I interrupted my normal schedule of long rambly blog posts about stories to express my feelings about the UK General Election 2015. I apologise to my international followers, who probably don’t care at all.
What a world to wake up to: a country that ignored the suffering of the marginalised over the last five years of Tory leadership, and somehow managed to vote for them again. A country that would give tax breaks to the rich while cutting benefits for the poor. A country that, despite all polls to the contrary, suddenly voted Conservative.
I’m heartbroken by this result.
I voted Green, and when I started watching the results last night (I stayed up until about half two, but it got depressing so I went to bed), I began to wonder if I’d made a mistake. Was that ideological decision going to cost Labour a seat that it desperately needed? Actually, in the end, it didn’t. My constituency, Cambridge, is now Labour, having previously been Lib Dem.
But it’s not enough. None of it’s enough.
I’m not one of the people who is going to suffer most under this regime. I’m white, from a middle-class family, and am educationally privileged — I went to a state school, but it was a good one, and now I’m studying at Cambridge, which is incredibly privileged. However, it’s not going to be easy on me. I’ve got a lot of health problems, and over the last few years have depended on the NHS for appointments, referrals, prescriptions, letters so that I can have exam concessions…
I’m scared of a world where the NHS isn’t seen as a priority. I’m afraid of ending up like the US, where healthcare costs so much that people will go for years with untreated problems because they can’t afford a doctor’s appointment.
And don’t get me started on mental health.
The next five years are a turning point in my life. During these five years, I’ll graduate. I’ll probably want to move away from home, so I’ll be looking for my first flat or whatever. Despite my wish to be a writer and not have a real job, I’ll probably need to seek gainful employment at some point. I’ll be on the brink of adulthood, coping with student loans.
I would much rather have done that under a left-wing government than a right-wing one.
My brother is about to emigrate to Canada to be with his girlfriend. Alberta, specifically — a place that has had a conservative government for a very long time, but has just had an election that completely changed everything. It’s going to make things better for his girlfriend. It’ll make it a better place for him to live, too. I’m seriously beginning to wish I was going with him.
Or possibly emigrating to the moon. I could live on the moon, right?
I just … I don’t know what to say. I’m disappointed, I’m upset, I’m frustrated. I’m afraid. Here’s to another five years. Let’s hope we survive them.