The aftermath

I’m saddened. Sickened. Heartbroken.

Due to the time zone differences I watched it unfold. I couldn’t even get drunk – my system rejected the buzz, so I stopped.

This morning my social media feed is full of my friends who are feeling the full gamut of emotions:

  • Fear
  • Despair
  • Terror
  • Shame
  • Anger
  • Pain
  • Resignation
  • Confusion

There have even been a few quiet celebrations – and I don’t blame those people.

Where my fury lands is on those who are gloating in the face of pain and fear.

Because for so many of my friends that is what the next 5+ years represents. They are not upper class. They don’t have savings. They’ve had to use services that are being cut. They have mental health needs. They have children with special needs like I do.

I might live across the pond now, but my heart is still with them.

But I say this now. Great Britain is no longer “home”. It is where I was born. Where I was raised. The values I believe in, tolerance, respect, inclusivity, caring for your neighbour? No longer exist for me there.

The USA doesn’t feel like home yet either. So for now I remain rootless. I will continue to build a life for the kiddos and we will probably be fine.

I wish and hope with all my heart that those I love overseas are too.

To Scotland I say:

I’ve changed my mind. Should you manage independence in the face of almost certain opposition from Westminster I stand behind you.

To NI I say:

I’m sorry. I hope and pray that The Good Friday Agreement holds. I stand behind you.

To everyone else reading this I say (quoting from a friend who I’m not sure reads this blog, but if you do I hope you know who you are- you summed it up so much more eloquently than I ever could):

I work with people of all political backgrounds, belief, and upbringing. It IS possible to find common ground and work to represent everybody without compromising your own principles. What you do have to compromise are dogmatic absolutes. You will sit down and work with the MP you’d never vote for- and make positive change. You will advocate for the poorest, most disadvantaged in spaces they are never considered- and make positive change. You can lift up the voices whose principles harmonise with your own. You can create real, lasting, positive change.

It will not happen from behind tribal lines.

Things can change without compromising your core values.

Everyone cares about something.

The last 6 years have been an education for me. Everyone cares about something. Find that, make it your common ground. Forget tribal lines. Think human.

On that note, Christmas is just around the corner. If you can, think of your neighbours. Your town. People struggling. Donate something to a food bank. Give a gift to a child in poverty. Invite someone you know is struggling to Christmas dinner.

Do something kind.

And keep doing it. Especially as the weather bites down.

Because, there but for the grace of The Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, go us all.

I leave you with this year’s Christmas photo of the kiddos. Because right now I need their simple belief in the goodness of the world. You’ll probably see this again, as I’m attempting to catch up on everything that has happened since late August!

I’m not political…

A very long ranty post is incoming. All views are my own. There may be facts obscured by emotions but today I am feeling all the feelings and I need to vent.

Politics.

I didn’t study it, I know very little about it. I can be gullible and credulous and I’m easily led. And I’ve been silent on this blog for way too long again generally.

But today is important.

Today: Thursday December 12th 2019 Britain has a choice to make. Between another five years of Tory rule under the floppy-haired, fridge-hiding* Bojo.


Incidentally does anyone else remember the outcry on GBBO a year or so back when Noel Fielding, a comedian hid in a fridge one episode to try and provide some tension relief? People were outraged at his apparent immaturity.

Now our PRIME MINISTER does it, live on tv, and nothing, nada. Tumbleweeds.


Or literally anyone else.

Now, anyone who knows me well in real life knows how I feel about Magic Grandpa. Oh sorry, I mean Jeremy Corbyn.

I used to truly believe in him. That first election after he took over the Labour Party? He swayed my allegiance from Lib Dem. He did. And I was actually okay with accepting my defection.

I had never planned to leave yellow. I had read a study that said all voters, sometime past the age of 30, decide that since they are no longer students (since apparently only students vote for the Liberal Democrat’s 🙄🙄🙄🙄) they need to decide upon their final party and make the permanent switch to either blue or red.

Putting aside the sheer childishness and naivety of that statement – there are how many other parties these days? It offended me to think that it was expected of me. I may have blindly clung on to yellow more than I should because of it.

Then Magic Grandpa appeared. He seemed strong, he seemed determined. To this political neophyte he seemed to have an impressive background and didn’t just blithely lick the boot** and ask for more..


