It’s been a week since we got the results of the 2019 General Election, and I haven’t been able to think of much else since.
I made no secret of the fact that I was voting Labour, so it’s perhaps no surprise to read that since their defeat, I’ve felt sadness, despair, frustration, anger, confusion, bewilderment and loneliness. I’ve cried, I’ve banged my fists against my steering wheel, I’ve questioned the motives of Conservative voters, I’ve watched in disbelief as people tore into Jeremy Corbyn, I’ve considered moving to Scotland/Canada/Denmark (basically anywhere else) and a hell of a lot of expletives have left my mouth.
I’d been planning on staying awake to see some of the results come in, but when a friend of mine texted me with the exit poll results, I went straight to bed and cried myself to sleep. I couldn’t comprehend how we had reached the point where as a nation, we voted for Boris Johnson – a man who has lied through his teeth, made racist, xenophobic and homophobic remarks, and avoided difficult questions by hiding in a fridge – to be the leader of our country. How did we get to this point?
In my mind, the Labour manifesto was well thought-out, fully-costed, and provided a ray of hope in what has been nine years of austerity. The Labour party wanted to give the NHS the funding it so desperately needs; provide personal care for the elderly; create a National Education Service; end the need to rely on food banks; bring rail, mail, water and energy into public ownership; kick-start a green industrial revolution to tackle the climate emergency; invest in our industries; bring in a real living wage; reverse cuts to vital public services like the police…
But Great Britain spoke, and Great Britain doesn’t want this.
There’s been a lot of debate around why this is. Is it because – thanks to the media – people don’t like Jeremy Corbyn? Is it because Boris promised to ‘get Brexit done’? Is it because people have just always voted Tory? Is it because they genuinely think a conservative government is right for our country? Who knows.
- 52% of us voted for parties which backed Remain or a second referendum.
- 43% of us cast ‘wasted’ votes, thanks to the first-past-the-post system.
- Over 15.5 million of us didn’t vote at all.
More than half of us didn’t want a Tory government. And yet somehow, that’s what we’ve ended up with. I’ve got more questions than answers, and I know I’m not alone in that.
I think it’ll be a while before I can fully get to grips with what’s happened, but I do know this for sure: Jeremy Corbyn inspired millions of people to hope for a better world. And I am one of them.
Like Jeremy, I want to help. I want to fight for those less fortunate. I want to talk more about the things that matter, and do my bit to build a better world, despite our Government.
For the many, not the few.