Since Thursday night (starting with the exit polls when a glimmer of hope first appeared) I’ve been trying to work out how I feel. Labour didn’t win, the Tories are still in power (mostly) Brexit may well go ahead but my optimism is cautiously reasserting itself. I wrote this a few weeks ago. I was looking for the light at the end of the tunnel and not seeing it. This election has renewed a cautious hope. It may well be that young people voted the way they did because they were promised the abolition of tuition fees, but I think it’s a bit more than that. They are asserting themselves. They see another way forward. They see an alternative to the ever harder punishment of those who lack the drive and, well, to some extent, greed that is supposed to drive us on towards some kind of nebulous future promise.
I think the glimmers actually started a bit earlier after the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London with the refusal of people to succumb to hatred and division. Yes, they are horrible, my heart goes out to those who died, were hurt or had loved ones who were, but it would have been so easy to respond with hatred or despair. That hasn’t happened. The emergency services responded magnificently despite their problems and the media refrained, somehow, from saying this showed that the cuts were fine and they’d obviously been overstaffed before. The community reached out to comfort and help each other in a way we knew, in our hearts, that people could and would do. Race and religion became a lesser consideration than feeling fellow human beings.
There are those who use such things as an opportunity to entrench their hatred for “the other” but they are being sidelined and shouted down.
There may be a way forward after all that isn’t harsh and bleak. My optimism has reasserted itself. Maybe we’ll be all right after all.
Now. What’s next?