By Holly Ashe*
“For the many, not the few”. A motto that almost half the country clang onto, some of which are people living in destitute, encased in the vicious circle of poverty which the Conservative party has contrived. The hope that Jeremy Corbyn had beamed from his manifesto benefited British people who were most in need, and a way out to break the cycle and an opportunity to get themselves back on their feet.
Under the 90’s Tory government, with John Major at the helm, I was a kid living on the tenth floor flat in one of East London’s many council estates, which were constantly featured on the 6 O’clock news for whatever crime had been committed. I was raised by a lone parent, my miracle mother, whom not only managed to survive on such a small amount of money, (we had £15 a week for food) but had to endure the constant abuse and degradation from MPs and the tabloids for being a single parent (obviously a choice she freely made…. Oh wait…) and we were all engulfed in the same vicious circle that the Tories had created; punished for not working, but no help or opportunity available to get out there at work. Childcare was a fortune, adult education was limited and the lack of working rights made working mothers life impossible to balance.
Then in 1997 Labour was voted in, and despite the questionable decisions Tony Blair made in regards to the wars we were plunged into, that government did a lot for my family and my childhood. My mother wasn’t siting in our 2 bedroom flat in Leyton enjoying being on benefits, scrimping and saving and struggling everyday while enduring hatred. When the opportunity arose thanks to changes Labour made, she went out and studied law. Then when Cameron was voted in, it again affected my adult life. Shockingly diagnosed with multiply lifelong conditions, which cause pain, fatigue and mobility issues at a mere 24 years old, I was unable to work, and was left to fend for myself. The austerity cuts killed people with disability, the stress made me want to kill myself. The stress that the cuts caused was unbearable, more unbearable then the constant pain I was in. I didn’t ask for this. As a person who had worked since she was 16 years old and studied, I did not see my life trapped in another Tory snag,
Like my mother I got myself out of that circle, but with no help from the people who serve us.
Today, after years of unnecessary austerity, the top earners paying less tax than me, disastrous campaigns from May and Corbyn taking the polls by storm, we still have the conservatives leading by vote. Me and every other labour voter are asking ourselves, why?
Is it the privatisation of our beloved NHS? The Saudi Arabia arms deals? The inhumane legalisation of ripping foxes apart for sport? Dementia tax? The fact the leader is as unstable as a three-legged chair with her constant U-turning? Is it because if an extremely unlikely scenario, that if we are threatened by nuclear war, May would press the big red button first?
While writing this, it dawned on me the difference between the two voters. And it’s the passion.
When I was younger, I was a liberal left, now after reading more and (oddly enough) opening my mind more, I would call myself more centre-left, and the thing that keeps me on that side is the passion. What emotion conjures up in the bellies on conservative voters? What policies bring tears to their eyes knowing how much it would change their lives? When passion is strong enough, emotion erupt and so do actions. I never condone violence, but I can sometimes understand why the left feel the need to explode. There has to be an in between where we can both meet, agree that the rich need to pay their way, and the unjustifiably poor need help. No one is immune to disability, you can be crossing the road on your way to your £60k a year job and get hit by a car. You will reply on the NHS then, you will reply on disability benefits then, you will rely on all the things the Tories are cutting out so people in the top 5% can get unnecessarily richer.
Passion sometimes stops you from seeing something in a distorted way, but I feel Tory voters don’t have that excuse, and their distorted view on what their party is, will eventually kill our country with that woman in the helm.
About the author:
*Holly Ashe is a London based fashion and culture writer. She was previously published in Vogue International as a fashion designer and a start-up business entrepreneur. You can follow her on twitter @hollyroseashe.
This article was published by Bombs & Dollars