Anonymous Post: Why I am Voting Today

I haven’t had an anonymous post on here for a while, but today I am handing over the blog for a post which is heartfelt and emotional. Please be respectful of the content in comments guys, and remember, go vote today!

As I write this, it’s election day and it’s an emotional one for me, because when I cast my vote, I will be thinking of a special friend, who cared passionately about her vote too. Not just for her own sake, but for other’s. She would have voted today and she would have put the needs of the people she saw suffering at the forefront of her mind as she cast her vote.

My best friend didn’t have an easy life. A single mum to a teenage boy, she was also a carer to her mum for many years, until she died in 2013. As soon as she died, my best friend was expected to get a job and she wanted to get a job. After spending many years dedicating her life to her mother, she was looking forward to making a life for herself and making her son proud. But it was hard, because she had been out of work for so long, that her experience and qualifications were out of date. So, the government gave her barely enough to live on to ‘encourage’ her to try harder. She kept on trying, visiting the Job Centre every two weeks, where she received very little help with her job search. She even tried setting up her own business, but it was too hard to go from benefits to self-employment with no support, so that failed. Eventually she found a job in a local retail establishment, and a second one cleaning, because the first one didn’t pay enough to live on.

Shortly after, she slipped on the dangerous steps at her workplace on an icy day and broke her leg. She ended up back on benefits. Then Concentrix arrived and stopped her benefits for 7 weeks for ‘random checks’. Nothing was found, but in the meantime, she was relying on food banks and hand-outs from friends, sending her spiralling into depression. She ended up struggling with stress-induced asthma, which made her so sick, that she was taken into intensive care.

When she was released from hospital, she received woefully lacking follow-up care from the NHS. She lived in constant fear of further attacks, which became a regular thing, but when she rang her doctor, they couldn’t give her an appointment or made her wait for hours and feel like a nuisance. She was too sick to work and should have been able to claim a sickness benefit, but the system is complicated and demanding, not easy to navigate when you are trying to raise a son and survive day to day, because that’s all it was; surviving. By now her benefits had been reinstated, but the weeks of having nothing to live on had left her with crippling debt.

Her benefits were still barely enough to live on, though, as the government’s ‘encouragement’ strategy continued so, despite still having frequent asthma attacks and living in constant fear that each one would be her last, she found herself another job. Some days she had to take her nebuliser to work with her, but she kept going.

Then, on Sunday, she had a final asthma attack, which put too much strain on her heart and she died.

If the NHS wasn’t crippled under so much pressure, if the Government provided better support for the sick, if the unemployed were helped into work, instead of just being signed off each fortnight, if any agency had been able to support her, I firmly believe she could be alive today.

The above definitely gives something to think about as we go and cast our vote today. Thanks to our anonymous post author. And I send my fullest sympathies on the loss of your friend.
If you want a safe place to write, whatever you have to say, the feel free to send me an email on familypanel@yahoo.co.uk- mark your email “anon post” and I’ll post them here. No names needed.

I’m Voting Labour- And Here’s Why You Should Too

I’m hoping this post is more successful than my previous Labour V Conservatives post of the last general Election, and more like my Brexit Vote one 🙂

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can’t help but notice that there is an election going on tomorrow.

I always think elections are mental, but this one has really been very much an “I’m voting Labour because I agree with their manifesto and quite like Corbyn”, an “I’m voting Theresa as she’s already delivered on the task of triggering Article 50” or an “I’m voting anyone tactically whether or not I agree with them or have ever considered voting for them before, purely because I would rather see anyone other than Theresa get back in again”.

Which are all things I’ve not seen before.

No disrespect to the Lib Dems, Greens, SNP and UKIP, but this is very much it would seem a two horse race.

I don’t know about your local gossip groups on Facebook, but my local one has seen people have massive, almost daily, rows with one another, which have gotten worse with every terrorist attack and speech by either candidate. And these are middle class people, not your local common and garden chavs who vote the way Murdoch tells them to and then wonder why they have their housing, benefits and hospital appointments cut as a result.

So,  I’m voting Labour but for the reason that I actually have a lot of faith in Jeremy.

I was lucky enough to go to one of his rallies in Reading last week.

I’ve never even considered going to anything like it before, but to be fair I felt I should go to make up my mind once and for all on whether in my heart I was putting the right X in the right box come polling day.

