The other day I came across something I wrote before the general election, in 2015. In it, I wrote of my disappointment in a dismal of a choice I faced with which box to place my 'X'; and how, as the polls made us believe, that the system was broken and another hung parliament, inevitable. I went on to say how I wished for more democracy, and for more power to be placed in the hands of us, the people.
Well, that was two years ago, and I now realise that democracy, stinks.
I joke. My faith in democracy is just about hanging on in there, and this time I'm relying on it to realise Theresa May is about as strong and stable as me trying bench press 170kg... or any weight for that matter; and that there's a reason why Jeremy Corbyn's initials are J.C. There's a SPOILER ALERT for any Tory ***** (fill that with what you please - you dirty little so-and-so's), because you're probably not going to agree with - or like - a lot of what I've got to say. So, at this point you may as well run along and do whatever it is you like to do... like, I don't know, drool over pictures of dead foxes or something. However, if you're thinking of voting Labour, or if you're undecided, then please, do continue.
When faced with the choice between Corbyn and May, it's really quite fascinating just how utterly British they both are. Corbyn the elderly gentleman, who doesn't give a damn how he looks, says what he thinks, and is most likely to be found pottering around the garden. Whereas May, has that very British, and admittedly - quite endearing, manor of being awkward and constantly afraid of embarrassing ones self; illustrated very well with her "running through fields of wheat" answer. The naughty little minx. Anyway, just thought I'd start with that little insight, before getting really rather, boring...
Before the last general election, I viewed the Labour Party in a light only marginally better than that of the Conservatives; with barely any real choice/ difference between what they had to offer, and with the dark shadow of Blair lurking over the party like a curse. However, what spawned from Labour's loss, brought about the real change you so often hear people yearn for, when they complain of all politicians being the same, having ulterior motives, and being outright liars. The reason Corbyn was so successful in becoming leader of the Labour Party was from winning over the disillusioned; because politics doesn't have to be - nor should it be - difficult to understand. The problems we face in society are clear, and the solutions, obvious.
One of the main arguments made by Vote Leave in the EU referendum campaign was the fact the UK is the fifth largest economy in the world; which we should, quite rightly, be proud of. However, it quickly turns into an embarrassment when you consider there's an estimated 250,000 homeless people living in England. Last year 1,182,954 emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis in the UK, of which 436,938 went to children; with around 30% of Britain's children now classified as poor, of whom two-thirds are from working families.
Add this to the fact that our NHS is in a "humanitarian crisis", we have teachers in state schools taking collections on the school gates to fund basic resources, and cuts to police numbers is hindering our fight against terror.
These issues aren't debatable, but how we overcome them, and fund them, are. Labour wants to put a tax onto private school fees; whereas the Tory's want to take away free school lunches. Labour wants to reverse the tax cut for large corporations, the Tory's want to see pensioners go cold, and cut their winter fuel allowance. Labour want to increase income tax for the top 5% of earners, the Tory's want to cut benefits from the disabled. You're faced with a choice in this election, to either take money away from places that have loads of it, or squeeze more out from those who don't.
The idea of trickle-down economics, whereby if the rich get given more tax breaks and get to keep more of their wealth, the money would soon trickle down to those less fortunate and in need. Well, one must admire the brutally low expectation given to the theory with the use of the word 'trickle'; but right now, it's a drought. Some may scaremonger that Labour's policies will mean businesses will simply leave the UK for lighter tax breaks elsewhere; but all that Labour are proposing is simply a reversal of the cuts made by the Tory's, to make the rate at 26%, two percentage points lower than it was in 2010, and still competitive within the EU. Which is a tiny price to pay, when there are people not even "just about managing" whilst in work, and with our public services in turmoil.
You may think I'm an idealist, or maybe that I'm not living in the 'real world'... well, that may be true, but why is anyone in life settling for anything less than ideal? Shouldn't that be all anyone strives for? Is it really such a pie in the sky idea that things could be just a bit better than they are? Well, I'm not prepared to believe so, just yet.
I was going to end there, but after reading it back, I've realised the last paragraph almost resembles some famous lyrics. So now, I've thought what more of a fitting, toe-curling/ cringe-worthy way to end, than by putting those lyrics below...
You may say that I'm a dreamer,
But I'm not the only one,
I hope someday you'll join us,
And the world will live as one.