Thursday, May 06, 2010

On this election day, I am both excited and heavy-hearted.

Excited, as this is my first UK general election, (citizens of the Commonwealth who reside in the UK are allowed to vote) and heavy-hearted, because - if I am to believe the polls - it looks as though the Conservatives may well win and David Cameron will be the next British Prime Minister. And if that happens, I will be so utterly disappointed and angry.

I have only ever lived under a Labour Prime Minister since emigrating to Scotland, and although Labour have greatly disappointed me in the past (blatant anti-immigration policies), I still hold true to the idea of Labour. I want to believe in Labour. I think Scotland - once a Labour stronghold - also wants to believe in Labour but like myself, have been let down by them. And although I consider myself to be politically engaged you know what? I don't give a toss about the MPs expenses "scandal". I just don't. It's not the blatant abuse of expenses that I am let down by but rather, I am let down by Labour and what they used to be versus what they are now. That said, I do not dislike Gordon Brown. In fact, I quite like him.

It seems that since the beginning of the political campaigns, there has been one issue dominating the political field: immigration. The subtle context of these "debates" surrounding immigration, hint that there are too many of us here. And as an immigrant, I am - quite honestly - disheartened and disgusted. I worked so hard to move to this country - this city - that I love; most of us have.

Nevertheless, I'm holding out hope. Because I love this country; the people. I am hoping that people do the right thing. And if they don't, well, we may have to take to the streets. And like the brilliant Gary Younge says, I hate the Tories and quite frankly, they're the reason I voted Labour!

I hate Tories. Not the people who vote for them. But the people they vote for. I make no great claims for that as a political position. But as an electoral category it is crucial. For I'm sure I'm not alone and it's pretty much the only thing keeping Labour going right now. It's certainly the only thing that could get me to the polls on Thursday.

I don't have a phobia about Tories. That would suggest an irrational response. I hate them for a reason. For lots of reasons, actually. For the miners, apartheid, Bobby Sands, Greenham Common, selling council houses, Section 28, lining the pockets of the rich and hammering the poor – to name but a few. I hate them because they hate people I care about. As a young man Cameron looked out on the social carnage of pit closures and mass unemployment, looked at Margaret Thatcher's government and thought, these are my people. When all the debating is done, that is really all I need to know.

1 comment:

Murray said...

I've been reading some stuff online about this election. I've also seen some of the graffiti on the election billboards too. Some are quite charming :P
JenC