… like a fish needs a bicycle

Dear Subcomandauntie, I'm a 61-year-old single woman socialist, still fighting the system after all these years. My weeknights are filled with meetings; my weekends spent running a stall for my party. But even old Trots have their needs. I need a man, but not any man: I want someone who shares my hatred of capitalism, but who can have a laugh as well. The men I meet are far too macho and serious - and terribly crusty. I know I'm asking the impossible, but, please Auntie, help me find some lovin' for the holidays. Yours Desperate in Derbyshire

December 1, 2004 · 2 min read

Dear Desperate,

Look sister, I give advice about ethical trainers and giving to beggars; I’m not a dating agency. How undignified. What do you expect anyway, spending seven days a week hanging out with ageing revolutionaries?

The first obvious step is to give up the weekend stall. No one will miss your paper, believe me. And why do you want to shack up with someone who agrees with you all the time? That’s so boring. You want passion, argument, debate, handcuffs. Call up a friend and go on the pull, but don’t bother with tea rooms, bingo or Marks and Sparks as you’ll not find any eligible lefties there. (There’s also a boycott on at M&S.)

What you really need is a dedicated dating service. If you happen to be a veggie or vegan, then why not try www.aubergineintroductions.com, a dating service specifically designed for those who ‘would like to meet’ but don’t do meat. There used to be a Socialist Partners dating agency out there, but it seems to have fallen in decline – perhaps because there aren’t that many socialists left?

This said, even Auntie herself recognises the difficulties of finding love while on the left. Would readers be interested in a Red Pepper Lonely Hearts’ Club? Write to Auntie and tell her what you think.



The crack pipe of peace

Dear Auntie _ War, famine, economic depression and global warming - the idea that 'another world is possible' seems remoter than ever. Will we ever have a just and peaceful world? _ Desperate for peace, Preston

Learning by number

Dear Auntie _ At one of the Gaza protests in London, Stop the War put the number of protesters at around 100,000 but the police insisted it was only 20,000. Can Auntie reassure me that the Met has a scientific methodology for estimating crowd numbers? _ Numberless in London

No hope

Dear Auntie, All my left-wing friends seem to be overjoyed about Obama winning the US election, holding real hope that he will bring change, that he'll stop the wars, and that he'll somehow make America all cuddly and nice. But haven't we been here before? I'm getting flashbacks to the expectations people had of politicians like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, and how quickly they betrayed us. Is it terrible that I think Obama will be just more of the same? Hopeless, London


Both feet not in the grave

Dear Auntie, Having reached 50, I've become invisible. It's the only explanation of why people look right through me. I'm ignored in shops and at bus stops; and getting served at the bar is an endurance test, as men and younger women always take priority. I have a lifetime of experience as an activist, but these days there's always a 'Darren' or 'Ryan' whose opinion matters more. I'd go as far as saying they don't even hear me speak! It seems white hair and wrinkles are taken as an early indication of Alzheimer's. But I'm not ready to go gently into the night and as Auntie looks of a similar age, does she have any advice? The invisible woman, London

Do what I say, not what I inhale

Dear Auntie, _ My daughter is starting to ask awkward questions such as 'Mum, did you take drugs when you were young?' I don't want to lie but I don't want her to venture down the same route. What do I tell her? _ Amy in London

Nice smelling poo

Dear Auntie, _ I'm a vegetarian who is fed up having to justify why I don't eat anything with a face on it. And it's the environmentalists who are also meat eaters who seem the most personally affronted by my choices. Do you have any suggestions how I can deal with this? _ Chickpea not chicken lover, Totnes