The Future is Red

I spoke to Marie Claire magazine about my vote, and my response to the election result. You can read the full article, including three other women’s responses, here. Below is my section of the article.

Waking up after the last general election and after the Brexit vote I felt a sense of hopelessness, alienation and despair. What kind of country was I living in? This morning things are very different. I have voted Labour for years, but have done so grudgingly on more than one occasion, feeling it was the best choice of a narrow offering. Yesterday I voted enthusiastically for Labour, and for Jeremy Corbyn. I woke up feeling hopeful and excited for a brighter future.

As an NHS hospital doctor, and regular foodbank volunteer I have watched people’s lives get harder and harder under the Conservatives. The system works for a very small number of the incredibly wealthy who have received tax breaks, whilst those on low and middle incomes have seen wages stagnate, the cost of living rise, and opportunities for education and training shrink. Hope has dwindled.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour manifesto offered a real alternative to the misery of the last few years of austerity. It had a fully costed plan of sustainable investment in our NHS, social care, and education system. It pledged to value education by scrapping tuition fees, to make work pay by providing a real living wage, and to invest in essential infrastructure of rail, water and energy. I fear for the future of the NHS in the hands of the Tories, who have underfunded, understaffed and undermined this essential safety net. They have already privatised large chunks by stealth and their plan to run it into the ground is sadly going to plan. Labour understands that illness and poverty are not personal failings, but consequences of a broken system, inequality and bad luck. People must be cared for during the most difficult and vulnerable times of their lives.

The conservative campaign was empty, dishonest and cruel. Teresa May was unconvincing, repetitive and cold. The Conservative manifesto offered more of the same, accompanied by bizarre regressive pledges such as bringing back fox hunting. It felt out of touch and selfish. There was a clear choice in this election and what gives me hope is that so many people ignored the messages of the media and saw Jeremy Corbyn for what he is, a man with integrity, compassion and incredible resilience. Our European neighbours also see him as a better ally than Teresa May, crucial for the upcoming Brexit negotiations. People voted on issues, not sound bites. The number of young people registering to vote, and getting involved in grassroots campaigning, gives me hope that this is just the start. We now have a hung parliament, and the near future will be complex and difficult. But there has been a shift, and commentators must now take seriously a progressive left political agenda. I am excited and ready to get involved.

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