I’m writing this after the exit poll, you know. That exit poll. The one that felt like a punch in the gut.
I’m writing this with the expectation that David Cameron is going to be Prime Minster, that the government will be even more Tory-dominated and we’re in for another five years of ideologically-driven cuts that will hurt the weakest and most vulnerable in society. And that’s a horrible, horrible idea.
And yet I’m strangely hopeful. Not in some miraculous electoral turnaround, because It’s too late to do anything about that.
I’m hopeful because, as I wrote for the magazine I work for, the election is the tip of the iceberg: it can only be the start of our political engagement. I’m hopeful because in the last five years I’ve seen churches see needs and do something about them: through food banks, through job clubs, through CAP courses. I’m hopeful of people like my mate Taimour, who despite being a cynical, left-wing hack, works his arse off defending the right of migrants to this country, fighting a losing battle because those people are worth. I’m hopeful because of the hundreds of incredible youth workers i know who give and live sacrificially because they believe in and are passionate about young people, young people forgotten and ignored by this government.
I’m hopeful because the big society was in place and picking up the slack years before Cameron’s PR machine put it on a t-shirt. I’m hopeful because if the bacon-faced bullingdon bastard won’t help those who need it, there’s millions of us to do it for him.
So yes, I’m pretty dam depressed about the expected result. Yes, I wish we weren’t getting five more years of his crap, but these feelings that we’ve clung onto for the last two weeks don’t end now, they start now, they don’t become less important because we lost, they become more important because we lost.
Hope is a refusal to accept to situation as it is, and I refuse to accept this Tory government as it is, and I’m going to do something about it. They say that hope kills you, but honestly, tonight it feels like a lack of hope might kill me. So in the face of opinion polls, in the face of cuts, in the face of austerity and in the bacon-face of David Cameron I’m going to love the living shit out of my neighbour and choose hope.