The P Word

So picture the scene. It’s a Tuesday morning and I have to leave the house for an interview in fifteen minutes. Then I change my skirt for the third time and it’s ten minutes. I double check my make up and reapply more concealer, consider applying mascara and leave it. I have five minutes. I rush downstairs, fill my water bottle, put on my ankle boots and slip on my leather jacket. Nope. Nope, too casual. Can’t turn up in this. Where’s my smart coat? The ‘wedding and funerals’ coat Mum calls it. It’s not in our bloody cupboard where it should be, I bet Dad’s moved it, and I need to go the number one rule of interviews is to turn up on time. I panic and grab Mum’s blue coat, which surprisingly fits quite well. Too bold? I glance at my watch and realize I need to make a decision; I have to leave in the next minute or risk not being there by quarter to. Fuck it, I’ll wear the damn coat. I rush out the door, checking I have my purse and keys and taking a deep breath. Here we go again.

At about the same time, Theresa May was announcing a snap election. So the phrase “here we go again” really couldn’t be more apt.

My first thought when I heard, which I actually found out via a snapchat from someone that included a cat, leading my second thought to be ‘I can’t believe I heard this news from a fucking cat snapchat I hate the 21st century’, was fucking no. Please no.

Here’s the thing. Since it got close to the EU referendum, I didn’t have much choice but to be political. I was too damn opinionated not to tell everyone I knew why they should vote Remain and the reasons we needed to stay. Unfortunately in my tight bubble, a mixture of young students and Londoners meant the 8am wake up to the news on June 24th was a bit of a fucking disaster that I didn’t see coming. June and July were some of the weirdest months ever. The first meeting with one of my managers at work experience Theresa May was entering Downing Street on the screen behind us. “Oh god, she’s Prime Minister now is she? Oh good.” She sarcastically quipped before turning to me to tell me about the project she wanted me to work on. I have to say, the political situation was a fucking shit storm those few weeks but Twitter had some of the best content I’ve seen.

Same thing happened when the election was called this Tuesday. People are funny when they’re panicking. I think Brenda from Bristol summed it up in that clip that’s since gone viral, “You’re joking, not another one! I honestly can’t stand this.” Me too Brenda.

Let’s break it down. Firstly, not that we needed any more evidence for her being a slimy turncoat but Theresa May has repeatedly said this election wasn’t going to happen. And it is. I don’t appreciate liars, and her anecdote that she decided this whilst hiking is another reason for me why walking up mountains is a seriously dangerous idea. Boo fresh air and exercise, a weekend spent watching Netflix in your own filfth would never have led to this. Secondly, the Conservatives are going to win. If the 2015 election and polls (I know, I know, don’t trust the polls, but these are polls that have been showing for months the rise in Conservatives popularity) are anything to go by, it’s a pretty inevitable outcome. I don’t know about you, but more Tories in the House of Commons, is definitely not a good thing for a country that is crumbling under austerity as it is. The other problem, and this is where it gets controversial, is that I don’t think Labour are strong enough as an opposition to even entertain the idea of anyone other than the Tories winning. Corbyn: don’t get me wrong. He has some great stuff to say about the NHS and students and his policies are good. I agree with a lot of them (though £10 minimum wage will never happen) particularly free school meals and NHS bursaries. I align myself with these policies but I still don’t think Labour can win an election with Corbyn as a leader. People just don’t think he’s strong enough, and I’m one of these people. He’s too socialist, and he’s too hard left for the average, moderate left wing voter. My Dad is not a good person to mention Corbyn around, but he’s also a perfect example of disillusioned Labour voters who have left the Labour party because of its leader. I don’t know if Dad will vote Labour in this election, but he’s voted Labour for as long as I can remember, the fact that he is even considering he won’t in this election is significant. You know who Dad is a big fan of? Sadiq Khan. So am I, so is most of London (I hope, because he’s great) Sadiq Khan is about as centre left as they come. Realistically, when the Tories do win I hope it will mean Corbyn will step down and we might finally get a Labour leader who people have faith in again. Aka we won’t face having the Conservatives in power for the foreseeable future.

You know why people get riled up about this? Because Corbyn is someone who genuinely wants good things for the country and the average working person in Britain. He wants to scrap tuition fees, get rich people and big corporations paying their taxes and sort out the railway. All appealing prospects. You know why I feel guilty that I can’t stand him? Is because I watch him speak and I know what he’s saying is good and makes sense and worth voting for. However just looking at him, and the reaction, you know Labour can’t win an election with him. So I force myself to dislike him because blindly believing he’ll ever be Prime Minster just seems unrealistic. I have no hard feelings towards him personally, but he’s a politician and I don’t believe in his capability to be that. Does that make me insincere? Probably.

However, hear me out, take the 2016 US election. Bernie Sanders was everything you could want in a candidate, but he was never going to win the nomination against Clinton. Politicians can’t be good and decent people and only want the best because running a country is complex and you have to appeal to too many people. Also people are changeable. Sometimes this is good, Obama wasn’t so hot on gay rights as he was by the time he left the White House, when he took office. Sometimes this is bad, aka bloody Theresa May advocating for Remain yet then still calling 52% of a 75% population vote a majority. People are complicated to hold to account, and getting a straight answer out a politician is like trying to nail jelly to a wall.

Another thing, bloody political systems. Don’t even talk to me about how more people in the United States of America wanted Hillary Clinton to be their President, and instead a golden haired baboon is because of an outdated system that was created in order to push pro-slavery agendas through. Or the British first past the post system, totally flawed. Whilst I’m glad there’s a lack of UKIP MPs in the House of Commons, the fact that they got 27% of the vote and 2 seats is a bit of a joke.

So what’s my point? Politics is fundamentally flawed, you’re voting for a person who’s putting on an act, a person who ultimately cannot deliver on all their promises. No party can make this country okay because there will always be unequal distribution of wealth, unemployment, rising house prices, and a suffering economy. Call me pessimistic, but it’s the truth. Politics is not as simple as aligning with a singular party and agreeing with what they say, or simply voting for whom you think will do the best job. The reason everyone is so het up about this is because it only takes a small majority of people in this country to have an opinion different to yours and you have to go along with that for five years, or in Brexit’s case, forever. Is anyone else getting a bit fed up of politics, full stop? I’d never consider not voting because turn out numbers amongst young people are low enough (aka why politicians don’t really give a shit about any of us) but it’s very easy at this point to see why people don’t turn up to the polls at all.

In the interview (which I did arrive at on time to by the way and the coat was a good choice) they asked what I did in my spare time. I went for honesty and told them I really loved writing. “What do you write about?” “Oh you know. Feminism, left wing disillusioned student rants, travelling…” I instantly panicked that I’d crossed the line into too honest, aka unemployable, but instead they both laughed. Pretty sure this post was about as left wing, unknowledgeable ranting as you can get but I honestly did enjoy writing it so even if my voting isn’t sincere, my interview answers are.

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