Spilling Tea: #4 The General Election

Writing on difficult subjects is always easier with a tea in hand. This week however, a black coffee is the only thing which is going to get me through the day. Now strap yourselves in, it’s time to get political.

 

I know very little about politics. Every time an election or vote is to be made, I try and educate myself by reading this and that online, but I am no self-professed political junkie. It doesn’t enthral me to talk about it, which perhaps it should, and I have never been possessed by the urge to immerse myself in the workings of the UK Government. 

 

However, in the current turmoil that is the December General Election (my gran says she watched the leadership debate as if it were a piece of stand-up comedy), you will find it very difficult not to be invested in it. It is EVERYWHERE. Whether it is the posters taped to the back of the toilet door, to your very political friend preaching on Facebook about who to vote for (you know the one), there is political propaganda everywhere we look. 

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for the younger generations becoming more involved in political motions. We are the ones, after all, that will be affected by the outcomes of the election. Where I find myself struggling is when I have two friends, who I know to both be decent human beings, voting for the opposing parties. Am I meant to think one of them is a terrible person with no regard for the human race? Where do we draw the line between a political standpoint and a person's character? Or is there no line at all, and that who we support politically immediately determines us as a “good” or “bad” person? 

 

Like most of the UK population it seems, I find myself at a loss of words for this election. Everything I read about it makes me even more confused, with conflicting and contradicting statements being flung back and forth by each party as if they’re playing verbal swing-ball (you know the garden game which would inevitably end in tears as someone gets hit in the head). 

 

The only thing to do is read reliable and unbiased material and educate ourselves on each parties’ policies. It is not just the figureheads which we’re voting for, but their entire constituency, which I think sometimes people forget. “I’m not voting for him” I’ve heard people say. But you wouldn’t be voting for just him, there is an entire political standpoint and planned mission behind him. 

 

The only thing I am certain about in this election is that I have to vote. The suffragettes didn’t risk their lives for me to sit and say “well I don’t really like any of them so I’m just not going to vote”. If this sounds like you then please, educate yourself and use your voice! We’ve all read statistics on how many people didn’t vote in the last election and the difference it could have had on the outcome (if you have been living under a politics-free rock- then read this if nothing else: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50393317). 

 

To conclude my opinionated yet entirely mutual spiel (spoken like a true politician), I am going to highlight three important things to consider in the lead up to the election... 

1) Educate yourself. 

2) Be respectful of other viewpoints. If you think someone is wrong then that is fine, but there it is a fine line between having a healthy debate and then being a bit of a d**k. 

3) Vote. Realise how lucky we are to have a say on how our country is run - so please, please, use your voice. 

 

Here is a collection of light reading, which I’ll call ‘Let’s Get Political’ (Olivia Newton John’s lesser known single…) to enthral you on these cold December evenings. 

https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/types-elections/uk-parliament 

https://themanifestos.co.uk/ 

https://news.sky.com/story/general-election-2019-compare-policies-in-our-interactive-manifesto-checker-11864909