A MOVEMENT IN MOURNING
By Dawn M. Sanders
My heart is crying, my head awash – is integrity and all
that is good in society broken?
One week on from the general election where Labour, the
party I have chosen based on its values, hemorrhaged
what we should have gained.
On election night, I stocked up on wine and cooked a good
enough dinner to get me through the night.
Every election night, I tend to stay up listening to the results roll in
amid the commentary on social media and whatever crackpot TV is being dealt
those of us awaiting results in heightened anticipation, rather than resolving
to wait until it all comes out in the wash in the morning. .
When the exit
polls came in and they seemingly were burying the thing before it hatched I
thought, ‘this is outrageous they’ve hardly have had a first actual result yet.
I soon nodded off and came to about 3-somethinga.m. Twitter seemed to dry up – I didn’t make
heads or tales in my half slumbered
state, as I sank back into an induced fog not wanting to really make heads or tales of what I suspected to be unravelling.
6o’clock came and I fully woke up, what was happening?
All I heard was “Labour is finished” from my TV and then it
dawned on me.
I knew it was going to be bad all the next day, but not as
bad as it eventually came to light.
I slept most of that next day, giving my new volunteer
pursuit a miss.
Everyone but everyone at the very least expected a hung
parliament. The campaign had been one
big mud bath of lies and heated debates with Corbyn shining through and Johnson
stammering and BS-ing his way through, yet when
people still dubbed him as ‘more prime ministerial’ it was jaw dropping, so
something was wrong, really wrong!
On the surface, Corbyn seemed to draw the largest crowds, as
he did in the 2017 election.
Like Theresa May, Boris Johnson did the whole repetitive
mantra of “Get Brexit done” which, not only quickly lost it’s luster, it was clear he was concerned with little else – in
denial on the NHS, blatantly showing the world he couldn’t care less about
the climate crisis, never mind flood
victims or children
His efforts during the campaign were minimalist, lazy and
almost of a ‘can’t be bothered’ mentality, yet the polls were biased even
before disastrous debates.
The now all-too-familiar cycle of vilifying Jeremy Corbyn
continued, but so did Corbyn’s failure to hit back or defend himself.
Throughout his 4 year tenure as leader of the Labour party,
not once did he seek legal action against the BBC or right-wing tabloids for
their continuing smear campaign – had he done so even once, his life might have
been that bit easier, he might have commanded more respect among his
adversaries, but it is sadly too little too late for all the could have beens or if onlys.
In the immediate days following the shocking result, as
truths came flying out of pent up frustrations and anguish following the
campaign with a hit list of shortcomings, Corbyn had been on
the edge of stepping down and giving up.
Where was the focus, the real zeal and opportunities
abandoned to simply take the government down or expose them?
The façade of enthusiasm, overly-ambitious
manifesto and lack of clarity, was enough to be the beginning of the end for a
leader so much of us have been so proud of.
So I have spent most of this week
dwelling in my poorly heated home, walking to and fro
or just sitting in utter disbelief.
How, why, why, why?
Because: too many people ‘just didn’t like Corbyn’ yet
couldn’t say why or see beyond the slow deliberate brainwashing of the media;
Because Brexit isn’t some black and white thing the
electorate can just neatly put into a box of either remain or leave;
Because Corbyn is just too soft, wet or nice, but mainly
just trying to help the poor and make the top percent more accountable;
Because Johnson is a known and outright liar who can’t
string together a sentence, but that’s okay?
Because the ruling elite will clasp their jaws on anything
to discredit an imperfect yet decent man and feed on the media-magnified issue
anti-semitism, ignoring their own racist and xenophobic sentiment and
hostilities paraded in plain view for all to see?
The injustices, the dirty tactics abound. One man could not only assume the position of
but endure being beaten back for so long – Corbyn has done his time.
The blame game keeps revisiting the notion that the north
has been neglected for far too long, yet not only is this a cliché, it is one
that completely ignores the fact that, the Tories have been in power nearly a
decade and have perpetuated that neglect.
No of course they haven’t, but the right-wing agenda has
successfully steered away the Labour heartlands from all of these issues, maybe
they have become immuned, but Brexit has been the
eclipsing factor in a polarised society as the rest of Europe looks on in
bemusement toward the island of eejits.
