The myths, the magic, the sleep deprivation. Last week saw the most important week of the year for the UK – the general election. A little after 10pm on Thursday the exit poll was released, leaving commentators, politicians and public alike reeling in shock. I was housed at Lincolnite HQ for a night long live commentary as the latest came in.
A Tory majority? In the words of Charlie Brooker, “they won the sh*t out of it”. Indeed they did, after the media ran endless theories of how a minority or coalition government could and would be run, the Conservative party secured a 12 seat majority with 331 seats.
By 8am I had developed hiccups as even my diaphragm was exhausted, so lord knows how the candidates were feeling.
The second blow to Labour came in the form of Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP who went on to take 56 seats. Sturgeon presented a strong campaign in Scotland and arguably won the television debates with her common sense, concise approach.
Meanwhile, although Nick Clegg retained his seat in Sheffield as MP, it was one of only seven kept, gaining another to take them to a despairingly low eight seat total.
So what does this mean for our glorious Great Britain? The first part of the Conservative manifesto to be tackled is the abolition of the Human Rights Act. At first glance this echoes a disaster of dystopian proportions, but if it were to be replaced with the ‘British Bill of Rights’ would it make things worse?
Many have argued at how the HRA has protected criminals and terrorists, whilst not adequately representing our British values nor helping the innocent. At rightsinfo.org, a handy infographic tells us what it is the HR Act actually does for us, and dispels ‘The 14 worst human rights myths’. Along with being created post WW2 by British lawyers, it has little to do with the European Union. Destroying British values? Well quite.
Here in Lincoln our bellwether constituency (and the oldest in the country) carried on the tradition with a comfortable majority for Karl McCartney. Although Labour’s Lucy Rigby has built up strong support over the past few years with her timely response to locals and tireless campaigning, the Conservatives had the edge on polling day.
The Lib Dems may have been mocked throughout the coalition, they may have been decimated during the election, but for many I fear they will be sorely missed sooner rather than later.
Take for example the bedroom tax, as unfathomable now as when it came into power – okay in theory but how on Earth are people supposed to survive when there are no alternatives with the correct allocation of rooms? This was implemented when they had some sort of say, what on earth will happen to the working classes and those on or below poverty line?
It is austerity that scares me. It is privatisation that scares me. It is stepping through a curtain that we cannot go back through. Let us hope that the Tory belief of hard work equals good rewards still applies.