Since then social media has been flooded with articles from the ‘left’ demanding change, angry with the 37% majority and what that means for us over the next 5 years and articles about the same people, accusing them of being bad losers, of being childish, telling them to suck it up – that the electorate has spoken. But I have to say, I’m with the former on this. Yes, the election is over and to that extent, we can’t change the government that has been elected. But. Why should our democratic involvement be limited to one day, to one vote? If we’re not happy with the result, I don’t see why we shouldn’t exercise our democratic right to make that displeasure known. Especially given some of the things that the Tories are promising (threatening) to do.
More than anything though, I’m still just in shock with the results. I genuinely thought that the majority of the UK felt the same way as me about the Tories. I wasn’t expecting a Green government, I wasn’t expecting an easy consensus. I was expecting a hung parliament, a fragile but hopeful coalition, I was longing for change so much that I was expecting it. But instead, the Conservative Party, and Mr Cameron, have somehow managed to cling on at the top and even succeeded in gaining control without the Liberal Democrats to temper them.
And if some of the stories that we’ve seen reported over the last week are anything to go by, the future isn’t looking great for a lot of us. Two in particular have left me speechless. The first is regarding the promise by Theresa May to scrap the Human Rights Act, made as she spoke about curbing the appeal rights of 70,000 people facing deportation. The second is the revelation that the new Disabilities Minister has previously voted against protecting benefits for disabled children and cancer patients. Not a particularly obvious or preferable choice I would have thought… the mind just boggles. I don’t even know where to begin to start explaining how abhorrent and in the case of the former, downright scary, I find these news stories.
What does the next five years hold for us? What will the United Kingdom look like after another five years with David Cameron at the helm? It’s not just about the most vulnerable in our society being hit badly although that is probably the biggest concern in my opinion. I’m also worried about the environment if they go ahead with fracking, about the fate of the NHS, about the housing market – especially for first time buyers like ourselves. I could go on and on. But all I’d be doing is rehashing what plenty of other people have already said, and probably much more eloquently than me.
No, instead of complaining, I want to think about what we can do to make the next five years bearable, to improve the prospects of the average citizen and to weather whatever the Tories might throw at us. I read this by George Monbiot in which he says “the left can build only from the ground up, reshaping itself through the revitalisation of communities, working with local people to help fill the gaps in social provision left by an uncaring elite”. This pretty much encapsulates my feelings on the next step for those left feeling disillusioned and angry by another Conservative government. Strong communities are the key. We need to work together with those around us to care for each other, to support each other. And where necessary, we need grass roots campaigning to save services and facilities that come under threat.
Getting involved in community activism and support will vary from place to place but food banks, Churches and community centres are good places to start. There is also a national organisation called The People’s Assembly that has information of local campaign and support groups around the country. You can find more information and get involved through their website. Together we can make our voices heard. We can stand up to the Fat Cats in Whitehall and show them that we do care about the vulnerable in our society, about the environment, about our NHS, about each other. Together we can get through another Tory administration and hopefully next time, the outcome will be different. If we are strong and united, they cannot break us.