18765951_1697564250545827_4871756218802925796_n

I’ve seen him be called a ditherer, and not great at public speaking, but clearly someone’s been giving him lessons. This to me wasn’t an exercise in the usual kissing babies and hugging grannies. He was personable, he set out what he plans to do and why and, all in all, I can happily vote for someone with that much passion and conviction in his beliefs.

I’ve seen a lot of misinformation doing the rounds on Jeremy. He’s a terrorist sympathizer, apparently, as he had the audacity to sit and have a conversation with the IRA at a time when, although not on a par with ISIS, they were the terrorist du jour and, love the Irish and have an understanding as I do of the Troubles through educating myself in the finer points as part of my GCSE History coursework, it was bloody appalling.

Being that I lived in Kent, where there were still many Barracks around at that time (they’ve all but gone now), it wasn’t unusual to go into Maidstone or Chatham for a weekend mooch, only to be evacuated down to a bomb threat. Such was the threat back then- and I think this is forgotten now as they’ve been replaced by utter nutjobs in ISIS and Al Qaeda- that none of our local shopping precincts had litter bins in the streets.

Yes, Jeremy sat down with them. Yes, with the wrong dialogue this could look like he was bestie mates with Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness and their bomb happy mates.

But, question yourself if you will;

Who recalls Mo Mowlam? Remember her? The wonderful, almost saint like woman who, despite battling aggressive cancer, also sat down with the IRA, and tried to broker talks that someone had already started in the nineties.

That someone?

Corbyn.

She may have gained, quite rightly so, as a kick ass woman back then who is much missed after her death, the credit for the fact that for the most part the IRA have disarmed and now are more likely to argue in Stormont than via blowing up a precinct to get their message across.

We don’t call her a terrorist sympathiser, or question her motives and lets hope no one ever does.

Likewise, Jo Cox went out into her, mainly Muslim, community and tried to get to a stage where she was on side and was able to council over a community without divisions. We don’t slag her off for it.

Does the fact these two are women and no longer with us make the difference to Murdoch and his ilk or have we just yet to stoop that low?

I want to live in a country that is safe, and if that means the difficult choice of trying to engage those who seek to destroy us in talks, then despite it being difficult to breath the same air as these people it needs to be done. I don’t think we have this opportunity with ISIS, unfortunately, but I like the idea that instead of holding hands and blindly sending more troops who have not enough weaponry and equipment over to a foreign land with the USA, here is a guy who wants to do things another way that doesn’t end up with mass civilian casualties and more attacks on our streets.

I have two children. I would love them to be able to go to University. I don’t want them to not have a choice in the matter. If they go, then that’s cool, but if they choose something else that is cool too, but I never want them to let go of their dreams because the fees and costs run into the thousands per term.

My Niece, who I’ve mentioned before, is going to be one of the wonderful people in the world who care for others as a Doctor. She is currently at Bristol uni and she has and continues to work hard as fuck to train as a doctor. She amazes me with how smart she is too. However, every month, my sis and brother in law pay a thousand pounds for her tuition, her accommodation and everything else that it costs to train to be what makes this country great.

The NHS is on it’s bloody knees due to lack of staff and funds, crumbling buildings and computer systems that are wonky to say the least. Kids like my niece should be paid to train, not the other way round. In the long term, my niece and everyone on her course and others like it, will contribute so much to the country. They will buy homes and have to pay taxes on these, buy cars, and holidays and shopping and they will pay tax off their wages and, more importantly, they will be building a brighter future for our country full stop. Why discourage them from education and miss this?

I am sick frankly, if hearing from a Prime Minister who we didn’t elect, who called a snap election after promising she wouldn’t, and yet has the lack of respect for us all- whether you vote for her or not- of not taking part in debates. Of not giving clear ideas of what she plans on doing for the 5 years she would be in power other than she will legalise fox hunting again (yes, because that benefits so many of us). She hasn’t taken part in open rallies, more over she has only allowed a chosen few to hear her promise “strong and stable” leadership over and over like a parrot.

She had the audacity to suggest that the Police were “scaremongering” after the Manchester attack, that they make up how understaffed and funded they are and that the threat isn’t significant.

And then London happened.

