I went to bed last night knowing full well what I would awaken to, and yet somehow the seeing it is worse.
As the country turns blue, my blood runs both cold and hot. Cold with dread, and hot with the sick, sharp stab of fear.
Of the demographics that the Tories traditionally hate, I fall into a few. I am unemployed, I am disabled, and I am a single parent. I’m also a creative, a woman, and left wing. For what it’s worth, I’m not “straight” either, although I am straight-passing.
And now I think it’s time to wake up. Not just for me, but for all of us. Each and every one of us who banked on things going the other way this morning. Who cast our votes and sat there, fingers crossed (metaphorically or not), who signed petitions, who tweeted, and who sat at home and waited to see what would happen.
Well. It happened. And the more my fear takes hold, the more it gives way to anger. Not at the country. not at those others, those people who read the tabloids and believed the right-wing slant to current affairs and financial matters. No. I’m angry with myself. I look at myself, at my situation, and I think this:
I could have done more.
I could have got out and protested. I could have been more vocal about my views, and about the things I saw happening around me. I could have bombarded my MP and Parliament in general with letter after letter, protest after protest. I could have gone and met people, joined a political party. And I didn’t.
But here I am. I’m alive, and the bruises on my arms from yesterday’s seizure are a testament to the fact that although I might fall down, I will ALWAYS get back up again and carry on. And while I can’t change the inaction of my past, I can certainly change my future.
The time for sitting at home signing petitions has passed. In five years there won’t be much left to petition for. We can’t afford to wait for the next election to bring change. We woke up this morning to a country gone blue. Well, I’m awake now. And I plan to stay awake. I’ll get back up. I’ll keep fighting. Because there are so many in this country who need us. Who need the ones whose bodies let them carry on. Who just got silenced and need a voice.
I won’t take this lying down. I can’t afford to. None of us can. A hundred years ago women were chaining themselves to railings and starving themselves to demand the vote. Drastic change takes drastic action. If the petitions won’t work, we need to find another, louder way to make ourselves heard. This country has reformed itself before. We need reform again, but it has to be fought for. It won’t be easy. It never is. But the alternative is far harder to live with. And thousands of us won’t live at all if we do nothing.