Election Thoughts: 7th June

Ever since I heard about the snap election, I had been wanting to write something. The time has flown by and now I find myself just days before the election, still struggling to find the right words to urge people to vote for Labour. Since there there have been terrorist attacks in London and Manchester that have left me shaken up. There’s something about being away from friends and family that leaves me with an overwhelming desire for connection, yet it cannot be satisfied with such distance. Today I have been trying to carry on as normal, but unable to do so, feeling strange and emotional, breaking into tears a couple of times, unable to sleep at night. Perhaps this seems extreme, but I’ve always been an emotional person. This was one of the things I wanted to try to do today, so in writing I will try to heal and strengthen and focus my thoughts on positive change.

Nevertheless, this is so much connected with London being my home, where my friends and family are, feeling they are in danger. Just days ago in Kabul there was an attack with over 90 people killed, and as I type this I have found that suicide bombers have killed seven in yet another attack there. Overall, ‘Muslims suffered between 82 and 97 per cent of fatalities over the past five years.’ So, one of my fears, along with incidents like this happening in my hometown, is that people will use these events as leverage to spread hate and divide communities, which serves to exacerbate all kinds of violent extremism, whether in connection to Daesch, or right-wing racists.

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I believe that the Conservative Party will divide the country more, putting its citizens safety at risk. Reading through its manifesto and hearing Teresa May speak, it is hard to read between the lines. In her statement, May said there has been ‘far too much tolerance of extremism in our country’, which is a confusing thing to say, and seems to contradict much of the rest of her speech. I don’t understand the ways in which anyone has tolerated extremism, and it begs the question of what the definition of extremism is.

I wanted to write a post where I tried to bridge the gap between potential Conservative voters and myself, but what I struggle with is when people have clearly different values. Those I have spoken to for their reasons in voting Conservative has come down to money. People with good jobs and nice homes, worried about getting taxed too much, or not getting enough inheritance from their wealthy relatives. And frankly, I find it hard to bridge that gap because it disgusts me that people would put their individualistic desires above those for the common good. But perhaps these people don’t understand how damaging the Conservative Party policies can be. At times it seems like people don’t want to know, that they would quite happily bury their head in the sand. I’m not perfect myself, but the least you can do is try to extend your care to others beyond your own life.

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When I was younger I was more idealistic, and in the past I have voted for Liberal Democrats and the Green Party. Without Proportional Representation in our voting system, I have come round to what my parents had told me growing up, that it is a fight between Labour and the Tories. Whilst at times both parties have been more obviously centrist that left or right wing, with Jeremy Corbyn I felt like there was a true shift towards the left and away from the centre. I don’t like to hold anyone on a pedestal, but he has even been able to spark a moment of hope in those who had become apathetic about politics.

So, some of the things that I think should be considered before voting for the Conservatives are as follows:

-Refusal to tax the highest earners more, and instead hit those who are poorer.

Disability cuts and illogical assessments of people have already been carried out under our current government.

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-Using the money from the ‘tampon tax’ to fund an anti-abortion organisation.

-Providing free breakfasts as opposed to free lunch for primary school students, in order to save money.

Privatizing the NHS, thus destabilizing the access to free health care, which is obviously paid for by taxes and is a basic human right, in my opinion.

-Questionable methods of dealing with mental health: from what I know, the Conservatives have been pushing CBT because it’s cheaper, whilst previously it was possible to get psychodynamic therapy.

-Forcing victims to evidence they have been raped if they have the child or face losing money through tax credits.

Closure of domestic violence support.

-The ‘dementia tax’: despite the linked article at the bottom of this piece stating that pensioners will stop paying for their own care, £100,00 isn’t enough when considering how much house prices actually are, and there have been cases where people are now concerned that as well as their parents dying, they may also be homeless. The fact that they introduced a cap as an afterthought to the criticism just shows how clueless they are about everyday people.

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-Immigration: the Tories use immigration as a scapegoat for other problems such as the housing crisis, and their negative rhetoric has meant an increase in hate crimes, as though it is acceptable to spout racist and xenophobic views.

Fox hunting: like, why is this even a thing?

Funnily enough, I thought this summary of what Labour are offering as the opposition is quite handy. This is the one for the Conservatives.

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About carminamasoliver

I'm an ex-UEA writer from South London. Founder of She Grrrowls. Feminist Arts Writer for The Norwich Radical. BAR poet. Published by Nasty Little Press.Currently living and working in Spain.
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