raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
[personal profile] raven
I have spent my day thinking, writing, tweeting, explaining, considering, thinking some more: but we have a hung Parliament, a Labour gain of 30 seats (including Kensington, declared nearly 24 hours after polls closed, a win by thirty votes!), a Tory disaster across England, and the sight of an arrogant, out-of-control government deservedly on its knees. It's been a fascinating, joyful day, starting with that waking up and demanding to hear the worst, and the worst not being the worst. (Waking up the morning after the EU referendum broke something in me that won't be repaired in this life.) But today I followed the news, and watched videos of Jeremy Corbyn being serenaded outside his house, and thinking about the workings of coalition and the varying contexts of regional politics in this country, and I have enjoyed it: both on the intellectual level and as a person for whom the political process has become a thing worthy of clear thought and reason again.

(Also: I'm a qualified lawyer in England and Wales and a career civil servant in central government. I hold a joint honours degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Balliol College, Oxford and a Masters degree in constitutional jurisprudence from an Ivy League law school. Nevertheless men gonna mansplain.)

Anyway, I'm crashing very, very hard. My mental health has been very tiresome recently and I got through last night by means of sedatives and alcohol and quite possibly deserve how crushingly terrible I feel now. But I wanted to sit down and have on record that we did something extraordinary today; that it was so hard, and it will be so hard; but we worked and donated and campaigned, and what we do matters. I keep thinking about the Labour Party - a party I have been a member of since I was sixteen years old - and how it isn't a party like the others. Labour is the party of the labour movement: it is a movement, a slow progress of people towards the light on the hill. We should be at each other's throats all the time. We should rail against our failures, we should strive towards great, extraordinary internal diversity, because we are the many, not the few. We believe that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone. The Tories said, only we can save you - but we don't need anyone to save us. We are many; we can save us. We are many; we don't have to do everything ourselves. I've been too mentally ill to canvass, so my friends did that. I'm not allowed to campaign, so my mum and dad did that. I can write and think and argue, so I did that.

We need to know each other's names and what we are asking, Margaret Atwood says. Do not be any thing. Be the light we see by.
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