As Britain recovers from yet another decisive round of voting, I want to explore whether we have all just had enough of politics!
Since the 2015 General Election, we have had what feels like a constant stream of political jargon plastered across the media. Not a day goes by without the mention of Brexit, The Conservatives, Labour, Corbyn, May, Polls or god forbid the dreaded ‘R” word… referendum. But is all this politics talk doing us the layman any good or is it just sending us all to sleep???
Lets start from the beginning with the 2015 General Election. Here there was a surprising majority win for the Conservatives who gained 331 of the 650 seats of Parliament. As some of you might have noticed Europe featured heavily during the campaigns and UKIP did particularly well as a result, recording over 1 million votes (although this did not translate into actual seat numbers). This led to increased pressure for the Conservatives to call a referendum on our membership of the European Union sharpish (the Conservatives had added this referendum to their manifesto of pledges during the election in order to appeal to those voters who had been tempted by UKIP). Coupled to this was the roaring success in Scotland of the Scottish Nationalist Party, who had all but won all of the available seats! Britain was therefore braced for two of the biggest votes for generation, all in the space of a couple of years… no pressure right!
As crazy as it seems referendums are not actually that rare of an occurrence its just that us Britons don’t tend to get offered our say, unless it is deemed to be a very decisive or important matter. After all we elect politicians for this very reason… to make decisions based on what is best for us, more on this later!
So the EU referendum, I don’t think that i was the only person who felt very under pressure to not screw up their vote, after all we were led to believe that this was to be the most important decision of our lives. To put into context the enormity and complexity of this referendum, even after studying both Economics and Politics at university i was still undecided heading into the polling station…. How on earth was the layman supposed to make an informed decision? The fact is that not enough was done by either side of the debate to educate the common man.
It therefore saddens me to say that the politicians played upon peoples fears. It unfortunately tarnished all the great political engagement that was taking place. Politics had taken on somewhat of a cultural revolution and four its way into all walks of life. Never before had every layman conversation somehow slipped into a political debate of sorts. Britain had become energised by politics and this was very shown in the turnout figures for both topping 72% for the EU and almost reaching 85% in Scotland.
The fallout from both results of course was huge and fundamentally is changing the lives for us all. Firstly Scotland had voted to stay as part of the United Kingdom despite the increased nationalist support we had seen during the 2015 elections. Secondly of course there was Brexit.. the word now synonymous with the EU referendum. To quote David Cameron “Out means Out” so whether its doom and gloom or rainbows and butterflies, we have made our decision and there is no going back!
It is amongst this back drop we skip forward to June 2017 where our now prowess at voting was called upon for some more very important decisions. The opponents this time Corbyn and May in an election with a very familiar rhetoric… did i hear someone say Brexit again!!! See this is where the British publics patience begins to wain, we have tried our best to engage with the referendums both with voice and vote but yet again we are being brought back to square one.
NOT COMPLETE – TESTING