There’s only one way to find out if British politics will ever be the same after June 8th (election day), and that is to vote. Still, I can empathise with people who think their vote won’t change things since Britain has seen the same old party politics which isn’t that accessible for the majority to engage with, and the type of political leaders are often from the exact same backgrounds, who adopt the same play it safe status quo neoliberal policies. However, with 5 days left to register to vote, I believe this has been the only time in my lifetime there is a clear choice, a clear difference of who can lead our country.
I personally think as many people should vote as possible, I can use the guilt trip argument that people have died for our rights to vote, and people are continually dying for their rights to vote around the world, or my personal favourite reason to vote is our complaints about anything political (everything) hold less weight if we choose not to vote. If you’re a non-believer of voting, maybe try reading this article and it may convince you of the benefits. I’m not saying that voting is the only political obligation or political activity we should have, but I see it as a useful tool to direct progressive grassroots community-led projects that I hope to see more of.
Regardless if you ‘believe in voting’ or not on June 8th British voters will choose between two party leaders who couldn’t be further apart in their policies.
One leader was arrested in 1984 for protesting against the South African apartheid regime, whilst one leader whilst the head of our Home Office used taxpayers money to pay for vans like the one pictured below.
One leader consistently voted against the 2003 Iraq invasion and was one of only 13 MPs to vote against the 2011 bombing of Libya both contributing in the direct spreading of terrorism, and the latter contributing to the ‘refugee crisis’. Whilst the other voted for these things as well as recently proposing to bring back fox hunting.
Just a last thought to illustrate how different these two candidates are, one candidate plans to raise £48.6 billion in progressive tax revenue to fund pledges such as expanding childcare, scrapping tuition fees, building at least 100,000 council and association homes each year and nationalising Royal Mail, and UK rail, water, electricity infrastructure. Although I’m not certain if these figures will add up or if Labour can keep all of their campaign promises, I believe the consideration for the majority is enough for me to give them my vote.
The Conservatives haven’t released their manifesto, although Theresa-too cool for TV debates- May has mentioned pledges on increasing workers rights. You can decide for yourself if this is just trimming around the edges of a UK class, economic and political system that is rigged in favour of the few.
Whoever wins on 8th June we have a duty to make sure they keep their campaign promises and hold them to account. I’m not trying to convince anyone to vote Labour, vote for who you want, but I hope I’ve shown that Corbyn and May couldn’t be further apart in their policies and behaviour.
Chijioke Anosike TWN Editor