"What's the point?"

I just got back from the school run. On the way I asked 5 women if they're voting and they admitted they won't be. They said they've given up and didn't know who to vote for. They don't trust that anyone can keep them safe. They don't believe a single politician is listening. 

Is that you?

I get it. I do. I really understand how hopeless it feels. We've watched weeks of spite and lies being circulated everywhere. It's been relentless and for what? It's hard to know who to believe anymore. For those of us with mental health issues, it was more than we could bear at times. I hear you. 

I want to say this. Do not let them tell you that your voice isn't important. Even in an area where there is probably never going to be change, showing up and telling them we're watching and we have concerns is sometimes what the rest of us need to see you do. 

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More than 2 million people registered to vote this month. For many young people this will be their first opportunity to vote. Please, don't let them down. Don't let them feel that we're not listening or we become part of the problem. Remember the first time you voted? You'd never done it before and you believed it would change the world. Please, don't teach the next generation that they can't speak up because then this feeling of being lied to over and over continues and they give up too. 

Then, when you've voted can you please talk to others about why you did it? Talking about politics is really hard for a lot of us and we fear conflict. I did this on my school run and my knees were shaking but I knew how important it was to encourage others. I'm not asking you to talk about who you voted for, I'm asking you to encourage others to get to a polling station today. Text around and plan to have a cuppa after you all vote if you're all feeling that way. 

 

And for my part, I voted for the many, not the few. I voted for a fully costed manifesto that promised to put police back on the streets that Theresa May took away. Don't let them lie to you. There is money for these resources and it comes from the sectors that can afford to start paying their tax bills. I voted Labour because I might be a little more comfortable right now but I haven't always been and many more of us won't be if we don't vote for our entire community. See? Your vote is multiplied by all those people. You are part of our team. 

 

Go on. Have that conversation. Ask someone for help if you're struggling. Please use a right that many people in this world simply do not have. Vote.