** I’m looking at YOU right now BBC. Don’t think we don’t see the criminal behaviour of the last few days. Just because nothing will fucking come of it doesn’t mean we don’t see it


So I voted Labour. And watched. And hoped. And became slowly disillusioned.

The lack of leadership over Brexit. The refusal to actually be an Opposition Party. Refusing to admit what he believed about it – well that last one would have been difficult for him given how much he and Labour have been crucified in the media.

I have however made a key mistake over the last 4 years. I believed it was all about Brexit. It’s not.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I hate it. I will stand here until the end of time and shout:

I HATE BREXIT I BELIEVE IT IS BAD AND WRONG AND SHOULD BE STOPPED

Hell, it is why we emigrated!!!!

I still firmly believe that Labour should have been anti Brexit. But that’s not the important thing anymore.

Because while I have been blinded by Brexit, other, equally hideous things have been happening.

Cuts to services, vital services:

  • Schools
  • NHS
  • Local (non Tory) councils.
  • Benefits for our poorest and most vulnerable

Scandals:

  • Windrush
  • Grenfell

Food bank use has skyrocketed. People have died and are dying.

These happened under Tory rule. They’ve happened because of Tory rule. And if they get in for another term? Another full five years? Britain is going to be a mini America.

You don’t want that

I have bloody decent health insurance and we still see bills. Horrific ones. Terrifying ones. We will stay here because it’s proven to be better for the kids, but I’m still praying that America sorts it’s shit out before the kids age out of daddy’s coverage.

There’s so little social care here. It’s awful if you’re not comfy. And that’s the point. The whole point of this rant.

I’m alright Jack

Well bully for you Chad. What about Tracey down the street? You know, the nice woman with two kids and a husband who was made redundant because his job was shifted overseas because of Brexit? And now he can’t find work because he’s “too old”. Who now has to scrimp and save and worries for her house? She can’t afford childcare because it’s more than her house payment. (And that I know for a fact).

Or Jean-Luc who came here to study, made a life for himself, married and had children? Who now fears that they will be ripped away from the only home they’ve ever known? Who can’t “go back to where they came from” because they came from here.

Or Georgina? Child free by choice, single, and scared that changes are coming that will tear her world apart?

Or David? Unable to work because he has cancer but is constantly told he’s “healthy enough to work”? When he’s having chemotherapy that makes him violently ill. When he can’t walk more than 10 paces, but because he can do THAT he’s obviously well enough and should just “stop scrounging?”

Or Deborah – suffering from mental health issues and there’s no support. She can’t get a diagnosis let alone treatment because no one believes her and the services aren’t there.

Or Sam – somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum quietly attempting to live their life without offending anyone by daring to exist. Who just wants a “normal life” without hatred and fear.

Or any of the thousands of people who currently can’t get their medication. Or can’t get their kids seen.

Kids like our son who need extra support at school but can’t get it because funding has been slashed?

That’s what this government has done. And that’s why we’ve voted. I still believe deep down in my soul that Corbyn’s stand on Brexit is wrong. But it’s not just about that anymore. It’s about pulling Britain back to being somewhere decent and safe.

Remember 2012? Remember the Olympics? That Opening Ceremony? That was the last time I felt truly proud to be British.

How did we go from 2012 to 2016? From inclusivity and pride to Brexit and thuggery?

Please, today, let’s go back to 2012. Let’s be what we were. Not Colonial India but open arms.

I voted for Magic Grandpa. Despite my personal feelings and apparent political leanings:

I sucked it up and voted Labour. Because I believe that they will help the most people. Brexit or no Brexit, they will do the most good for the most people. People who are not me. People I left behind. People I love.

So today. Vote. And honestly? If you still believe the Conservatives are best for Britain? Vote for them too. If they win, let them win because they got the votes. Don’t let them win because:

My vote doesn’t count

It does. Remember, if you didn’t vote then complaining when things go to shit for you or your loved ones won’t cut any ice.

You’ve got a voice. Use it.

If I can do it from here? You can go to your local polling station.

I will admit that the hus-creature and I paid a ridiculous sum of money to ensure our votes were received in time, but that is because this election is important.

It’s going to make or break us.

Please let it make us.