Why I joined a political Party

It's really easy to turn on the news and get angry, frustrated and sad about life but then do absolutely nothing about it.

On the 24th June I cried when David Cameron resigned. I never in my life thought I would say or type that. I hate Cameron and pretty much everything he stands for. His one saving grace is LGBT rights which have improved under him. The rest of his political career makes me want to scream, shout and throw things at him. I have coped with this hatred of all things right wing by being the angry woman in the office/pub/any social gathering. Im the one who tries to explain that its all a lie, money isn't real, they call it "the system" so you think theres no alternative; all to fit their political agenda  - I could go on but the point is that people need to find out and work things out for themselves. Politics can't be spoon fed and sadly isn't taught in schools or wasn't when I was child at least.

They are counting on people my age and younger not caring, not voting and not realising we can make a difference. In my entire voting life I've never had anything I voted for, until I moved to Scotland. My vote never counted because of the first past the post system until I got to vote in the Scottish election. My vote counted and my vote won. I finally got who I wanted to win a seat and others to keep theirs.

I am not the same person I was even 4 years ago. For years I voted how my family voted, a socialist family but one which has yet to let go of a post Blair Labour in the same way that Scotland has had to. (Had to because it isn't the party it should be and it doesn't represent the needs of my family, or Scotland, anymore. but that is a whole other topic.) In the last general election I didn't vote the way I had previously. I voted differently. I still didn't get who I wanted but I had taken the time to look at all the parties policies, to see which I agreed with the most and which policies were deal breakers. I couldn't bring myself just to vote for a lesser evil. Politics shouldn't be about that.

It is this process, of find out who really represents you that is so so important. With no big elections coming up its easy to switch off and not pay any attention for a few years, only to wake up when the party broadcasts come back on during advert breaks and when the TV schedule starts being occupied with mid week debates rather than baking shows - how dare they.

Im trying my best to stay engaged and to stay active. Its hard when all that comes out of party conferences are the Conservatives best impressions of Hitlers Nazi Germany rallies. Its hard to not want to switch off, put something else on and get lost in another world where the NHS being sold off piece by piece isn't a reality. After the Conservative conference, the Brexit (vom) vote, the last general election result, after all these things I have felt a mixture of nausea and helplessness. Its easy to feel helpless, useless and to do nothing about it. They're counting on it. The point is, you can make a difference. By joining a political party now you can help shape their policy for the next general election or fight for your devolved parliaments rights and powers to be improved.

I joined a political party. I wasn't sure which one, I thought long a hard. It wasn't a snap decision. I even did the full vote for policies, which is a great website where you blindly pick which policies you would vote for without knowing which party you would pick. Its great if you have no idea who to vote for or you dont want to be influenced by your perception of parties. The more you pay attention the more you can guess which policy belongs to which party. Another great one is political compass. Which one I joined doesn't matter, the point is I can help do something in the community where I live, the city that I love and the country which is now my home. I may discuss at other times which party, Im sure from my twitter feed its going to be pretty obvious, but the point is that right now Im part of something that might help my voice to be heard.

You can too. Most parties (as while I was unsure which to join, I looked up three in total) have student and lower income options. Some have a suggested membership fee, with the option to drop down to a lesser amount. Some you can join from just £5 a year. That gets you access to meetings, information on events, the opportunity to vote at conferences or to vote on leadership campaigns. Its something small but everything starts somewhere.

I dont know how political my blog will become but its become a big aspect of my life over the past few years and this is my little space on www so its nice to have somewhere to post my thoughts.

I know this post is different from my usual but I do hope you have been inspired or it has least made you realise that even someone who loves beauty and making their home pretty can care about other things too. They're not mutually exclusive. You can yearn for the latest eyeshadow palette and still care about the housing crisis. Its all connected. Your home, so if you'll ever get that pinterest worthy living room, is all connected to party politics. So do your research, care and do something about it. Or at least pay attention.

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1 comment

  1. I had a similar reaction to the political landscape this year and decided to join the Green Party.

    Like you say, it really doesn't matter which party you get involved in - we need more people to get involved to create a political discourse which includes everyone!

    I'd love to see more bloggers talk about politics and social issues - so please keep it up :D

    <a href="http://www.bethanvincent.com”>Bethan Vincent | A York Based Businesswoman’s Blog</a>


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