So, a few days have passed. The country has not yet entirely imploded, although the protests in London did appear to fall victim to somewhat of a media blackout, and we have begun the next five years of Tory rule.
There is a positive right there. We can tick off five. We are five sleeps closer to our next chance to change things.
And, I know it seems unlikely, this is the point of this post. What can we POSITIVELY do now? I have read many articles about this in the last few days and this is my somewhat re-hashed version of the bits that work for me. We cannot alter what has happened, that’s democracy folks, and long may it last but if, like me, you were a bit bemused by the outcome then it might be time to think about what you can do to help.
Try to be tolerant on social media.
It is oh so easy to let rip from the keyboard and I was quite guilty of this as the results came in on Friday morning. However I did try not to respond with my immediate thoughts to those whose views clearly oppose my own. I have been witness to several unpleasant Facebook spats this weekend and whilst I completely understand the need to offload your frustration, I had my own public vent right here, it is a shame to see friendships and relationships broken over this. How does that actually help any of us?
Surely we learn more by trying to understand our opposition than by trying to demean them? Discussion is key. And with only a small Conservative majority the voices that we have managed to elect will still hold power within the walls of Westminster. Debate is to be encouraged and the only way that can happen is if everyone is prepared to listen.
Don’t alienate your friends.
So the party you wanted to rule didn’t get elected, what are you going to do? Winge on Facebook? Yep, probably. Me too. But I have also (just) joined the Labour party. If you really want to help then get involved. I have been truly inspired by the number of women I know that have joined both the Green and Labour parties within the last few days. I have my own first local meeting on Wednesday. I’m excited.
Prepare to help.
There are many things that will be totally out of your control in the next five years but there are ways to minimise the (potential) damage. Find your local food bank. Offer to help. Donate. Did you know in Aldi you can buy a decent tasting jar of bolognese sauce for 49p and a large bag of penne pasta for the same. That is less than £1 and would be a reasonable meal for a family of four. Consider adding stuff like this to your weekly shop. It is only £1 to you but a meal to others that may otherwise have to go without.
Support your local hospitals and hospices. If they have a fundraiser go along. Buy some cake. Give them a hand. They have a tough five years ahead.
With someone like this being given the job of Justice Secretary, despite publicly stating that “Britain was wrong to abolish hanging in the 60s,” there are likely to be an increasing number of political protests in the years ahead.
Turn up. Be heard. But do it peacefully. Don’t waste your fellow protesters efforts by defacing war memorials and the like. Have some respect, some pride in your beliefs and act accordingly.
If you didn’t this time please, PLEASE do next time. If you don’t want to go to a polling station register for a postal vote. It really couldn’t be easier. SO MANY WOMEN fought to win women the right to vote. Realise how lucky you are that you even have the chance. Don’t waste it.