Thursday, 8 June 2017

The Election Diaries: Day 49: 5th June 2017: The Idealism


Monday 5th June 2017

Day 49

My friends and I meet up in town and have a pizza. Of course, we discuss the election and what's happening, and who's voting. The interesting thing is that while a lot of them have strong opinions about politics, there appears to be some vital policies they miss. (They're not aware of the Gardens Tax, for example, or the outcry there'd be if Corbyn enforced it.) It's an interesting thing, the idealism of youth-everything feels possible and like if only we could all hold hands and love each other, the world would be a better place. Yeah, maybe, in a utopia. It doesn't exist, so you've got to get on with the world you've been given. And don't go getting all starry-eyed about thinking we can change the world and have peace and sing Kumbayya and that you'll make a difference. The likelihood is you won't make a difference and you'll spend your life just trying to survive.

It's an odd thing, because a few years ago, I was pretty similar. I'd have described myself as pretty leftie, back then. I look back at myself back then and despise myself and my naive enthusiasm for everything, the same way I imagine the left-wing teens who send me abuse online will one day look back at their own tweets and rants.

What changed? Well, you grow up. Or, in my case, you realise that actually, most of those claiming to want to make the world a better place, are more hypocritical than the very people they criticise. They want to abolish grammar schools-but send their own kids to them. They want a mansion tax-but leave in multi-million pound houses themselves. They cry foul about ad hominem attacks-but throw them themselves constantly. They're worse, far worse, than the people they criticise, because they try to put across the holier-than-thou act. I don't know when I started to see things more clearly. I just know that it makes me angry, and I used to like being angry. Now, I turn the anger into something colder, harder. Abby Tomlinson once stood up with starry-eyed naivetie and proclaimed that "Anger can be fuel" while speaking for the man that a year later, she'd vote to replace with another leader. While that made me laugh-what young kid hasn't told themselves that, in a bid to convince themselves that they're going to CHANGE THE WORLD-anger, on its' own, can't be fuel. So I turn it into something smoother, more calculating. Something harsher, for all that.

Perhaps it's all these thoughts and perhaps it's the fact several of my friends are sick, but I start feeling sick before I've been out for two hours. When we go to the cinema, I curl up in the dark, read my book, and fall asleep. (We see Wonder Woman. It's superheroes. To be honest, I don't get the big appeal. There's just another heteronormative romance in the middle.) But, either way, when I get home, I'm ill. Dad opens the door and I nearly fall into the hallway. I go to bed and cuddle up there.

I'm slightly cheered, though, by witnessing-joy of joys-not one, but two royal screw-ups by Diane Abbott. My father, still sniggering, comes to wish me goodnight and guides me towards what could conceivably become my entertainment for the evening-a YouTube channel dedicated solely to Diane Abbott gaffes. I'd like to thank the genius who set it up.

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