We always have a voice. Every day we wake up and speak to those around us, speaking happiness and anger and everything in between.
But there’s one day every few years (or more often as has been evident, or we wouldn’t be careering towards Thursday) which means we get the best opportunity to be heard – a general election.
I’m not going to sit here and say how you should vote, why should I tell you what to say? That’d be wrong, so I won’t.
I will just emplore, plead and reason with you to actually vote. I’m not going to sit and say all the regular clichés as to why you should, so I’ll say the following…
Whatever decision you make has the potential to change lives. Yours, your child’s, your family’s, your friends, your neighbours, your workmates. Whatever we wake up to on Friday will change the course of our country for the next five years, negotiating Brexit, changing taxes, navigating a new world economy, managing the threats and fear spread by those who seek to suppress our beautiful way of life and life those other things in between.
So how should you vote? With passion, with pride, with conviction in your choice, with your future in mind.
How does this look to me?
As I leave university, I find myself so heavily passionate about Mental Health and counselling because of my course. Our country is beautiful and fragile, as are it’s people. It’s OK to not be OK and we’ve for far too long been left with a system that is weakened by the pressure of those who need help. There is no shame in needing support and needing to talk. I will find the manifesto that best suits a progressive way forward to fund and support mental health.
I am getting married in a few months and we intend to start a family. I want my child to grow up in a positive place. Where opportunity is a right, not a privilege for those able to afford it. I want my child to have a well funded and thorough education with options beyond their wildest dreams. I want them to live happily, fulfilled, with a full tum, a bright mind and a happy heart. I will find the manifesto to support this desire.
We are leaving the European Union. Whether you voted for or or against it. It’s happening. What happens next and with whom shapes our future inexplicably. I hope for a good economy. An accepting and multicultural society. I hope we come out with some positivity despite me having reservations about what lies ahead. I will find the manifesto that provides some light at the end of what’s been a dark and murky tunnel.
I have relied and will continue to rely upon our NHS. I’ve had trials and tribulations along the way but that organisation is full of glorious, talented, hardworking doctors, nurses, porters, consultants, surgeons, admin staff, café staff and cleaners. I want to know I can continue to go to a place where I will be well cared for, now, at 30 and into my old age. I want to be able to know my family will be cared for adequately as it was when my father passed. I will find the manifesto to keep my world healthy.
Because I’m getting married, I want my own home! I want a world where I can have my family in a home, with a garden and space and love. I will find the manifesto that supports our world to have a roof over its head, that recognises the need for the odd bit of help and recognises a need for affordable homes for us normal folks.
I want to continue in my career knowing that what I contribute helps me, my family and those around me. NHS, police, schools and the like. I will find a manifesto that is fair for all of us in terms of tax payments and contributions.
I want to feel safe in my bed at night with community policing abundant for my neighbourhood and across the breadth of the UK. I want to know that the extremely brave and talented police force we have is supported, funded, expanded and we as a country are safe. I will find a manifesto that endeavours to secure this, or at the very least, improve it.
I will not tell you how to vote. But consider the world when you vote. Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Purple… Whatever the colour rosette. Choose hope and progress for us. Choose positivity, not oppression. Choose a happy future where we can be proud in the towns, cities and villages we live in. Choose a representative who speaks for you, not falls silent upon challenge. Choose a representative who is not afraid to stand up and fight for you.
But above all. Vote. Please vote. Whether young or old, a first timer or an old hand. Get out there on Thursday and vote.
I know exactly how I intend to vote and I hope nobody feels I’ve shoved it down their throats as I often endeavour to be a bit Switzerland (thanks Rich!) and respect your right to choose.
Don’t think you’re unheard. You are heard. Don’t think you don’t matter. You do. Don’t think nothing will change. Trust me, it does every time for someone.
Please go and vote.