It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I feel like vomiting.
Results are still coming in, but the Tories are returning 304 seats, and with 37 still to return, it looks like a dead cert that they’ll get at least a strong-ish minority government.
And this scares the shit out of me. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand how anyone could look at the last five years and go “yes, more of that, please.” I don’t understand how they can actually have GAINED seats from both Labour and Lib Dems. And I don’t understand what the hell we’re going to do now.
Let me be clear: I am not opposing this on a purely ideological basis. I am not scared of abstract legislation. I am scared of this regime killing the people I care about. I am a disabled, queer student who comes from a low-income area, and while I am lucky enough to be middle-class and have family I can fall back on, way too many of the people I know do not have that.
Let me be clear: The current austerity measures are a joke. They disproportionately affect the poor, the elderly, and the disabled. The Tory aim is what the Tory aim has always been: class warfare and the privatisation of enterprise. Thatcher never died, kids. Not while Thatcherism’s alive and well.
Let me be clear: Every public service attacked by the Tory manifesto is one we need. We need the NHS. Believe me, as someone who has multiple neurological, physical, and mental conditions; believe me also as someone whose ambition is to work in the NHS. We need proper state education. Believe me as someone who attended an underfunded school, one whose grades fell after it became an academy. We need full benefits and a living wage. Believe me as someone who has too many friends struggling to live. These aren’t things we want, they’re things we need. They’re what makes us a society rather than just a bunch of people stuck in the same shitty country. They’re fundamental necessities of life, and they’re being undercut at every turn by an urban, Westminster-centric view which ignores the poor and the vulnerable. (And, for the record, one of the things that makes me sickest is that I even need to say this: we need the winter fuel allowance. People die of cold from not being able to afford fuel now, jesus wept)
Let me be clear: This government is not going to get better. This isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. This kind of class warfare is the modus operandi of the Conservative Party, and we’ve just condemned ourselves to half a decade more of it. And people will suffer. Our culture will suffer. People will die. And given the circles I move in, a good number of those people will be my friends, or friends of my friends. I am one of the lucky ones. And I am struggling. As a student, as a disabled person, as a human being in this society, I am struggling.
Checking the results again. 621 returned. Tories with 310.
Let me be clear: I am scared.