Election, reflection, progression


So the UK General Election has come and gone, and despite everyone and their grandmother saying it was going to be terribly close and drawn out for weeks, it turned out we had a majority government by the next morning. Not my choice of government, but I’ll have to deal with it. I was very conflicted this year – as one who usually identifies with Lib Dem / Labour ideals, I was fed up with the Lib Dems and sorely disappointed with Labour; I’m entirely for the UK union, but intrigued by the SNP and their other, progressive policies (and I was never a fan of Nicola Sturgeon but I’ve been impressed by her since she took on leadership). I stood at the polling booth longer than I thought I would.

Though many seem to think the SNP are the reason Labour didn’t pull it off, the maths tells us that even all 59 seats in Scotland would not have made up a Labour majority. I strongly believe that it was Labour themselves that played a big part in the SNP result – their split personality (trying to out-Tory the Tories) and lack of understanding of Scotland’s ideals regardless of the independence issue. And I don’t even know where to begin with the huge number of votes UKIP received, but I take comfort in knowing that Nigel Farage, a crucial part of this one-man-show of a party, will no longer be joining us.

Onward with the positives: A record number of women and ethnic minorities in this parliament, and while it is certainly not enough (in Westminster or in Holyrood), it is these gradual steps that finally get us there.

Most excitingly of all during this election period, the Women’s Equality Party was formed, and they aim to put forward candidates in the 2020 general election. Sandi Toksvig left her Radio 4 News Quiz role to help set up the party, having decided that she’s had enough with making jokes about politics and needs to participate in changing politics. This may be a single-issue party, but that’s how the Greens started, and they now have a comprehensive manifesto and are right up there with the other main parties. Equality is a huge issue, and I have great hopes for what this party can achieve (and gleefully look forward to being a ‘card-carrying member’).

So, interesting times…what did you think of the election outcome? And is the saying “may you live in interesting times” a blessing or curse? Perhaps it depends on what one considers interesting. I have no control over when in history I live – these are the times I live in, and whether interesting or not, I shall do what I can to make the best of it.

2 thoughts on “Election, reflection, progression

  1. I agree with your analysis. Coming from the States, since I began to vote here about 15 years ago, I have been amazed to have a choice of left-of-centre parties to vote for. I felt completely betrayed by Labour over the Iraq war, and am profoundly dismayed when I read analysis along the lines of “What will Labour / Lib Dems do now – return to their left-wing roots, or go further to the right in order to win favour with the people of Britain?” Surely if you believe in social justice, abandoning those values and keeping the same name of the party is unthinkable?

    I personally have a sense that a lot of people voted SNP who voted No in the Referendum, because they feel that the independence agenda has taken a back seat to the social justice agenda. I will be very interested indeed to see what the future brings. Some of my friends here are elated at the SNP gains; some are deeply depress and as one older friend said, “I just don’t feel I know my fellow Scots anymore”.

    How interesting about the Women’s Equality Party. It’s the first I’ve heard of it. I remember when I lectured in Women’s Studies (1994-2003), my younger students would say, “But women are equal now” whereas the mature students would say “Wait til you get to our age, we’ll see if you still feel women are equal”.

  2. Yes it is interesting, the number of parties who are “same but different”. I think a lot of people are feeling like they’re on strange new ground, for better or worse. I guess it’ll take a while for things to settle down and for everyone to find their footing. And if you’re interested in hearing more about the Women’s Equality Party there’s a Glasgow branch 🙂

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