Friday, 8 May 2015

1992 and all that

I’m crying as I write this. It’s the morning after the election and everyone I know is in despair.

I’m not a political person. I can’t even do office politics. I don’t like game-playing and I’m rubbish at lying. I hate it when politicians, or political pundits, are on the news. It feels like a game, or a spectator sport.

It’s not a game. It’s about real life. Reality for people who need homes and healthcare. Reality for people who can’t make ends meet. Reality for people who are ill or disabled or unemployed. You know all that stuff, you don’t need me to tell you.

Everyone I know knows that stuff. None of them wanted the Conservatives to win. I still don’t understand how it happened.

I literally don’t know anyone, online or off, who wasn’t desperate to avoid a Conservative government. How can so many good people be out of step?

Did everyone else believe the lies? Or does everyone think that destroying the welfare state is a good idea? Or didn’t they realise that’s what it meant?

Do I have to believe that the majority of people in this country are blind or stupid? That would mean me being cleverer and better than the rest of them, and I don’t think like that.

I don’t know what to think now. I just know what I feel: as if someone has died. I’m not being melodramatic. I tried to work out this morning why I felt so weird and what my body was telling me and it was telling me: grief. I feel numb, but I can’t stop crying.

I care for myself: I don’t want to grow old without a decent health service and a welfare state. That frightens me. I care for the country: I don’t want to live in a divided, Dickensian world. That frightens me too.

It feels like 1992 all over again. When we hoped for change, were told it was coming, and saw it snatched away. This time it’s worse, because there doesn’t seem to be any hope for change now, ever, in the long term. In my lifetime, even.

People are talking about fighting back. I’m too sad today to think about that. But when I get my strength back I will think about whether I want to be frightened of what happens when I’m old. Or to be like this.

Photo courtesy of Riccardo la Torre.

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