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Blogging about things that matter to me. Photographing things I love - Instagram @debcyork. Writing about both. Only wine and chocolate can save us… You can also find me on Twitter (@debcyork) and Facebook. If you like four-legged views, try @missbonniedog on Twitter

Monday, 24 April 2017

Last Chance Saloon

Image result for vote clipart

My dear departed father-in-law was an Irish Catholic immigrant who ended up as a Conservative mayor.  As you can imagine, it was difficult for a Methodist Leftie to find things in common with him politically.

However, one thing we definitely agreed on was the need for each and every person to use their vote. And never has this been more important.

Last week, typically on the day after I post (thanks for the heads up, Theresa), a 'snap election' was announced for the UK.  This meant the government had to get the backing of Parliament for calling an election before the standard five years was up.  (The five year term is a relatively new measure.  When I was a researcher at Westminster in the 1990s - pre even Blair! - we lived in a state of battle readiness because you could theoretically have to fight an election at any time.  Doesn't look like the legislation has made much difference to this but anyway.)

And here we are, a week later.  The parties are all on the 'campaign trail', the press coverage is as one might have predicted and the general population seem utterly defeated at the thought of having to vote again.  I myself even tweeted that I despaired at what this election would achieve apart from another five Tory years instead of three.

However, in thinking about what to post on this blog in the throes of such apathy, I have come to the conclusion that, more than ever, we have a duty to  vote.  And those of us who do not agree with Brexit have a duty to do more than that if we are in so-called 'safe' constituencies for Brexiteers.  Even if you suspect your vote won't count for much, you should still vote.  I have spent years having my vote cancelled out by my opposing husband's.  It is a small victory if he forgets to go.  But I still vote.  People died, and are still dying around the world, for the right to vote in a free election.  The least we can do is to exercise our right.

But more than this, if you oppose Brexit, look at the lists of places where there is a chance of removing a Brexiteer.  And send money.  Go and help campaign.  Ring people you know there.

Last June, the unthinkable happened.  And as I have posted before, I believe it partly happened because people who usually feel disenfranchised, by the 'first past the post' system and by being ignored by Westminster, were led to believe they were voting to actually make a change.  The implications of this change were never properly explained to them by either side. 

This is the last chance to make our voices heard before we are taken out of the EU.  If we can't remove the Tories - but I believe we could - we have a responsibility to make the process of Brexit as difficult as possible for the hardliners to achieve.

Our ancestors fought for democracy.  We now need to fight for our descendants.

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