Reflections on the General Election 09.05.17
I do feel tired, after staying up longer than I'd anticipated. I had thought to watch the announcement of the Exit Polls at 10pm, just for confirmation that the Tories would get their 100+ majority. To watch Theresa May's goading of and gloating over her opponents, for just as many minutes as I could stand it. 'Tonight demonstrates Britain's insatiable desire for austerity,' she would have said, had she got her mandate. 'For a low tax, low wage economy. For grammar schools for the few, and a private health system rivalling America's for its profit-making, market-driven corridors of marble. And for a political system in which slogans about stability, and a press-driven hate campaign against left-of-centre politicians, is the recipe for power. In which right-wing parties can outspend their opponents with impunity, with foreign-delivered lorry-loads of cash.'
She might have said these things, but she didn't, for reasons I need not go into.
The Tories still won, of course, as the biggest party. There will be a coalition with the DUP, because the alternative is another election. But still.
Things I'd like to see: a formerly hubristic, now disconsolate Prime Minister May channelling a new, more stoic, more courteous manner to opposition politicians. To Emily Thornberry becoming one day soon Labour's first female Prime Minister (I love Emily Thornberry). To the vote being lowered to 16+ to counteract the influence of the old, and thus see education, jobs, housing and the EU receive as much priority as pensions and immigration.
And let there be a left-of-centre coalition, because we live in a democracy, and it's ridiculous for any party with less than 50% of the vote to have complete control.And finally, let there be more decency. I used to love the House of Commons as a form of entertainment. When I was a teenager. But really, now? It's the kind of pit of abuse that allows bullies like Theresa May to thrive, and decent people with solutions to seem weak. Let's change the whole system, with proportional representation and a structure that removes the confrontation. Because when Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn entered the great outside to meet people and talk with them, everything turned on its head. The House of Commons is a symbol of so much that's wrong with UK politics today.