The polls have been open for several hours and will continue to be so until 10pm tonight. I’m sat in my partner’s flat, ‘I’m voting for Greg Marshall – Labour’ covering the entire bay window, and I have hope.
Today, Thursday, June8, 24 short hours where we have the chance to not only change our country, but to save it.
I have asked many people who they’ll be voting for (my mother always considered this to be inappropriate, yet this election I have never seen her so engaged nor enraged with politics. It’s been breath taking and has spurred me on during some very dark days for our nation), most people have told me and listed the policies their chosen party could bring to the UK. Apart from the Conservative voters. All I have heard from every prospective Tory voter is one of three things.
- ‘I’ve always voted Tory’
- ‘We need a strong and stable Brexit’
- ‘Jeremy Corbyn is a weak pacifist and unable to lead’
Firstly, here’s a little secret I don’t tend to share. I used to be a Tory. I’m not talking a fan, I was a paid up member that attended every meeting and event. As a teenager I attended The Shed weekly to catch up with the Conservative Future, and even got promoted to Press Officer for a short time. Then things started to change, ex BNP members were starting to switch over to a more ‘socially acceptable’ party, things were taking a very firm right hand turn. Yet still I voted David Cameron in for the coalition government. I felt proud, an uphill battle for my voice to be heard against so many of my liberal friends; I couldn’t understand how such intelligent people could be so blind as to how insecure the Labour party had made our future.
And then I got ill. Fast forward two years and I lost my job, my home and my life that I had worked so hard to build. Like so many others, it was down to ‘austerity cuts’. The very reason I voted for our government had become the reason me and my children were now penniless and homeless.
Fortunately I had an amazing bunch of friends that went to the ends of the Earth to catch me before I fell too far, but for thousands of British people, they’re not that lucky. Luck should have nothing to do with basic human rights – you know, the ones we’re told we don’t need? Safety, sustenance and sanitation, three things millions, and I mean millions, of people struggle with every day because of the cuts to public services.
On the upside at least we’ve got rid of the national deficit. Oh, no, no that’s not it, the estimated date for that has been pushed back repeatedly, you can check out the real terms on fullfact, an independent, non-political charity that fact checks politics.
We’ve been left with budget cuts that have left police officers at such dangerously low levels the armed forces have to be brought in to protect our streets. The NHS has had to call in the Red Cross and other charities to help run emergency departments because there simply aren’t enough resources – which seems odd given swathes of the sector have been privatised.
Students now pay the same amount to go to uni at Cambridge as they would going to a failing university (to the tune of £9,000 per year). Families are forced to use food banks to feed their children, including those already working. Zero hour contracts are crippling the working classes. Even our street lights are turned off in many areas leaving entire housing estates vulnerable to criminal activity. Our *literal* human rights might be scrapped (invented by the English for Europe, as it happens).
Our ancestors did NOT die for this. This ‘bloody difficult woman’ we call our PM has already destroyed friendships with Europe and riled the key players to the point of no return. We are nearly as much of a laughing stock as America is now.
Jeremy Corbyn’s track record? He has fought for the peace, safety and quality of living for each and every citizen of this land for over twenty years. He has been ignored, slandered, arrested, and lambasted for standing up for the working man. Corbyn was the initial key player in brokering the peace deals with Ireland. The Labour leader warned MPs that if we went to war with Iraq it would start a chain of violence and terrorism beyond our comprehension that would go on for decades.
You want a strong and stable Brexit? Meet the man who has overcome more adversity in his career than most people face in several lifetimes, the man who cares about his country and every person in it. The man that understands the need for diplomacy and patience when dealing with matters that could make or break an economy. A man that is willing to use maximum force to protect our land if necessary, but has the cool head to look through all the options before bashing the big red button.
Today you have the ability to change your mind, to save lives and make a real difference. For all of you that say they’re all the same, or your vote won’t make any difference. Remember you’re not the only person saying it, your vote counts. This is your right, use it.