General Election

Don’t panic, this isn’t going to be a boring post about politics but we’re having an Election here in the UK today and I’ve been a bit perplexed by people’s behaviour in the lead-up.  I’m not making any judgements just voicing observations, because I often find people’s behaviour bewildering and I’m sure I’m not alone in that!

For those of my readers who live abroad, the Conservatives (Republican equivalent) won the last Election by a huge majority and Labour (Democrat equivalent) supporters are determined to not let that happen again.  My Facebook feed has been chocka full of Labour supporters posting how the Tories (Conservatives/Republicans) have decimated the country and how Labour will put it back together.  Seriously, every other post is slagging off the Tories and bigging up Labour to the point where I’ve had to unfollow some of my friends because they were doing my head in.  They feel like the Jehovah’s Witnesses of the political world and I don’t answer the door to them either 😉

My Tory friends (and I know they’re out there!) don’t say a word.  They didn’t in the last Election either, but someone was voting Conservative because they won with a landslide.

I’ve had to stop posting anything about politics on Facebook because there are 3 or 4 of my friends who feel the need to comment on everything I say.  I wouldn’t care but I’ve actually voted Labour my entire adult life but even so they still try to ram their message home – WTF is that all about, they’re preaching to the bloody converted!  The difference is that I know the Labour party has its weaknesses just like the Tories have their weaknesses – god forbid I should voice any of them though because these few friends then feel the need to defend them.  It feels both hugely patronizing (like I have no grasp of the issue even though I have A levels in both Politics and Economics) and a bit like I’m being bullied.  No wonder Tory voters don’t say a word on Facebook because they would be pilloried 😦

I wonder if the Labour supporters know how intimidating their behaviour is?  Do they have an objective when posting all this stuff online and if so what is it?  To convert intelligent, grown adults into their way of thinking – how patronizing is that?  To tell non-Labour voters they are wrong and to do the right thing – “right” in whose world?’  What gives them the right to force their opinions on others?  Why can’t they just do what Tory voters do and put their X on the ballot paper without a fuss?

Most normal thinking grown-ups aren’t going to be swayed into voting one way or the other by something one of their mates has written on Facebook.  If I was undecided I would read each Party’s Manifesto to see what their actual policies are.  I would then read some articles by well-informed, independent political commentators to see what they make of the issues.  I’d then look at my own personal circumstances and make a choice from a combination of all these things.

As it is, for the first time in my life I am not voting.  I can’t, in all conscience, vote Tory because they actually are decimating our NHS, education, welfare and care systems and don’t give a toss about the vulnerable in society.  On the other hand, if Labour win I would actually be petrified for the Brexit negotiations – Jeremy Corbyn can’t even decide on domestic policies without changing his mind like the wind and being bullied by his own party members, so the thought of him negotiating our country’s future with the likes of Germany’s Angela Merkel terrifies me.  For the first time in 57 years of voting my Mum has voted Tory this time.  Her reasons are Brexit.  As she says, the Brexit negotiations will affect our country forever, whereas the Election is only for the next 4 years when she can then vote Labour again and get rid of the Conservatives.

It’s great when people are engaged and passionate about politics.  It’s not great when they intimidate, don’t allow any opinion but their own to be voiced, challenge, cajole and generally act like a bully in a school playground.  Young adults are especially vulnerable to this type of behaviour and, while it’s wonderful to see younger people taking part in politics, we need to be careful to provide both sides of the argument then let them decide their own path.

If I wake tomorrow morning and Labour have been victorious I will be truly worried.  If I wake tomorrow morning and the Conservatives have been victorious I will be worried for very different reasons.  It’s a loose/loose as far as I’m concerned.


4 thoughts on “General Election

  1. Sarah

    I do understand what you are saying but I am going to vent so ignore me if you want.

    I am tacticle voting today. I too went to University, got a job and bought my own home as the Tories want us to do. My parents have always voted Tories. Then afetr I had my son (on my own), my body finally gave up. I couldn’t work, but I had recently bought my home. My priorities with regards to my benefits was to make sure I payed my mortgage and kept a roof over our heads. If I sold it, or went into arrears and the bank took my house back, I would have made myself intentionally homeless and wouldn’t be entitled to help with rent. So I kept on paying.

