A hung parliament and #DogsAtPollingStations 

It’s the 9th of June and the snap election result has been announced. It’s a little peculiar, because as the Tories mourn the loss of their majority in parliament, they still came out on top. Meanwhile, Labour celebrate having finished 85 seats behind a majority win.

Every young person I know, except a few (or should I say every young person I know who has voiced their opinion on social media), wanted Corbyn in Downing Street. And I’m not surprised. The Labour’s campaign, considering they only had several months to get their heads around the election, was great. Minus some diabolical interviews which garnered much media attention, they played the game well. They appealed to ‘the young people’, promising free university degrees and paying Snapchat to host a filter displaying their famous red rose and a slogan reading ‘I’m voting Labour’. I’m not suggesting these were the only reasons young people voted Labour, but they certainly showcased some clever tactics.

While I do not consider myself a Tory, nor right or left wing, fundamentally I do not believe in many of Labour’s manifesfo policies. Having grown up in Croydon all my life in a single parent family, I do not represent the ‘typical’ Tory voter. Regardless, I am impressed by how the party has pulled the country through a difficult five years due to the outrageous debt left by the last Labour government.

Labour have targeted the young voters who are repulsed by fox hunting (a debate which May should never have even considered reopening), may not be earning enough to be concerned about extortionate taxation yet, and who want free university. It was smart and, alongside other policies I’m sure, it won people over. And of course, there are people from all generations that liked Labour’s policies and voted for them on that basis. But personally, I struggle with the concept that the average good, honest, hard-working person who has earned their money through years of grafting should pay for my fees. Additionally, where is the incentive to achieve professionally in life, when you are ultimately going to be so heavily taxed on it?

I went to uni knowing I would leave with a very large amount of debt, but I felt passionate enough about my subject to go, and I loved (practically) every second. The debt looms over my head but it has been made manageable by the current government’s payback scheme, and if I am never ‘wealthy’, I will likely never even pay it all off. Under a Labour government, how could you distinguish between those who get degrees because they need to, and those who get degrees because it’s free and it kills some time?

Yet as much as I struggle with some of his ideologies, Corbyn showed himself to be both more likeable and far more relatable than May during the election campaigns. May seemed cold at times, and by not making appearances at the TV debates, she let herself as well as her supporters down. She called the election with the hope that her party would steal even more seats in parliament, with the purpose of gathering more Brexit support, but she did not do enough at all to achieve her aim. Locally, I’m disappointed that Tory MP for Croydon Central Gavin Barwell lost his seat, because he has knocked on my door several times to engage in conversation, and genuinely cares about our town.

Following today’s events, I don’t feel comfortable commenting on the DUP as I simply don’t know enough about them, with the party just having entered the spotlight in England today. But from what I’ve heard, they sound grotesque. Brexit talks are still due to commence 10 days from now, so at least one thing remains unchanged, though the EU is more than displeased with the gamble the U.K. just took.

In other news, my dog was refused entry to the polling station(!!!) so his vote for free sausages for all couldn’t be registered, rendering the #DogsAtPollingStations hashtag bittersweet. I don’t think he minded too much:

If I’m honest, I am just looking ahead to a few weeks/months down the line when people stop leaping down each other’s throats, because what has mortified me most about this whole process is how narrow-minded and ignorant some can be when it comes to another person’s opinion. That’s one great thing about this country – at least we are allowed to have one. And it has certainly been expressed in today’s result.


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