if compelling magnetism of their personalities. He would, I feel sure, have approved of Jeremy Corbyn and seen through the political and media machine that rubbishes him. Neil Kinnock had left him jaded but, as was the case for many of us, he couldn't help but be excited by Labour's 1997 victory. He died two years later, however, so my Mum, my sister and I could only speculate – grimly, mostly, it has to be said - of what he would have made of Tony Blair's period in office. 

One thing is for sure though when it comes to wondering what my pa would have thought. The social injustices being meted out to Britain's disadvantaged today would have appalled and ignited him. He was, above all, a humanitarian. He firmly believed in the intelligence of the common man and woman, believing that most of us were quite capable and indeed likely to vote for fairness if we understood the facts. It was the obscuring of reality - the dominance of one group at the expense of another - that perpetuates the status quo and keeps the majority voting conservatively, and indeed Conservative, that, through his writings, lectures and collaborations, he sought to expose and slay all his blessed life. 

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Sean Prentice

That's very lovely.

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Jeremy Allerton

Such a lovely heartfelt piece and a unique life story. Trying to square seeming old school passionate views of social justice and views of big controlling business with our need to remain was put into perspective when i found out that Dennis Skinner voted to leave. We need more philosophers.

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