    BUT I have gone without meals in order to pay my mortgage whilst not being able to work due to my disabilities. I’ve also not put the heating on. If I was renting, the government would pay for my rent, but because I have a mortgage they give me £11 a week to help towards just the interest. I have to pay the rest.
    My son has lived below the poverty line all his life. My income if I worked a full week would be equivalent to below the minimum age even with DLA (disability benefits) and I’m not entitled to tax credit to make it a living wage because it’s working tax credit.
    So over a third of my money goes on housing costs. If I rented I would have this money in my pocket. I went 2 very cold winters with snow without a boiler because the waiting list was 18months. They fitted it at the end of March when I didn’t need to put the heating on anyway! If I was renting, the landlord would be legally obliged to sort it out asap or could be taken to court.

    I have money for carers from the council. Even though I live below the minimum wage, they deem me to be able to afford £84 every 4 weeks that’s nearly £1000 a year (I could take my son on holiday if I had that spare!) and do not take housing costs such as buildings insurance and life insurance I have to pay because it’s a legal term attached to the mortgage. They don’t take into account boiler servicing costs which a landlord has to do every year and would be covered in rent. My tap in the kitchen is broken, but they don’t take me having to buy a new one and fit it into account. A landlord would have to do this and is covered in the rent. They do not take any repairs into account! The Tories wrote these guidlines.

    I went to see my Tory MP in absolute desperation. He told me that I would be magically cured and back into work in years time….if only, I was desperate to get back to work. I’ve noticed that the Tories see the disabled as a thorn in their side and have the attitude which they have expressed, that all disabled people could work with help from them. The MP then said that as a homeowner I would be brought into line with renters. great I thought, they will cover all my mortgage. I could finally eat properly. BUT …….In came the bedroom tax for renters! (Paying for bedrooms that they didn’t use) The cap of £100 people would have to pay was still a lot less than my housing costs! I cried and cried. I watched people opposite in the same position but renting, having takeaways delivered and carrying bags of shopping in with bottles of fizzy drink in.
    The government don’t pay the capital of the mortgage because I would gain financially but they pay all the rent for an equivalent property and are happy landlords gain financially. Ironically, my rent would be twice the amount of all my mortgage. Now I get £44 a month!

    Now Theresa May wants to put the debt of care onto my home, so when I die, my son would have to sell the house and be homeless. So he would have lost me and his home, how cruel.

    I shouldn’t have bothered striving to buy my own home, getting a degree and then working in the public sector. Now my son who has had to go without, is intelligent and wants to go to university. In America they always have had to pay so parents start saving from birth. But here, they just pulled the rug. My Son will start his life with a debt hanging over his head. If Labour stick to their manifesto he won’t have to pay his tuition fees and he would get a grant too, which the tories have recently taken away.

    So no, I wouldn’t vote Tories and desperately need them out so I don’t feel so dispondent. If they get in I will stop my care and go into hospital instead when I’m having flare ups especially when my son goes to uni. I am not putting a debt against my home, in affect paying twice where renters in my position, wouldn’t have paid at all! I am telling my son, don’t buy your own property. It doesn’t serve you well in the future if anything goes wrong. It was supposed to be security for me, for my son’s future.

    With regards to Brexit, it has become obvious the the EU do not like Theresa May especially Angela Merkel. So a different person trying to negotiate would be good.
    What exactly is a hard Brexit?

    Vent over but I am desperate. This election affects me and my sanity and especially my Son and being a protective mum, his needs and happiness come first. Especially his future. He’s had enough to deal with his whole life with me being disabled and him being a young carer.

    With regards to people being influenced by friends on Facebook. I think they are. You are intelligent and go and read a manifesto but others won’t and will make decisions based on what their friends say. I do believe this is what happened with the brexit vote. I saw after that a lot of people voted for Brexit because they wanted to send a message to the government that they weren’t happy about immigration but thought Brexit would never happen. Well it did. I voted the way my son wanted to vote as he was 16 at the time and I didn’t know. It would affect him more.