The Russia Report and Voter rigging
When it came to light that a report based on external
interference by Russia
into British elections was being withheld by Boris Johnson I became
worried, because of what was at stake pre-election, the high hopes we all had
on the left and how close we well, could have been to victory.
It has already been public knowledge how Russia allegedly
the 2016 US election or highly plausible how there was Russian interference
in the Brexit result of that same year.
So, once the
Russia Report had stuck its head just far enough out of the ground to make
itself known, I felt compelled to do something.
Despite Corbyn and other opposition leaders asking what Johnson had to
hide, the demands lacked continuity and the same rigor as
Corbyn drew on leaked documents surrounding the NHS and secret talks
between Trump and Johnson regarding
trade deals which would see the NHS sold off to American private
So I decided to embark on a change.org petition to help
demand the release of the dossier, but it was futile in the face of a frenzied,
chaotic campaign .
Post-election and Johnson has to his convenience, agreed to
release the report, so I’m baffled, not only with the result of this election,
but by the outright blatant interference which has without a doubt just
cemented a huge Tory majority, yet no one is questioning?
The writing was on the wall, but no one was looking…
As parliament reconvened and a reinvigorated, swaggering,
smirking Johnson reaffirmed the mantras of the last 5 weeks to his new and
existing power base, a broken Jeremy Corbyn, as the final slaying was laid bear
with angry unseated MPs, a demoralised membership and stunned survivors of the
election, sauntered to the front of the chamber to apologise to those who lost
their seats and congratulated his opponent in true humility. I was heart broken
for him, for us and for the millions of kids that will still live in poverty.
I ache for those sleeping out on the streets, because their
lives collectively will be overlooked and trashed as they have been for the
last 9 years.
A Personal Blow
Naturally, I look inward and to my own private hell and how
my family has suffered the ‘other racism’ under the Tory’s hostile environment.
Where those of us who are ‘different’ disenfranchised or
marginalised with visible/invisible challenges, face systemic injustice and are
treated like the under-class in the last bastion of social prejudice.
My hopes and dreams of being able to experience the lifting
of the hostile environment, so I could approach applying for full citizenship, enableing me to run for public office, have now been dashed
– at least for another 5 long years.
What’s To Come?
Well, if like me, you have been terrified for the
environment in lack of decisive action by particularly right-wing governments
of developed countries who favour big corporation over the planet or human
wellbeing, guess what – it’s not going to change.
If you have experienced the right to a free health service, enjoy it
while we still have it, because it is probably the beginning of its demise.
If your child has had a shortage of supplies at school or
you are having trouble putting food on the table – get used to it, because with
all of these things and many other social and economic failings of the last
near decade, it seemingly is what those who voted the Tories back with a
vengeance thrive upon.
As the uncertainty of a hard Brexit looms and facing
whatever repercussions it brings will test our endurance – for those who switch
to the other side, it will be ‘there tern’ to do the reflecting and
No politician is perfect.
At the end of the day politicians are human, influenced to the tune of
different ideologies or flags.
People often complain of the corruption of those elected to
power, yet when one comes along who, truly wants to make a difference, cares
about the poor or stands up for his convictions against the grain as Corbyn has,
people become intoxicated with a loathing which was cultivated out of hate and
Corbyn was never a match for the vicious venom-spewing
snakes and vipers in parliament or their external influencers.
He was routinely vilified, hounded and harassed by the
media, opposing figures within the Labour party and finally crucified by an
ideology that kills, considers people by the colour of their skin or within the
class hierarchy of the pecking order.
We are a movement in mourning, but already there are those
seeking Solis through a new beginning, a kind of ‘try again’ or which new
leader will bring us victory and a brighter future
I still feel bereaved.
My heart is crying, my head awash – is integrity and all
that is good in society broken along with Jeremy and our movement?
Corbyn has been the embodiment of integrity and all that is
good in society, which is why thousands have joined Labour under his guidance.
Will Labour lurch like a reactionary pendulum in the
opposite direction, just to gain power?
Starmer, Shadow Brexit Secretary, is right in his
voice of reason, ‘we need to stand proud of our values, stop the in-fighting
and just be who we are again’.