Here’s an unusual piece of writing for me. I urge you: do not vote Conservative on Thursday.
Although I’ve been writing opinion columns for The Courier for seven years, this is the first time I’ve directly told anyone how to vote. I’ve always left that to others more prepared to use media platforms for campaigning disguised as political analysis.
This time it’s different. This time your votes count more than ever before.
I’m aware of my hypocrisy, because I left the UK years ago and, despite still being a citizen, can no longer vote there.
People reading this in Courier Country have a greater stake in Thursday’s election than I do, even if I will eventually draw a British pension. But I have a voice, small though it may be, and to avoid writing this would feel like cowardice.
Don’t vote Conservative. This is a group of people representing the interests of the mega-rich, and others who hope to become mega-rich, and want to hoodwink everyone else.
In their decade in power, the Tories have repeatedly lurched further to the right until the UK finally had an appalling government made up of people so toxic they are reviled even by the last set of vipers who had their jobs.
Child poverty has rocketed to 30%. The gap between rich and poor is widening. The national debt has ballooned to an unimaginable £1.8 trillion and the present regime is openly inviting Donald Trump’s friends to carve up the NHS and introduce a private health system similar to the one that bankrupts 530,000 American families every year.
Boris Johnson, a man so accustomed to dishonesty that he won’t even say how many children he has fathered, is defending the Tory record in a mumbling faux-human style. Don’t believe him. Don’t vote for him.
At a fundamental level, this is what democracy is designed to do. It allows ordinary people, en masse, to halt destructive behaviour by the wealthy and amoral. That’s how you should use your vote on Thursday. Stop them.
That’s it. I’ve said my piece. Please vote with your consciences, for whichever candidates are most likely to keep a Tory out of Parliament. Bring this government down. Thank you.