I don’t tend to discuss politics much on here. At home is a different matter, and tomorrow’s general election has been one of the main subjects for weeks now. Having a politics graduate in the house helps to add some solid knowledge and history into my tendency to make all political decisions straight from the heart, and definitely helps to fuel the debate.
I wont be telling you who I think you should vote for, but I will be walking straight from my night shift in a busy Emergency Department to my local polling station and I will be voting Labour.
I know that the Labour Party has its issues. I know that many people believe Jeremy Corbyn is not a natural leader. I know that some people think the Labour Party will ruin our economy and give all our hard earned taxes to benefit scroungers. After a half term away with certain members of my family I have had that conversation over and over again.
Working in the NHS I see so close-up the changes that have happened over the past few years. I have seen the elderly patients sat in a cold corridor, on a narrow, hard trolley for sometimes over twelve hours. I have seen the increase in our workload as the provision of social care has collapsed and failed, the difficulties getting patients into community hospitals as more and more beds are closed. I have seen the pressure build to unsustainable levels for the paramedics and ambulance service. I have seen the shortage of doctors and the rotas desperately being plugged by doctors who are already overworked and overstressed. I have seen colleagues burn out and have known doctors who have left the country, left the health service, and very sadly some who it all became just too much. I have seen our dedicated nursing team get smaller and smaller as they decide that emergency medicine is not a sustainable career and understandably leave for easier roles. Their places being taken up by unskilled junior nurses who leave within a year or two, and increasingly by highly paid, temporary, agency staff, who are now a permanent fixture in our department. They plug the gaps at great expense rather than putting that money into developing and training our own permanent staff. All this while Jeremy Hunt has battled with and demoralised our junior doctors, belittled their hard work and tried to demonise them to the public. His obvious plan to privatise as much of the NHS as possible is going great so far, as I see more and more of our hospital services being sold off to private companies, who I am sure will be putting a healthy profit ahead of what is best for the patients we are meant to serve.
Every single person I work with believe passionately in the principle of healthcare for everyone, free at the point of access. Tomorrow I will be voting to try and defend that principle for myself, my colleagues and all my friends and family who will need to access that healthcare now and in the future. What we are offering right now just is not good enough, and it will only get worse with five more years of Tory austerity.
There has been lots of discussion about tactical voting where I live. I have been told repeatedly to vote for the Lib Dems in order to keep the Conservatives out. Right now in my constituency that seems like old news as the Labour candidate has been making huge grounds, so Labour looks like it is becoming the tactical vote right now. Regardless of that I will be voting with my heart, with all my personal experience, and with all that Politics graduate knowledge in my ear for the party that I believe in, for the Labour Party. There is enough tactics and general skullduggery in politics these days, surely we should make a stand and vote for the party that we truly believe in, and for a more honest and hopeful future.
I found this website really useful to clarify which party’s manifesto really represented my views, and also a great way to really get me thinking about what issues matter to me. I want to save our NHS, I want my children, and every other child in this country, to have free access to great education, to know that there is a safety net to protect them if unforeseen circumstances mean they have to rely on social care, hospitals, benefits. And I am very proud to be able to pay my taxes to support those services now and for the future of my children.
So whatever matters to you, please vote tomorrow! I’ll leave you with this from my hero Hollie McNish.