View From The Side: The Election – Responsibility & Realism
Although I truly understand people's outrage, disappointment and resentment at the outcome of the election, I personally am beginning to feel more disheartened about how people are reacting to the result and the further damage that this is causing to the delicate fabric of the UK. It's natural to vent, and I don't think this should be restricted, but social platforms are awash with accusatory messages, filled with reactive and fierce language creating an even stronger "us" and "them" divide.
I voted Labour and I am disappointed, concerned and almost mournful about the outcome. But I am struggling, a bit, to see how we're all dealing with this – how the public outcry is further perpetuating the fundamental problems of this whole process that boil down to fear, a lack of understanding, openness and also the positivity that is absent from the current system.
We won't change the outcome by rioting, protesting or smearing the Tories, their supporters or their voters. If you're generally worried about the sick, the poor, the young and the elderly then we can take it upon ourselves, as individuals, as self-assembled groups or joining the many organisations already out there that are set up, to help and get involved with those who are struggling. We should be harnessing all the anger and energy, taking it off Facebook and putting it into action and practising what you preach. This shouldn't be left down to us, 'the people', but it is – so let's do what we can and show what Labour looks like when it works as, at the moment, there's no decent model or blueprint to work off of.
But we can create one.
The playschool-like political colour-coding of the UK's party breakdown is dangerous. Not because there's a lot of blue or yellow but because it segregates us and loses individual identities. It makes us generalise how people vote and it's unfair in a lot of cases to cast such strong aspersions. We need to understand more peoples' voting behaviour and that won't come from 'go fuck yourselves' messages on Facebook, but from openness and an effort to understand everyone's motives which might just boil down to a lack of understanding, who their parents vote for, who their colleague votes for, what snippet they've caught of each leader on the news the night before or which humiliating headline they saw of the opposition whilst standing in the queue for the check-out at the supermarket. I'm in my 30s, I've got my own business and have a good grasp of a lot of things and yet politics is a minefield to me. If you don't constantly study it, entrench yourself with every policy promise, change and fail, then it's hard to feel confident to make a truly informed decision about who to back and put your vote towards. Yet it seems to be much easier to get caught up in the hate campaigns and cause further disparity which is damaging.
If you voted Labour then yeah, well done in my book, but take some responsibility and be realistic. If you want to make a change and prove your point have the guts, courage, time and energy to stop hiding behind words and accusations and do something.