When Theresa May called this election, she did so safe in the knowledge that she'd win. There was no viable opposition to fight - The S*n and the Mail said so. We, the people, were the pawns in a game called democracy, and letting us, the people, vote her in allowed us, the people, to believe we had some sway, some control, some respect, even, for our until now unelected leader. But.
But May isn't winning, and whatever happens on the 8th June, it isn't going to be the landslide the Conservatives predicted, and it isn't going to lead to a strong and stable five years. The Prime Minister has showed herself to be weak willed and vastly unpopular. She is not a woman of the people; she won't even talk to the people.
So who do we vote for? Well... how about humanity? How about Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens? The only real opposition are the guys in red, so let's make like Eminem in the last scene of 8 Mile and talk about how awful Corbyn is, so our Tory chums don't have to.
1. He isn't a leader, he's can't even control his own party (despite Labour managing to put their dummies back in long enough to write a sound and inspiring manifesto in a matter of weeks. The best and most progressive we've seen from them in years).
2. He's using funds from the magical money tree (no. He's using funds from huge corporations who can afford it, and who may even do better in the long run if there are more middle classes to buy their shitty coffee).
3. He won't be able to lead us through Brexit (which was the result of an ill-advised Tory trolley dash around the provinces of England. 'How do we get UKIP votes?' Wondered Cameron. 'I know: let's say we'll hold a vote to get rid of that Polish lot.').
Cameron, of course, never thought in a million years Brexit would actually happen, and the very second it did he took off like Captain Schettino, leaving everyone on board the good ship Britannia to flail around in his mess. The only thing that would have made us any more of a laughing stock would be Chief Leaver BoJo putting himself into the running as his replacement. Oh wait...
May stumbled into his shoes in the end, and spent the next nine months assuring us that there wouldn't be a general election.
"There is not going to be a general election."
Then she called a general election.
Her main argument - the reason we should pick the blue Power Ranger - is that she is the only one to get us the deals we need to survive our exit from the European Union intact. She who won't engage with the public, she whose party dragged us into this incredibly costly exercise in self-exile to win a handful of votes from the purple and yellow folk.
She whose party has underfunded the NHS to such an extent that one of my best friends, a doctor in a psychiatric hospital, has to lock himself and the nurses - the exhausted nurses - away almost nightly because there is no one there to protect their bruised, red raw necks from violent, increasingly unwell hands. Whose cutbacks mean that junior doctors work 100 hours a week, and that A&E patients sleep in corridors.
She cannot lead us through this economic car crash any better than anyone else. That rhetoric needs to stop. May, with her shaking voice, has no more sway in Brussels than Corbyn or Farron. Or even Nuttall...
But this isn't about Europe; this is about us. About the lives we live and the lives that our fellow humans live. In this increasingly presidential campaign, the fight has become one of morals. Of compassion.
I'm ok. My friends are ok and my family are ok. No matter what party gets in we'll keep our jobs, our beds, our places in society. The chances are, you'll be ok too. Others won't, though.
Others won't survive five more years under Tory rule. The most vulnerable in our society: the young, the old, the disabled. Those that can't work or can't get work. Work that doesn't just feed our bellies, but our minds as well. Those people will slip further through the cracks, away from our line of sight. The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer, and those of us in the middle will continue to fund it all because that is the status quo, and frightening things might happen if you challenge it.
Call it Robin Hood tax if you will, but I've got a handful of friends in that high earner bracket and the proposed increase hasn't made them blink. I've also got friends nowhere near it, friends who argue that people are abusing the welfare state, bleeding the country dry. And they're right: some are, but these people are few and far between. Mostly there's us every day working folk, and our desire should be to belong to a society that is united in its compassion at all times.
I want to belong to a Britain that looks after everyone. I want to be part of a well-oiled machine. I want to know that every child is fed and that every elderly person is warm. I want dignity and independence to be restored to the disabled. I don't want another 'fit for work' heart patient to die.
My role in making this happen isn't just to vote, but to encourage conversation. Apathy is dangerous, frustration is futile. During Brexit we shouted at each other, during Trump Americans shouted each other. Few of us took the time to engage in useful conversations or to see the other side, and each time us bleeding hearts were left with broken hearts.
Now is the time to talk. To engage. The polls are narrowing. If each of us changes just one mind, they'll narrow even further. In one week we go to the booths. Are you going to vote for you, or are you going to vote for us?Suggest a correction