For those of us old enough to vote in the coming election (8th of June guys, don’t miss it), this is a tough and confusing time.
As a student, a teenager and a member of the United Kingdom, I have to say I have never felt so disappointed in British politics and its portrayal in the media. Everyone will have their own opinion about the correct way to vote in this election and there will be many who are so set in their ways they do not want to hear the pros and cons of the opposition. This is of course, is all objective, there is no ‘correct’ way to vote.
As it stands we have Labour squaring off with the Conservatives, with all other parties mostly taking a back seat in the hopes to encourage their usual voters to vote for Labour. Not only is this un-democratic as it restricts voters abilities to vote for their party but it also makes politics turn into a popularity contest instead of a serious discussion into the future of our country.
We are facing many difficult obstacles ahead and to successfully overcome them we should be thinking of the bigger picture. Do I care that Theresa May sounds robotic in nearly all of her, clearly very well rehearsed, speeches? Or that Jeremy Corbyn is ‘so cool’ he posed with a guy despite the fact he was smoking pot? No. These people are merely a face for the parties they represent. If you are voting based on character alone, think again.
Personally, I feel that both parties are somewhat lackluster. We have Labour promising an end to university fees and free school meals and a whole other plethora of things, which in theory I agree with whole-heartedly. However, when these things are going to come into being by borrowing £93 billion I think it is time to revise these statements. Labour also stated in many interviews that these costs would be covered by increased taxing of many variations. Yet, this money they are proposing to tax out of businesses and people to supposedly support the many and not the few and create innovation within business will take at least a year to accumulate before it can be implemented. How then do they plan on living up to their promises of paying for students starting this September? Why do they plan on giving free university places, paid for by tax payers of which many will not benefit, to those who can afford it? This increase of tax will therefore affect the many opposed to the rich 5%.
Labour’s policies, while lovely in prospect, lack realism and therefore require much work.
On the other hand we have the Conservatives who seem to have gone out of their way to blunder through this election as badly as they possibly could. Not only have they picked possibly the most un-likable, un-relatable and wooden party leader imaginable but they have failed to remain consistent in their manifesto or back up any of their policies with figures. It is quite easy to state goals and list the problems the UK currently has, it is a different thing to provide a clear plan and cost to fixing and meeting them. In this, the conservative party has disappointed me greatly.
Again, many conservative policies, whilst practical in theory do not seem to be rooted in realism or substantiated as of yet.
The true enemy here has been the media, largely. Depending on your circle of friends, you will see largely the media that is targeted at them/you and shared by them. There will always be bias as these papers are being written by people after all, but the level to which the slandering of government officials has risen is frankly appalling.
At first, it was the slandering of Jeremy Corbyn, he was being pulled apart and questioned about every minuscule detail of his decisions in the media. Currently, it is the Conservative party being ripped to shreds in the media.
It is frequently being said but I feel perhaps people need to be reminded that not everything you read and/or hear is true. For example, many Labour and Tory policies were taken completely out of context in the media resulting in large back-lash. This included the incorrect relaying of Labour’s estimated figures and an incorrect recount of the Fox hunting suggestion by the Tories (which to clarify was the suggestion of a democratic vote on the issue as one has never been performed, not an out-and-out declaration of fox-hunting being brought back, that was an off-hand comment May made in an interview). Behind every policy, comment, picture and speech there is a media outlet twisting it into something it is not. This is a false presentation of the facts and frankly, the public deserve better.
This is a trying time for us all and this decision could potentially make or break our country and current Brexit negotiations, I hope the media will in future seek to clarify and report as is instead of twist and embellish.
I know it’s a little late, but I hope those of you able to register have. Registering is only half of it, research the parties, dig deep and find out what is actually happening beyond what the Daily Mail or the Independent spout and for our country’s sake, get out there and vote.