Today hope, compassion and equality died. A part of my childhood naiveté broke apart too; that people are compassionate, inherently good and will ultimately act in the interests of those less fortunate than themselves. I have been proved undoubtedly wrong, as a large proportion of the population decided to follow the path of fear and self-interest.
Last night when the exit pills were announced my stomach dropped. My first question was “how?” The weeks leading up to yesterday, all the polls had suggested it was neck and neck between Labor and the Conservatives. Quickly, I have begun to ask in disbelief “why?” Why would people who have lived through 5 years of unfounded austerity be so stupid to want more of it?
We have had 5 years of sweeping welfare cuts; soaring energy and food prices; zero hours contracts; an NHS stretched to the point of collapse; children going to School hungry because their parents can’t afford to feed them; severely disabled being told they need to get a job or risk losing their benefits; and finally, food banks becoming a staple of British life. When I woke up this morning I realized we have 5 for years of the all the above and probably much, much more.
66% of the population chose to vote, which translates into that the now government is only sitting in power because a small proportion of the electorate ticked the Conservative box on the ballot paper. This is in itself depressing because it is likely that those who will hit hardest by this government’s actions will be those who chose not to vote or those who chose to vote for fear not hope.
I have had my cry today but I suspect it will not be the last over the next few years. I cried for not only what this election will mean for me and for those I care about but for what we are all about the lose, for what we have already lost, and whether there will be anything left of what makes this country great at the end of these 5 years. I do hope there is and hope that whatever compassion for our fellow woman and man is left, does not disintegrate and blow away.