There is something quite satisfying about casting your vote in a General Election. I feel, in some small way, I have played my part in writing history and contributed to the overall direction of society. Sadly, at least for me, that is where the satisfaction starts and ends.
This morning I was one of the first to go to my polling station and vote. For those of you that are interested; I voted Labour. However, I did not leave with the feeling of knowing that the party I voted for was the party I knew was right to govern the UK. The truth is, I have no clue if they are the right party to be in power. This is not because I am ill informed due to a lack of interest, and I certainly don’t vote for “who ever the people in my life vote for”. I have tried to get as much useful information as possible to help decide which party I would put an X next to. I read manifestos, watched the debates and listened to the copious amounts of interview the politicians did leading up to today. I even spent 30 minutes completing a Vote for Policies questionnaire in an attempt to fully understand where I stood politically, coming out with the Lib Dems, I was left further confused than I was before!
Everyone knows that here in the UK it is a two horse race. You are either Red or Blue when it comes to the nitty gritty of the political stage, and I have affiliated myself with the red side. So, why Labour?
Firstly, and possibly the most of basic of reasons, I prefer Jeremy Corbyn over Theresa May. Corbyn is the far better communicator. He is rarely flustered, and always offers a balanced, calm and rational response to questions. For anyone to call him a weak leader, is not looking at the facts properly. Corbyn is a man who sat on the back benches for most of his political career. He was then, against the wishes of many, thrusted to the fore front of the country’s second largest political party, this level of change is no light matter. Twice members of his party tried to cast him out, and twice he stood defiant whilst sticking to his views and remained leader of the Labour party. To those things does portray weakness. It demonstrates strength and determination to stick to what you believe in with the view of encouraging the people to walk with you - which they did, in their masses.
Be the change in a nuclear world.
Nuclear war sounds scary. It is the very worst case scenario in any kind of conflict. Created to kills people in mass, being responsible for pushing “the button” is no easy job. I understand why people would want nuclear weapons, they are seen as a deterrent that stops other nations from taking advantage of another country's weak defence. However, is it the only solution to prevent an attack from another major power? Surely positive political relations, that include trade and economic support are a stronger step towards stopping someone from want to “bomb the sh*t out of you”? I certainly don’t believe in the “If they bombs us we will bomb them” approach, seriously where has that ever got us? A detailed well conversed peace process is very more productive in terms of working towards a safer world for everyone, right? Besides, I would rather die on this earth know I was part of a movement that did not want to destroy the world through nuclear warfare, rather than party of the fist waving metaphorical penis competing folk that love a good bombing.
There are several other reasons why I voted Labour today, including their stance on the NHS, Education and of course; investment into the arts. With all this in mind, you may ask - so why did you not feel satisfied?
Knowledge of the economy.
If I am being completely honest, when it comes to running an economy, I have no clue what I am talking about it. On one hand you have one party saying “more investment into the welfare of everyone whilst asking you to pay a little more tax” sounds great on the surface. However, with other party saying “less tax for everyone resulting in more money in your pocket so the economy can grow” sounds great also.
Whilst I do not believe in government dependency, I do believe in the welfare state. Anyone of us could face situation which knocks us down, and I believe as collective we should do all we can to help each other back up. I really don’t see the problem in that. I don’t believe in the demonetisation of our nation’s most poorest or vulnerable. In a capitalist ladder, a group of people will always be at the bottom, is it too much to ask that we all do our part to ensure the bottom isn’t so bad that it reduces a basic quality of life?
On the other hand, I believe in business and being entrepreneurial. I understand that the more money we have in our pockets, the better we can invest in ourselves and help each other grow through hard work development and job creation. I believe we are a better society if we can be rely more on ourselves and less on the state.
So when I hear Labour plans on supporting the many and not just the few, I think “great everyone’s a winner”. However when I hear the plan for taxation, re-nationalisation and public spending, I think “Venezuela”.
I appreciate I am sounding rather contradictory, that is because I am conflicted in how I think and feel. Running a country is an extremely complex task, it is more than a full time job - so how can the common person like you and I, who have careers and families to concentrate on, honestly have any chance on making a fully informed vote?
I was happy I voted today. No matter what result we have tomorrow, at the very least I have taken something from that. However, not knowing if my vote is useful or destructive to the long term progression of society is bearing a heavy feeling on my emotions. I am left asking myself “should I even be allowed to vote” if all I can do is hope I have voted for the best option? Of course the question is quickly answered with my overbearing desire to live in a democracy, but I can’t stop it from cropping up in the first place. I genuinely hope the millions who voted today, did so with the confidence in the party they selected. I however have an overpowering feeling of confusion, doubt and dissatisfaction.
More photography talk next week!
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed the content of this post, please sign up below so you can stay on top of all things new!