Post-election come down, frustration and “I’m alright, Jack”

I was once told not to blog about politics. Stuff that. I’m tired and I’m frustrated.

I’m still slightly gobsmacked at the outcome of the election, as like many I expected to wake up to a hung parliament. I’m frustrated that people have voted for a party whose leader avoided two live debates, who presided over a huge amount of debt accumulation and whose party has said they have to make £12bn cuts without stating where they’re coming from (although maternity pay is meant to be one of the benefits rumoured to be on the table for cuts.)

I saw the exit polls and my heart sank.

It’s been a campaign of scare tactics, of personal jibes and of an ‘I’m alright, Jack” mentality. This rankles with me a bit. There were a couple of Tory policies that would have benefited my family- especially with childcare- and I still chose not to vote for them, because I didn’t want to benefit at someone else’s expense. I do honestly think we’re in for five years of strikes, protest and opposition. I only hope the SNP come good on their promise to challenge the government, but of course their interest lies with Scotland.

My vote went to Caroline Lucas, the local Green MP. This was not necessarily an easy decision to make- I’m a traditional Labour voter and I would have preferred a Labour government. However, I was impressed with Caroline’s record in the last parliament; as an essentially independent MP, she was vocal, visible and able to vote on issues according to her conscience and her constituency’s interests. I’m pleased to say that she won with a huge vote swing. There’s some hope, at least!

So what now? I am determined to fight this government- on behalf of my son, my students who are about to leave school and are searching for jobs/apprenticeships or fretting about the cost of uni, all those who will be hit by austerity. Apparently Cameron is a Smiths’ fan. I want him to be The Boy With The Thorn In His Side. I’m thinking of joining a political party, of getting more involved in politics on a local level. At the moment, though, I’ll just wait and see what happens next.