When I think back to that time I am struck by rage, depression and betrayal. I went on the demonstration by myself because I felt this was not a social event. When I got there I was confronted by an image of people who were just like me, my contemporaries. There was little or no talking or communicating with these “strangers” who were also on the demonstration. I could smell dope. The young seemed to be more outspoken but the older people seemed to be aware that everything, everything we had done in our youth meant nothing now that a Labour Government were going to war and for nothing. All that youth culture, all those festivals. all or songs of love and peace were being dashed on the ground and then being bombed in some sort of shock and awe spectacle.
I went to the end of the demonstration but did not meet anybody I knew. I travelled home in that same cloud of rage and depression. Before going home I called in at the local supermarket and visited the pharmacy counter. The shop was strangely quiet. The Pharmacist asked me what I had been doing. It was only at this stage that I started to come out of the depression. What followed was a conversation with the Pharmacist and a couple of the shop assistants about the lies we were being fed and the outrage that was going to be perpetrated on the people of Iraq. They too would have liked to have gone on the demonstration but they had to work, or so they said.
I could no longer see the Labour Party as mine and I no longer voted for them. I am now back in the Labour Party because Jeremy Corbyn is the leader of the Party. I now realise that my rage and depression had effectively silenced me even though I continued to attend Stop the War demonstrations. Now that the Chilcot report is ready to come out I feel silent no more.