Biodiversity, Endangered Species, environment, Personal, Politics, Sustainability

My thoughts on the election outcome

I told myself I would not post another political post after my last one. I honestly try to be nonpartisan and I never used to be so political. It’s very hard not to be when you live and breathe trying to save the environment, however. 

I’ve always been an optimist but even if I wasn’t I don’t think I’d have expected today’s outcome. Nobody knew the Conservatives would outright win. We were prepared for hung Parliament, Coalition, parties fighting it out. And that’s kind of what I wanted. A Labour majority with plenty of Greens where they could gain experience of ruling and gradually instill the change we need. Or lots of parties to represent the wide range of views emerging in society and politics in the UK, which is a good thing. I expected some kind of chaos, probably bad but manageable. 

But what we did get is much much worse. Because now we have a Conservative government that cannot really be tempered by the other parties. The Lib Dems provided checks and balances but that still led to failures that made it the worst government for many years. It wasn’t obvious on the surface but our nation and our land has suffered, and those of us who have been unfortunate to work or live under that surface have seen the real destruction. Lucky you if you haven’t seen it, but it means you haven’t seen the real implications of a Tory majority. 

And now the Conservatives can push forward with the policies they’ve barely started, to their hearts’ content. That means more extreme austerity cutting everything in sight even though economists have proven it doesn’t work. It means prioritising economy over everything else in life, which is just made more shocking by the fact austerity doesn’t work. Prioritising economy over your friends and family. That means ensuring the big corporate companies that fill the Conservatives’ pockets (and paid for their propaganda) get tax breaks and deregulation. It means more restriction on what charities can campaign about. But of course corporates and newspapers can lobby government as much as they like. It means no NHS, as we know it. It means teachers quaking in their boots at the thought of further damaging changes to an already broken education system. It means meaningless development at the expense of the environment and all the vital resources the environment gives us. It means suffering at the bottom of the human food chain. While those at the top crow about ‘trickle down’ economics which is a myth. It means prioritising debt over the needs of human beings, wildlife and nature. Which are all so interlinked yet Conservatives only see these three things as obstacles. They are not obstacles, this connection with the world that surrounds us is what progress should be about. It means potentially leaving the EU which would truly be disastrous. Human rights, access to free trade, ease of travel, environmental protection and biodiversity all felled in one swoop.

Yes some of this I’ve only read about or studied during my very human society focused subjects. I studied EU law, I know how much we depend on it. But some of this I’ve experienced personally. A  lot of this I see through my job. Only today an elderly volunteer lamented to me about her ailing husband that can’t get the help he needs because of cuts. Everyday people email and ring us begging for help because their homes, the places they love are going to be destroyed in some way. Because the wildlife that thrills them is cast aside like rubbish. Because these small special things that make people’s lives what they are don’t matter. And no one listens because nature is seen as not important. This is down to weak protection that the old government introduced, protection they won’t change however much we, as a charity, and advisory committees and research ask them to. Now that they have power this will continue and my job will get so much harder. People shouldn’t have to fight their governments for what is right. This isn’t democracy.

This is why I’m truly absolutely heartbroken that the Conservatives got the majority. All I see ahead is a spiral of decline. I would love it if I was wrong, I want to be proven wrong but my optimism is fading fast. My faith in our nation is too.

So I’m sorry of my strong “socialist” opinions offend you. I’m sorry that I think you’re wrong if you disagree with me. You are wrong, nothing I have discussed above is acceptable. But this is not a debate about some obscure philosophy or whether you love or hate marmite. This is about people’s actual real everyday lives and that struggle. This is about our future. This is about the environment that we all rely upon for our resources, our health and for living a full life as it should be. These things matter and it worries me that it’s entirely possible many people in this country do not think they do.

What we can do to carry on the fight (also first para described my feelings perfectly): Five ways to deal with a full blown Conservative Government

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