    Unfortunately, young people do look to social media for answers, but I think the parties are recognising this and responding. It was a shame Theresa May didn’t turn up for the debate. I wanted to hear her views, I wanted them challenged as I did with all of them. It gave me a view of how they would behave with regards to negotiations with the EU. I have no idea about Theresa May how strong she would be. I have no idea of what she wants to do for us. I did like her before she called this election and wanted to vote for her, not necessarily the Tories, but what with the dementia tax and not attending the debate, My view on her was changed.

    Maybe this election affects people more in their own lives so are more passionate about their views and more vocal. I do think with Brexit from what I’ve seen is Theresa May will want to do Brexit her way, she has already expressed this and the MPs went to court to stop her doing this. I do hope whoever gets in does discuss the Brexit deal with other MPs as they are our representatives.

    With regards to social media, it seems to be the people who have made their minds up are vocal and you’re right, there doesn’t seem to be discussions across the board and you will always get the trolls who are offensive and makes me worried I will be targeted by them if I express my views.

    But today, for me, I’ve been following American politics too since before their recent election as I am baffled about Trump. I am going to have a cup of tea and a slice of cake and sit and watch Comey’s testimony as to whether Trump is corrupt. His behaviour is baffling, his tweets are disgusting but people still support him. politics brings out people’s oddities

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jak Post author

      I totally understand how important politics are Sarah and why things need to change. My gripe was really about other people’s political views being rammed down my throat when I’m poorly and can’t cope with the stress. Taking part in politics should be *my* choice and I shouldn’t feel pressured or coerced by other people or their views, which is how I was feeling on Facebook. Jak x


  2. Glo

    Trump I believe is suffering from dementia or some other mental illness. Believe me I did not vote for him as anyone who actually listened to him should have realized there was no substance behind his promises. He spewed ideas with nothing saying how he would implement them. He also spewed hatred of just about everybody. So who voted for him in our corrupt little election? The rich who knew they could buy him and favors and the uneducated who just didn’t think or read or do much else but feel like they were part of a big reality show which made them feel like they were finally more then uneducated twits looked down upon by others. So even though there were people I know who didn’t
    Want to vote I strongly encouraged them to do so anyway so we wouldn’t end up with him. And now? Now I believe there was corruption in the election and not necessarily by the Russians alone but also by the wealthy. He’s put all his wealthy friends into high positions even though they have no idea what they’re doing and no clue as to how our government works. They’re screwing everything and everyone over. So my position on voting is I try to go for the lesser of the evils rather than end up like this. I also know that there were areas in Detroit that didn’t get ballots counted because of equipment failure etc. Detroit is quite possibly all democratic. Also predominantly poor and black. Rich republicans have already managed to draw up districts that water down the black vote. I’ve lived in Detroit all my life and believe me I see how the whole city is screwed over. Our insurance rates are impossibly high for most people. Home and car insurance. But not being able to drive makes it almost impossible to get a good paying job as the transport system such as it is doesn’t run into the suburbs in many areas. My neighborhood is on the edge of a very wealthy community and they have literally built walls to keep us out. I’m white and drive through there as I have to sometimes to get to my doctor etc. never got stopped until I had a black friend in the car with me and then they told me a tail light was out. Which wasn’t. So there’s my venting about politics but mostly about the massive class divide and bigotry. I’m sure people get sick of me going on but if we stop then what?


    1. Jak Post author

      I feel the same way about Trump as you do Glo and think that Government is corrupt no matter where you live. I have no problem with people discussing politics, but my Facebook feed feels like it’s become some sort of political forum and that’s not what it’s for IMHO. I don’t get out much because of my health, so it’s social for me – a place to chat to my friends, keep up with family in Australia and other parts of the world, chat about my photos with my photography friends etc. If I wanted to be bombarded by ranty political posts I’d join a specialized political group. Because I’m poorly I find all the politics stuff stressful some days and feel like it’s imposed on me on Facebook against my will. I think that was basically my gripe x



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