Its 1.45am as I write this and I fully disclaim that this is not a political analysis or breakdown, you can find the statistics and figures elsewhere. Instead, this is a short and feeling-fuelled appeal.
I’m not the most partisan of people, I’m not a card-carrying member of any party. Politics happens outside and well away from the ballot box, elections are somewhat mechanical and bizarrely embraced despite them being mostly functional symbols and routines of democracy in our increasingly authoritarian and human-rights-abusing state. I usually write about politics in the widest sense – the non-electoral, everyday, and interpersonal. But those politics are not entirely separate from the ballot box and I’m happy to taint my blog for today in case it makes any modicum of difference to someone or spurs you to go out tomorrow and vote.
Because it does matter.
After the 2015 general election I remember somebody on my Facebook posted that it didn’t matter who had won or lost, we shouldn’t get upset because it was ‘like a football match’ – there would always be winners and losers.
I felt it then and I feel it again now: it’s like a football match if the winning team in football matches went around killing fans of the opposing team and splitting the stadium up by wealth, geography, race, ability and social capital in order to unjustly distribute resources… If they then detained, forcibly removed and kidnapped certain non-white, non-conforming bodies from the stadium… if they then said some could have food, shelter and medical assistance but at a cost that most could not afford… then yes, I guess it would be similar to a football match.
I will be voting for the Labour party tomorrow and you should too (or, vote in the way that keeps the Conservative party out in your consistency, see here: https://stopthetori.es/#search).
A Conservative government will undeniably mean more suffering both in this country and abroad. I am scared that a Conservative government now, at this pivotal moment, will make me more unsafe than ever in this country as a brown Muslim woman. It will mean dangerous patriotic far-right rhetoric about “British values” that no one can define. It will mean increased policing and surveillance and detention of brown and black people in this country. It will mean more violence. It will mean that the National Health Service my family have been so dependent on and so valued will become increasingly incapable of working. It will mean that the comprehensive state school system in this country – which I love and swear by and see as the solution and core and grounding of just, empathetic and understanding societies – will slowly be destroyed. Almost everyone that I care about will be at more risk under a Tory government – both in this country and around the world.
Ethnic minorities, working-classes, disabled people, unwell people, asylum seekers, homeless people, queer and trans people, young people, women and Muslims will live in a more dangerous state in Britain if there is a Tory government. At this stage it is undeniable and I say it unapologetically, that if you vote for a Tory government you will have blood on your hands. Maybe it won’t be blood you see, but it will be there. I’m not saying a Labour government will be some bloodless utopia but there will be concrete and material difference. There will actually be money for schools, houses and hospitals, not cuts; there will actually be policies that think about problems in new and not purely “patriotic” and rhetorical ways; there will actually be a little more justice.
If you feel this election is a bit like a football match, recognise that that is your privilege. Good for you if you can get a last minute hospital appointment in a private hospital; good for you if you can skip the waiting list; good for you if your kids go to private schools anyway; if you never worry about being stopped by the police anyway; if you don’t worry about border violence; if you have a home; if you can afford your rent; if your parents can hook you up with a job… but you owe it to the rest of us to keep the Tories out.
I’m voting Labour tomorrow and you should too.
(Or, vote in the way that keeps the Conservative party out in your consistency, see here: https://stopthetori.es/#search.)