BCW reflects on last week’s general election and pledges to make a difference.
It’s been a bleak few days in the UK for most of us. By ‘us’ I mean normal people who like other people and were raised with compassion. You see, something happened. Something that broke my heart.
Last week, nearly 4 million people voted for UKIP, a party that is as close to neo-nazis as anyone should ever be comfortable with. Meanwhile others took to the polls in a way that gave the Conservatives a majority government effectively ending any hope of social improvement for anyone near the poverty line.
I along with a million others spent the weekend mulling it over. Asking the same question over and over. How could this happen?
South of the border, the Scots got the blame.
We’re a country so disillusioned by broken promises and tabloid bullying since the independence referendum that a staggering 56 out of 59 seats went to the Scottish National Party.
Across the UK though, Labour also took a major wedgie.
A party so inadequate in providing a simple focussed message that even their most loyal die hard supporters jumped ship leaving them gasping for air in the public domain.
Digging deeper and deeper into despair, a friend finally landed on the truth of the matter.
We’re all to blame.
We didn’t ask the right questions.
Of course, we knew the answers already, but we needed to be shouting the question and amplifying the answers so even the least engaged politically would hear it.
Who will pay for the deficit? The rich or the poor?
It was simple.
Not enough people heard the message.
How else could we end up with a majority government lead by a party that proactively punishes the poor and rewards the wealthy?
But here’s the thing that I’m loathe to admit.
I’m fortunate enough to be in life situation where I will benefit from this government financially. I make a good living, have made some fairly fortunate decisions in the past and if I choose to, can enjoy the benefits of a Tory government.
But the price is way too high.
For a million reasons.
Here’s just one.
Yesterday, Scotland came top of the Rainbow Index.
Yes! After meeting 92% of ILGA-Europe’s criteria for equality and human rights (ahead of the UK as a whole) Scotland was named the most desirable place to live in Europe for LGBT citizens.
Today, David Cameron appointed Caroline Dinenage, a Tory MP who previously said the state had “no right” to redefine marriage, and who voted against same-sex marriage as Minister for Equalities.
Add to that pile a Culture Secretary and an Education Secretary with a similar voting record and you’ll begin to feel my despair.
What’s that? A Health Secretary who’s publicly opposed to abortion?
A Disabilities Minister who voted against protecting extra benefits for disabled children and cancer patients.
Surely this is a comedy of errors?
And you wonder why there’s a swelling for another Scottish referendum on independence?
However we got here, we’re in this predicament and there’s no way out for at least the next few years.
To me, it seems clear that because of the public’s bad choices we can no longer rely on our politicians to look after us all equally… and it continues to be true what they say:
UNTIL WE ARE ALL EQUAL. NONE OF US ARE.
Can you handle that burden?
It’s rare that I use this platform to campaign for anything more than LGBT issues. But these issues do belong to us all, regardless of what or who tickles our pickle.
So I put this to you.
I like people. I like myself. I believe that we all should be afforded the same opportunities in life. It’s not revolutionary. It’s common decency.
If you feel the same, and like me, you’re a little bit better off, then put your money where your mouth is. Actually, where someone else’s mouth is.
We all have a role to play in educating our peers. Of making sure people understand their political obligations and the impacts of their decisions. I pledge to do that.
In the meantime, I’m also pledging to be part of a system that props up the poor instead of socially decapitating them. I along with hundreds of others am committing to donating the extra money in my wage packet this year due to the rise in my tax free personal allowance under Tory rule to support foodbanks across the UK.
You can do the same.
How and where you choose to donate is entirely up to you, but with an average of 4 new foodbanks opening in the UK per week, there is bound to be one near you.
For more information, check out here.
Tomorrow, I promise I’ll be back to sharing pictures of Mark Wahlberg and Madonna remixes 😉