But it’s OK for May, isn’t it- when the Westminster Bridge attack came a bit too close to her subsidized self, she was very quickly driven out the back way in an armoured car with bodyguards a plenty. Fuck all those who were hit on the bridge and lay dying and injured, or had to witness that (and I can’t even think how you begin to get over that), as long as Theresa was fine and dandy.

We do not live in a fair society under the Tories, they have no idea what it is like to just about manage, they ignore the fact that people in work now have to claim benefits just to pay their rent, and are still suggesting benefits are a luxury and should be cut and cut and cut, and how dare people be disabled, they are all shirking if you read between the lines of May’s Nasty Party.

They make it harder for people with long term illnesses to claim what pittance they dole out after having to practically jump through hoops. Yet the big businesses and bankers, who caused all the horrendous debt in the first place can happily get away with paying what they see fit, not paying a workable wage, keeping zero hours contracts and basically taking the piss.

We need housing, we need school places (she says, knowing my kids had to leave school and be upset because their Headteacher knew she could excuse her lack of action against the racist bullying within her school by saying she couldn’t expel them down to a lack of places), we need an NHS that works. We need to encourage kids to further themselves through education and we need a better standard of living through a workable wage.

These are things I firmly believe Corbyn will give us.

Please, a vote for May and her Tory chums is a vote for increased poverty, the likes of Branson getting richer by buying the NHS to do with what he likes, schools being unable to teach properly and more of what we’ve already seen from a weak and wobbly woman who despite suggesting she will win as she is so much better than Corbyn, would’t debate against him. Is this who we want to oversee we get the best deal there is for us on Brexit?

Lets hope we see an end to the Tories after tomorrow.

#ForTheManyNotTheFew

 

Don’t Be The 33! Register to Vote!

I’m joining up with a social media campaign to ask you, quite simply to be part of #NotThe33 come June 8th.

TODAY is your last to chance to register to vote in the coming General Election in the UK, and whatever way you vote, don’t sit on social media come the big day, get out, put an x in the box and have your say.

I see so many people with opinions online about politics- some of them don’t even realise that the thing they are complaining about could have been changed if they had of voted in any of the elections that we’ve had in the last ten years alone.

Don’t like the crisis in the healthcare system?

VOTE!

Don’t like the fact that children are going hungry?

VOTE!

Not a fan of bonuses and tax avoidance for big name companies?

VOTE, VOTE AND VOTE!

We are so lucky that in our society, so long as you are:

  • 18 years or over
  • A citizen of the UK, the commonwealth and Norther Ireland
  • Have a registered address in the UK or you have been a UK resident in the last 15 years but are now living abroad
  • and be REGISTERED TO VOTE BY THEN END OF TODAY

…. then you can fill in a very quick, very simple form online, receive a voting card or ask for a postal vote and your little mark in a box can change the way things are done politically for the next 5 years.

So, how do you register?

You can go to gov.uk/register-to-vote and fill out the form there (and don’t worry, it’s as simple as asking where you live in the UK, your name and date of birth).

But be quick as you only have until 11.59pm TONIGHT to do it.

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, I know who I am voting for (Labour, which I think is obvious), if you aren’t sure then go online, look for the Manifestos of the parties, or you can fill in a few questionnaires online which will tell you which way you lean to from your answers- it’s like Tinder but for something really bloody important to the entire country!

notthe33

As you can see, in 2015, if the 33.9% had of voted, they could have completely changed the whole outcome. Maybe they didn’t think it mattered. Maybe they didn’t think their voice would be listened to? Perhaps there was a Game of Thrones boxset they’d meant to get up to speed with so they did that instead? Whatever the reason, your vote can make a massive difference.

I’m especially talking to the under 25’s here, you all love voting for singers, dancers and the like on any number of shows like The Voice, Britains Got Talent and I’m A Celeb. But it’s you guys who are the most directly effected by the outcome from the last general election.

So, if voting for a has been eating kangaroo bits is worth a vote, so if voting for a party that wont continue with zero hours contracts, university fees, and no housing benefit for under 21s, then you especially need to make sure you register. If Stormzy can do it, you can too.

I shall be bringing you some of my thoughts on why I’m voting Labour this time around, and I’m sure plenty of other bloggers will be giving their thoughts on all the parties too.

Get informed, but first, say no to being the 33% and go register to vote!

And a big thanks to @Helsieboo and @every1PR for setting up this word spreading initiative amongst the UK Blogging community 🙂