And why you should too.
This is the most important election of my lifetime. This is more important than 1997, when New Labour swept to power, more important than 1992, when the Tories somehow won, more important than 2010, when the Tories went into coalition with the LibDems. And the reason for this is Brexit.
Leaving the EU changes everything. It changes this country in ways we can’t even understand yet, and the next government is going to build the foundations for whatever comes next. The idea that the process of withdrawing from the EU can be reversed, as much I would love it to happen, is simply wishful thinking. We are on our way to a lonely place, and the gaps left in our laws will have to be filled.
Jeremy Corbyn believes in progressive taxation, he believes the public sector is a force for good, he believes that the state can and should own and operate the railways and hospitals and that the private sector cannot, he believes a university education should not be prohibitively expensive. Theresa May believes in cutting taxes for the wealthiest, cutting public services, leaving the railways in private hands, bringing back fox hunting, cosying up to Trump, isolating us from our European Allies, and abolishing the Human Rights Act.
The Tories are now so far to the right it astonishes me. They are a toxic group, falling for the belief that the Brexit vote was not the misguided cry of the oppressed masses, but was somehow tethered to nostalgia. The truth, of course, is that a vast number of complex issues led to Brexit, but the xenophobic lobby has been the most gleeful and noisy and Theresa May has thrown in her lot with them.
If the Labour party is allowed to build the foundations for a new, post-Brexit Britain I believe they will try to make sure it is fair. Corbyn, despite reports to the contrary, is no ravening communist hell bent on establishing a soviet system, he is not the second coming of Lenin, he’s a fairly ordinary sort of socialist. His party will bear the poor in mind as they shape our future, they will take some of the riches from people who own more than they need and give them to people who need it, they will protect our right to healthcare, our right to education and our essential human rights.
The Tories will make us a tax haven. A kind of oligarchy, where billionaires are the new aristocracy and the rest of us are the peasantry. They will screw you out of every workplace protection, they will cosy up with the orange nightmare in charge of America, they will pander to the xenophobes to retain the UKIP vote, and, when you are old, they will take your home if you dare to develop dementia.
I can’t do that. I worry they will win, and win big, and all the polls seem to suggest that’s how it’s going. All bar one, the one that tells me this election can be entirely changed by 18-24 year olds getting out to vote. If you’re of that age vote on Thursday, if you know someone of that age take them to the polling booth on Thursday. Is this naked electioneering? Maybe. Are Labour perfect? No, of course not. But the Tories are poison. Don’t let us drown in a future ruled by a billionaire aristocracy.