(I have a tonne more thoughts, and I will need to rearrange reorganise them, pare them down, but I needed to get this off my chest before it burns me up from within. Please don’t read it, it’s a mess.)
Hi, my name’s Pete.
This may not be the most lucid or coherent post as, for the last approximately 36 hours I have been awake, give or take around n hour of fitful napping, soundtracked by the first of last night’s electoral high explosives going off in the background.
A lot of that time I have spent in a large, underground room, with no artificial light, talking to some seemingly very nice people. Some of the seemingly nicest of those people won some very large votes in the election, although sadly behind their smiles, their genial demeanour, and their friendly patter, there lurked the knowledge that they have been royally screwing my friends, my family, and myself for the last five years.
Driving back to the office this morning (it has been a complicated day) I was unsure whether to weep or to punch out the car windscreen. The opinion polls, which so many people had fervently prayed to be wrong the night before, were coming true.
My emotions, exacerbated by too much Red Bull and not enough sleep, left me feeling deeply, deeply sad, very afraid, and incredibly angry.
The sorrow was close to weeping sorry (I’m still close).
The fear? That is not so much for myself. I am lucky enough to be employed, of healthy body and mind, with a family and just enough money. I know that come the end of the month the cupboard is bare, I have a quick phone call and a bank transfer, not a trip to the local church hall or the back of the supermarket.
But I am afraid for those without that security. Those that may one day need a good education at a reasonable price. A health provider that is a service, not a business, free at the point of use.
Afraid for those with disabilities. Afraid for my little sister’s prospect of getting a good job. Afraid for the fucking foxes, who don’t even know they need to be afraid.
Now, let’s get to angry. I’m not just angry at the filthy Tory scum that clawed their way to a majority with cheap shots and smears and promises that we know they’ll never, ever keep.
I’m angry (and I know it is sometimes misplaced, but that’s because I’m in a fucking rage) at the complacent ones, the idealists, the infighters, and the whole shower of shit that sat there and let this happen.
The ones on Twitter and Facebook who somehow thought UKIP and the Tories were this big joke, and everyone felt the same way.
The idealists, who just won’t tactically vote. There is a reason for tactical voting, and you’re staring at another five years of it. Even UKIP did it, eventually. Also those who thought a vote for the small guy would show the need for PR or AV or whatever system you want. Guess what, you just represented yourself out of any chance at another referendum on that, possibly in your lifetime.
I sat in that room, and I watched as Labour supporters cheered a Lib Dem seat going to them. They didn’t think that there were very few Tory seats going to them. They cheered the Tories knocking George Galloway of his perch. Now I know he is an utter clungesponge, but at least he’s our clungesponge, and would never vote for a Tory policy simply out of malice and his own misguided sense of self worth. They didn’t seem to see that their own overriding belief that it could be them, and them alone, winning, was meaning no-one won but the establishment, the right wing, the incumbents.
I spoke to Labout supporters after who were happy to have gained ground, or Lib Dems glad to still be the second party, not thinking that while they were gaining ground on each other, the Tories were keeping the lion’s share for themselves.
The way I see it, I have two new options right now:
Move the fuck back to London, Manchester, Bristol. Somewhere close enough that when the protests, and the riots, and the marches kick off again (and they will, soon), I can be involved. I can do more than just write a pissy little tired, teary diatribe, or sign a fucking petition which means parliament will have to ‘debate’ my suggestion if I get enough signatures, or retweet that pithy, scathing put down or that cybernetic call to fucking arms that never materialise.
Because unless the left can sort its shit out (I mean all of the left), this will not be just another five years. It will only get worse. And then we will all be in tears.
*DO NOT DO THIS. Leaving the country is the most Tory reaction to not getting your own way. Leaving behind those who are struggling, I’m-alright-Jack, making it someone else’s problem. Stay, and sort out the mess we’ve all made. Don’t make others lie in it.